Josep Caballé-Domenech will depart his position after final concerts with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (CSP) in May 2023, closing a chapter on a dozen years performing with the orchestra.
A freelance symphony and opera conductor, Caballé-Domenech first joined CSP in 2011 as music director, succeeding Lawrence Leighton Smith. Caballé-Domenech is the ninth music director in CSP’s 95-year history.
According to The Gazette, bass trombonist and chairman of the philharmonic’s players committee, Jeremy Van Hoy, claimed that there were disagreements between Caballé-Domenech and the orchestra's management.
"Josep has been committed to the mission of this organization, which is to present professional live classical music to Colorado Springs," Van Hoy said. "He references (in the letter) our failure to follow that mission. He disagreed with the contract cancellation and thought we should have found a way to keep working in the pandemic and into 2021."
Born in Barcelona into a family of musicians, Caballé-Domenech took conducting lessons with David Zinman, Jorma Panula, and Sergiu Comissiona. He was recently appointed as principal conductor of Germany’s Moritzburg Festival and previously held the music director role at the Staatskapelle Halle, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá, and was principal guest conductor of Sweden’s Norköping Symphony.
“We celebrate so many landmark performances during Josep’s time in Colorado Springs,” CSP wrote on their website. “In addition to attracting world-renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, James Galway, Jan Vogler, and Conrad Tao performing a breadth of masterworks, Josep also introduced the music of new composers.”
“I’m incredibly sad right now," said CSP’s concertmaster Michael Hanson. “[Domenech] always expected a high level of precision. He makes sure it’s of the highest level in terms of excellence and performance.”
“It was a surprise to us,” added Nathan Newbrough, CSP’s president and CEO. “We’re saddened by it. He’s had the second-longest tenure as music director of anybody we’ve had. He has made enormous progress artistically with this orchestra.”