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Arts Center to Present “˜Director’s Chair’ Award to WSO Conductor


Robin FountainThe Community Arts Center will present its 2007 “Director’s Chair” Award to Robin Fountain, music director/conductor for the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.

Fountain, who has led the orchestra since 1992, will be honored on June 16 during a fundraising event and ceremony at the Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.

Musical entertainment will be provided for the event, and a variety of food stations will be offered in the mezzanine and lower-lobby areas, catered by Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Complimentary beverage service begins at 6 p.m. A $75 contribution is requested.

The event will culminate with the presentation of the Director’s Chair Award to Fountain on the Arts Center stage.

“The Directors Chair Award was established by the board of directors for the expressed purpose of honoring those individuals who have had a profound impact on the success of the Community Arts Center,” said Rob Steele, executive director of the Arts Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pennsylvania College of Technology. “Everyone at the Community Arts Center hopes that Robin Fountain will look back fondly on 15 years of sharing his amazing musicianship and compassionate leadership with a deep sense of pride. His impact on the arts community in Williamsport is unmatched.”

In addition to his duties with the WSO, Fountain has taught conducting at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music since 1994. He was the first faculty member there to earn promotion to full professor.

In addition to his permanent posts, Fountain maintains an active guest-conducting schedule, appearing in recent years with professional orchestras in Russia, Poland, France and Germany. He led the Tomsk (Russia) Philharmonic on a five-city tour of China in 2004.

Following graduation from Oxford University in 1981, Fountain was selected through a highly competitive audition to pursue studies with Norman Del Mar at The Royal College of Music in London. There, he won the Ricordi and Theodore Steir prizes for conducting.

In 1984, Fountain came to the United States on a full scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University. He earned an Aspen Music Festival and School fellowship the following summer, and by the time of his graduation, had been appointed associate conductor of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the first of a series of appointments in the Pittsburgh area.

He continued to hone his skills, first at the Tanglewood Seminar for Conductors (where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, among others), and subsequently as one of 10 young conductors invited to participate in a master class with Lorin Maazel.

Fountain lives in Nashville, Tenn., and in Dushore with his wife, Linda, and son Matthew.

To reserve tickets for the Director’s Chair event at the Community Arts Center, call Jeri Sims at (570) 327-7657 or send e-mail .

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