The Nashville Symphony Orchestra announced this month that it entered into a five-year contract with Giancarlo Guerrero, who will serve as their music director beginning in 2009. Guerrero will be the 8th conductor in the history of the Symphony, replacing the late Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the Nashville Symphony for 22 years and was critically instrumental in building the beautiful new symphony hall that bears his name. Guerro is the first to conduct the orchestra since Schermerhorn’s death.

Guerrero is a 38-year-old Costa Rican-American and current music director of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon. The Nicaragua-born Guerrero received a bachelor’s degree in percussion from Baylor University in Texas and a master’s degree in conducting from Northwestern University. Prior to the Eugene Symphony, he was the associate conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra and music director of the Tachira Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela. As a guest conductor, Guerrero has appeared with orchestras all across the U.S., including, for example, the Baltimore Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the L.A. Philharmonic. In June 2004, Mr. Guerrero was awarded the Helen M. Thompson Award by the American Symphony Orchestra League, which recognizes outstanding achievement among young conductors nationwide.

Leornard Slatkin remains the orchestra’s music adviser through the 2008-09 season.

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