Acclaimed conductor Lankester leads orchestra

Maestro Michael Lankester will conduct the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra concert Heroic Masterpieces on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. at the Ridgefield High School auditorium. The program includes Glinka’s thrilling Overture from Ruslan and Ludmila, the virtuosic Cello Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich and Beethoven’s celebrated Symphony No. 3 Eroica.

Award-winning concert cellist Adrian Daurov will play the Shostakovich.

Lankester made his American debut in 1980 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, first as assistant conductor, then as associate conductor, and finally as conductor-in-residence. In 2000, Lankester completed a highly successful tenure as music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Chamber Orchestra. Since leaving the HSO, Lankester has been active as a guest conductor with the London, Pittsburgh and Toronto symphony orchestras, the Seattle, Syracuse and Indianapolis orchestras and many other ensembles worldwide.

Hailed by one critic as “the most articulate explicator and advocate of classical music on the planet,” Lankester, in his popular lecture series and concert talks, places composers and their compositions into a broader social and cultural context — truly bringing music to life.

Lankester will give a pre-concert talk on May 13 at 7 p.m.

Lankester is also motivated about continuing work with young people. He has performed literally hundreds of concerts with and for children of all ages — a testament to his passionately held belief that, through young people, the future of great orchestral music is secured.

To purchase tickets for the May 13 concert, visit the RSO website at or call the box office at 203-438-3889. Tickets are $60, $45 and $25, with discounts available for seniors and students.