Colorado Symphony conductor Andrew Litton

(Courtesy Colorado Symphony)

The New York Times offers a look at Colorado Symphony Music Director Andrew Litton as he settles into his new role at the New York City Ballet.

The Colorado Symphony in September announced Litton would step down as music director at the end of the 2015-16 season. After that, he’ll serve as artistic adviser and guest conductor for another two years.

The New York Times article offers insights on how hearing and conducting ballets inspired him throughout his career:

And when, as a young man, he dated a City Ballet dancer, Mr. Litton found himself watching the company nearly every night at what was then called the New York State Theater, experiencing for the first time many pieces that he later went on to play and record, including Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.

“I actually learned these pieces as a pianist because I experienced the works as ballets, which is crazy — totally the wrong way around,” he said, with a laugh. “The relationship went south, but my love of these pieces never did.”

The story also covers Litton’s recording plans with City Ballet, plans for collaborating with composers on new ballets and a funny moment in which the conductor offers a new approach to music in Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker" ballet.

“This is a bit like telling the Vienna Philharmonic how to play Strauss,” he told the Times.

Litton conducts the Colorado Symphony on Feb. 19 and 20 in performances of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony.