The end of an era has come for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya announced Thursday he will step down from the position after the 2019-2020 season — his 20th year conducting the symphony.
But he's not leaving completely. Harth-Bedoya will continue living in Fort Worth and "still have podium presence," says Tamara Clement, vice president of marketing for the symphony. He will assume a new title as Conductor Laureate and continue to conduct performances on occasion.
“Because we have reached many shared artistic goals and such a high level of artistry, I believe that after a tenure of 20 seasons, it will be the right time for the orchestra to close a chapter and to begin a new one, exploring new challenges, points of view, opportunities and ideas," Harth-Bedoya said in a statement. "It is the right thing to do for the institution."
Harth-Bedoya joined the Fort Worth Symphony in 2000. Under him, the orchestra has played in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, released 13 recordings, and performed an expanded repertoire. He also led numerous community outreach and education programs, including performances with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra and the launch of the annual Festival of Orchestras in 2017.
According to the symphony, the search for a new director will begin immediately. Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Board Chair Mercedes T. Bass is leading the search committee.
"We are tremendously proud of Miguel’s many accomplishments, and I have enjoyed working with him during these 20 years," Bass said. "I admire his musicianship and consider him among one of the great conductors of his generation."