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Bowl’s batonist trades limelight for academia

Mauceri heads to chancellor post at North Carolina School of the Arts

“At the age of 60, I thought it was time to ring down the curtain on Act Two and take an intermission,” says John Mauceri, explaining his decision to step down this year after six seasons as music director of the Pittsburgh Opera and 16 with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

As it turns out, Act Three opens with Mauceri’s new post as chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the only publicly funded arts conservatory of its kind in the U.S.

“It is the most important and optimistic thing in the world to be among 20-year-olds whose only desire is to write music, dance, paint scenery or stage manage — who want to create more art,” he says.

Mauceri will continue to conduct, however, with gigs already lined up with Lyric Opera of Chicago (“Romeo and Juliet”) later this year, the Detroit Symphony next year and multiple programs at Leipzig’s legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra in ’07 and ’08.

His recording of Danny Elfman’s first concert work, “Serenada Schizophrana,” will be released Oct. 3 on Sony Classical.

Mauceri will remain founding director of the Bowl Orchestra, and, says Deborah Borda, president of the L.A. Philharmonic Assn., “We hope he’ll be returning to us next summer.”

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