New Maestro to Lead Salina Symphony

Following its 2021-2022 “Pass the Baton” season, a year dedicated to finding a new maestro, the Salina Symphony has decided the son of a Polish violinist and an Israeli violin maker is the person for the job.

According to the Symphony, Yaniv Segal was chosen from among more than 100 applicants, five of whom presented a concert to the community during the 2021-2022 Pass the Baton search season, as its next music director.

The organization says the decision to engage Segal as music director came after an extensive search with input from the Salina Symphony Board, musicians, patrons, and community members. According to executive director Adrienne Allen, it was Segal’s ability to engage both the musicians and the community that set him apart. “Yaniv is a gifted conductor with a great deal of experience both on and off the podium,” she said. “The way he embraced the community during the search process was really impressive.”

Looking Ahead

Segal joins the Salina Symphony as only the third music director in the organization’s 67-year history. Planning will begin soon for the 2022-2023 concert season schedule.

“We are all incredibly excited to start the next chapter of the Salina Symphony and to continue to bring exceptional live symphonic music to the community,” said Board president Gabe Grant. “We are fortunate to have someone of Yaniv’s caliber help forge the future of the Salina Symphony organization.”

Segal looks forward to stepping into the artistic leadership role of the Salina Symphony organization. “I was immediately impressed by both the ability as well as the potential of the Salina Symphony,” he said. “I enjoyed working with the orchestra and appreciated their desire to achieve excellence. Additionally, I felt that the broad base of community support and strong administrative team set up an ideal environment for producing transformational artistic experiences. I cannot wait to get back to town and get to work on sharing our love of classical music!”

About Maestro Segal

Creative polymath Yaniv Segal has achieved critical success since childhood for his work as a conductor, composer, actor, and violinist. A rising star who is “redefining classical music” (Esquire Magazine), Yaniv is conductor laureate and artistic advisor of the Chelsea Symphony, a former assistant conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and has assisted at the New York Philharmonic. With performances described as “enthusiastic, lively, and incisive” (Giornale di Sicilia) and “illuminating” (New York Times), Yaniv has collaborated with artists ranging from Yitzhak Perlman and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to the Beach Boys and Chris Botti, and appeared with many orchestras worldwide including the Minnesota Orchestra, Kansai Philharmonic, Sinfonietta Cracovia, and Beethoven Academy Orchestra.

In 2020, NAXOS released Yaniv’s Beethoven REimagined, a commercial recording made with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Called “exciting [and] outrageous” by the Times of London, the album presents contemporary music inspired by Beethoven arranged and written by Yaniv as well as composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev. Previous commercial releases include the works of David Chesky on Joy and Sorrow, and The Mice War—an opera that teaches the children about the folly of war and is available for streaming from Amazon.

Drawing on his experience as a music educator and father, Yaniv wrote The Harmony Games in 2018. It was commissioned by the Naples Philharmonic to introduce school-age children to the orchestra while connecting music and math; it has already been performed over fifty times. In the 2021-22 season, Yaniv’s works and arrangements were performed by the Reno Philharmonic, Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapid Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and the Norwalk Symphony.

Yaniv grew up in New York with a Polish mother—a violinist who was one of the first women in the New York Philharmonic—and an Israeli father—a luthier who made the instruments his family plays on. As a child, he sang at the Metropolitan Opera, then starred as Colin in the International Broadway Tour of The Secret Garden, and was “convincing” (New York Times) as Joe in Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at Lincoln Center. He studied violin with Setsu Goto, and twice was a soloist with the Yonkers Philharmonic. Yaniv attended Vassar College and earned graduate degrees in conducting and composition at the University of Michigan with support from the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He has also studied with Lorin Maazel and Kurt Masur, and continues to receive mentorship from international conductors Leonard Slatkin and Andrey Boreyko.

Segal lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife—a scientist and physician—and two young sons.

The 2022-2023 season will open under Maestro Segal’s baton in October.