Colorado Symphony Announces Two New Conductors For Upcoming Season

Photo: New Colorado Symphony conductors
Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon, left, and Assistant Conductor Andres Lopera join the Colorado Symphony for the 2015-16 season.

Colorado Symphony audiences will see two new conductors helping to lead the orchestra at concerts during the upcoming season.

Christopher Dragon, an Australian, will serve as associate conductor, the symphony announced Tuesday. He comes to Colorado after three years as assistant conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Andres Lopera, who worked most recently with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland, Ore., is the new assistant conductor.

Music Director Andrew Litton and other visiting conductors will take the podium for many of the season’s masterworks concerts -- higher-profile performances usually featuring core classical fare.

Dragon and Lopera will conduct some of the pops programs and other concerts, and Dragon will conduct at least one masterworks program, symphony spokesman Seth McNew said. The young conductors will also serve as understudies, learning each concert's music scores in case a scheduled conductor falls ill.

Dragon will make his debut with the orchestra at Red Rocks, when the symphony accompanies Diana Krall and Pink Martini on Aug. 12. Lopera will make his first appearance later during the 2015-16 season, which starts in September.

The symphony selected Dragon and Lopera after screening more than 200 candidates from around the world.

They replace Scott O’Neil, the symphony’s resident conductor for nine years, who worked with Litton, previous Music Director Jeffrey Kahane and Conductor Laureate Marin Alsop. He conducts his final performance with the symphony this month.