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Youth Symphony gets new conductor


Arne Running, music director of the Swarthmore College Orchestra and former conductor of the Jenkintown Music School Chamber Orchestra, has been named music director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Running, 48, succeeds Karen Deal, the CYSO's founding conductor who recently became the assistant conductor of the Nashville Symphony.

About to enter its third season, the CYSO, has quickly become one of the area's major musical organizations. The 60-member orchestra draws young musicians from Anne Arundel County, southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

A clarinetist from Minnesota, Mr. Running graduated from Boston's prestigious New England Conservatory and quickly became one the Philadelphia area's most sought after free-lance players. He was principal clarinet for such ensembles as the Pennsylvanian Ballet Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and the Penn Contemporary Players.

He also substituted regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

At the age of 33 he began to compose.

Several of his works have been performed and recorded internationally. His "Concertino for English Horn and String Orchestra" was commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra, with Leonard Slatkin conducting.

In 1979, one of Mr. Running's colleagues asked him to conduct the orchestra of the Jenkintown Music School in suburban Philadelphia. He agreed, and the experience redefined his musical life. He has been conducting ever since.

"I'm fascinated that he became a conductor because someone else saw him as a conductor," says Betty McGinnis, president of the CYSO board. "I think we were drawn to him because we saw many of those qualities ourselves."

What distinguished Arne Running from the other 40-plus resumes, videotapes and packets of references that flooded her Arnold home?

"He impressed us with his superior musicianship, his dynamic conducting and with the seriousness of his vision for the artistic growth of the orchestra," says McGinnis. "He seems to mesh beautifully with what we need."

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