Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) director and Millikin University music professor Dr. Michael Luxner was recently recognized as “Conductor of the Year” by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO).
The award honors innovation in programming, soloist selection, quality of concert performances, personal involvement in the community and relationships with the orchestra's musicians and board of directors.
“I'm honored and pleased to accept this award on behalf of many others – the musicians of MDSO, the University officials and staff who support the orchestra so effectively, and the Symphony Guild of Decatur,” remarked Luxner.
To be recognized as “Conductor of the Year,” one must: expose students to a wide range of orchestral repertoire, be successful in the education and training of orchestra musicians, leadership in an ensemble program with growth, have quality performances, and have support of the college/university community and/or the general public.
Luxner has been employed at Millikin since 1996. He is currently the conductor of the MDSO, as well as the String Arts Ensemble and Sinfonietta. He previously served as conductor of the Owensboro, Ky., Symphony and the Savannah, Ga., Symphony and has been a frequent guest on podiums across the United States and throughout the world. Luxner is a trustee of the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation, which provides training and practical experience to conductors and instrumentalists. He is a former director of the Conductors Guild, an international music service organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of the highest standards of the art and profession of conducting.
The ICO was founded in 1974. The organization’s mission is to encourage, promote and assist orchestras throughout the state of Illinois, to promote and exchange information among members, and to hold educational conferences for member organizations, including musicians, staff, boards, volunteers and audiences. For more information, visit www.ilcouncilorchestras.org