Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, described as being one of the leading violinists of her generation, announced Tuesday that she plans to step down from her position as musical director of San Francisco's New Century Chamber Orchestra at the end of the 2016-2017 concert season.
Well-known in the classical world for her wild, electric playing, Salerno-Sonnenberg became the orchestra's musical director back in 2008 to great fanfare. During her tenure, she founded a Featured Composer program and commissioned eight new pieces for the orchestra. She also led the orchestra on three national tours, which apparently garnered record-breaking audiences and were critically acclaimed.
“From the very first moment I interacted with the orchestra, the chemistry was palpable. Although there were challenges ahead, we pressed forward and began a growth process that never wavered. Without a single doubt in my mind, I feel assured of a bright future for this orchestra,” she said, according to a press release from the orchestra.
Salerno-Sonnenberg's announcement comes not long after she was appointed to lead Loyola University’s resident artist program at its school of music.
The orchestra's board of directors have already formed a committee to find Salerno-Sonnenberg's replacement and plan on using guest concertmasters until a successor has been chosen.