Music in the Mountains artistic director retires, replacement named |

Music in the Mountains artistic director retires, replacement named

Submitted to Prospector

On July 5, after seven years at the artistic helm of Music in the Mountains, Pete Nowlen will retire from the position, according to a release.

In his letter of resignation, he said, “It has been a highlight of my career to get to lead this wonderful organization for the past 7 years and to have watched it thrive for the past 30. I will always be part of the Music in the Mountains family and am so pleased to know that there are highly capable hands to take the reins. I look forward to watching the exciting developments in the next era for Music in the Mountains!”

Music in the Mountains stated in the release it will miss his many talents, both artistic and administrative, and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors.

Nowlen alluded to “highly capable hands to take the reins.”

With that in mind, the organization announced that the Board of Directors has promoted Ryan Murray to artistic director and conductor. Murray has been MIM’s choral director since 2008, and also the resident conductor for the past few seasons.

His new position will combine what he has done in the past with what Pete’s job encompassed.

Upon accepting the position, Murray said, “I am so thrilled to be taking on this new position at Music in the Mountains. I have been with MIM for 11 years now — it’s such an exceptional organization and I am really looking forward to this opportunity to engage with both our organization and our community on a deeper level. I am very excited about the future and I look forward to seeing all of you soon for another great summer of music!”

Murray is currently the associate conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and also teaches opera and orchestra at Sacramento State University.

An award-winning opera conductor, Murray spent his early career working as an assistant conductor and répétiteur and is currently the music director of Townsend Opera. He is the past music director of Fresno Grand Opera, and previously worked as a staff conductor for the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute and The Opera Academy of California in San Francisco. 

Murray has been an integral member of Music in the Mountains since he began directing the chorus. Ryan has helped produce numerous exciting, challenging, and well-known works in Nevada County, such as Mozart’s Requiem, Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the Faure Requiem. And this summer, Ryan will conduct Carl Orf’s Carmina Burana at 7:30 p.m. June 27 at the Amaral Center, Nevada County Fairgrounds. Murray will also be giving a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.

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