New York City Ballet has announced that the Company’s Music Director, Fayçal Karoui, will step down following the Company’s 2012 Spring Season.
French-born Karoui was appointed NYCB’s fifth Music Director in December 2006. He is also Music Director of the Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn in Southwest France, a position he has held since 2001, and last year he was also appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris. He will continue his duties with both of these orchestras after leaving NYCB.
Karoui says that, while still in love with New York and NYCN, his commitments in France have made it difficult for him to return to the city as often as needed.
He said, “Now, I find myself at a crossroads. The Music Director position at New York City Ballet position demands and deserves a strong commitment. For six years I have been able to manage this commitment with the rest of my artistic life, but this is no longer possible. So it is with very mixed emotions that I am stepping down, as I am very proud of the high level of musical artistry that has been achieved by the New York City Ballet Orchestra through our hard work together.”
During his six years with NYCB, Karoui conducted a vast array of works and was involved in creating such productions as Peter Martins’ full-length "Romeo & Juliet" in 2007; the Architecture of Dance Festival in 2010, which featured commissioned scores by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thierry Eschaich, Jay Greenberg, and Bruno Moretti; as well as last year’s production of "Ocean’s Kingdom", a collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney and Peter Martins.
“Working with Fayçal for these past six years has been a wonderful experience,” said Martins. “His passion, commitment and love of music and dance have made him an integral part of the New York City Ballet family, and he will be greatly missed by everyone. While we all understand that his thriving career in Europe is now a priority, we do hope that Fayçal will return to NYCB as a guest conductor in the future.”
Andrews Sill, currently NYCB’s Assistant Music Director, will become Interim Music Director as the Company begins a search to replace Karoui.