With the first Springfield Symphony Orchestra concert for the 2011-12 season held Sept. 17, music director and conductor Ron Spigelman began his eighth and farewell season.
Spigelman has decided not to renew his contract, according to a news release.
“It has been an honor to be the music director for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and to preside over the largest period of growth in its history," Spigelman said in the release.
Spigelman, who was chosen as one of Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know
, told SBJ in February 2009 that during his time as director, the symphony has doubled its audience size and grown its season ticket-holder retention rate to 95 percent.
Spigelman noted he was offered a contract extension by the symphony's board of directors but said he felt it was time to pass the torch to the next director, who has yet to be named.
"As sad as I am to leave the organization, my hope is that I left the legacy of a bright future," he said in the release. "At this time, I look forward to this, my last season, and I plan to continue to make my home here in Springfield.”
Spigelman was born in England, raised in Australia and moved to the U.S. in search of a larger musical scene. He has had stints with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, the San Angelo Symphony and the Texas Chamber Orchestra.
He also currently teaches conducting and special topics at Drury University, according to the Springfield Symphony Web site