LIMA — The next conductor finalist already has some familiarity working with the Lima Symphony Orchestra.
Brian Eads, also a pianist and opera coach, guest conducted with the symphony in 2011, 2015 and 2017. In addition, Eads said he considers former symphony maestro Crafton Beck a mentor.
“My mentor and dear friend is Crafton Beck — he gave me my first conducting lessons ever,” Eads explained. “There just seems to be a particular connection with Lima based on that previous experience. My first teacher ever was Crafton. He invited me to conduct the orchestra for the first time, so it just kind of feels like a homecoming in some sense.
“The other day, someone asked if I was nervous, and I’m not really because I feel like I’m going to make music with friends,” Eads continued. “In many ways, it’s an organization that I’ve come to know and come to love, and it just feels like I’m getting to see some friends I haven’t seen in a while and play some music.”
Eads’ past performances with the symphony include the patriotic pops and family concerts.
“I’m really excited because this is the first classical program I’ve done with Lima, and while I love pops music and have a great time, I feel excited to get to stretch other muscles musically with the group,” Eads said.” I’m excited for them to get to see what I can bring to the table in the classical work.”
Eads said his spot in the season was lined up with the “Mozart by Candlelight” concert very much by design to show off that side of his work. In addition, Eads is personally drawn to the work of Mozart. “Così fan tutte,” which opens his program, was the first Mozart opera he learned as an opera coach.
“It’s just perfect music,” Eads described. “What I’m most excited about is the collaborative nature of what performing Mozart is going to afford us as a group. As an orchestra conductor, it’s going to take this connection we’ve already established and take it further.”
He is also looking forward to be able to play with the symphony as he will be the piano soloist in the “Piano Concerto in D minor.”
“One of the places I feel like I flourish is in a collaborative setting, and with this concert its a smaller group. As a collaborative pianist, it feels very much that vibe where it’s not so much this massive orchestra where the maestro stands, but rather it’s me being a part of them — it’s a conversation, a true collaboration. This setting feels very comfortable and feels as though the way I communicate with the group is only heightened in this collaborative setting.”
While in Lima, Eads, like all other guest conductors, will be heavily involved in the orchestra’s outreach events like Symphony Storytime and Mornings with the Maestro. He said he is most looking forward to only expanding his relationship with the town.
“The older I get, the more relationships and hearing peoples’ stories just become more and more important,” he said. “In a historical sense, we are curating great art, we are curators of this music and passing it along. In doing so, you build relationships and provide an aspect of social entertainment but it’s more about education and preserving pieces for future generations.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.