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SSO director Mélanie Léonard bidding farewell to Sudbury after upcoming season

She has accepted a position as the new music director for Symphony New Brunswick
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Mélanie Léonard was the first woman to complete a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Montreal.

Sudbury Symphony Orchestra (SSO) artistic director Mélanie Léonard is leaving the symphony for a new job after she completes the upcoming season. 

Léonard, who has been with Sudbury Symphony Orchestra for five years, has accepted a position as the new music director for Symphony New Brunswick (SNB) starting July 2021. 

Léonard was SSO’s youngest and its first bilingual female director.

“Although we are saddened to lose such a bright and innovative artistic director, we are also extremely excited for Mélanie and her new role with SNB,” SSO said in a press release. 

Léonard joined the SSO family in 2016 when she successfully won the position as artistic director out of 100 applicants. Both the SSO and the SNB describe her leadership as unique and extraordinary, which made her a hot pursuit in the industry. 

“During her time with the SSO, Mélanie has provided great leadership and inspiration to all our musicians and has delighted audiences with her unique charm and personality,” SSO said about Léonard.

The SSO anticipates collaborating with Léonard in the future as she delves into her new endeavors in New Brunswick. Her first performance with SNB is projected to be on Oct. 22 this year. She will be conducting the music of Mozart, Hétu and Schubert.

Mélanie has a unique mix of experience and vision that can take Symphony New Brunswick to the next level,” Reid Parker, SNB’s president, said in a press release. “We believe she has what it takes for us to become a more prominent player in Canada’s orchestra scene.”

Throughout her education and career, “Léonard was the first woman to complete a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Montreal,” the press release said. In 2012, she was awarded the Jean-Marie Baudet Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts.