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Originally published Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Classical music

Youth Symphony director to resign

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra music director Huw Edwards will step down Aug. 31, after only three seasons in his post. The news, announced yesterday...

Seattle Times music critic

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra music director Huw Edwards will step down Aug. 31, after only three seasons in his post.

The news, announced yesterday, surprised many close to the organization; Edwards has settled in as a very good and strongly committed music director, the fifth in the organization's 63-year history.

Edwards' statement said only that he will "miss working with the talented young musicians," but that he needs to make "some changes in my life and schedule, and I want to allow some time to reflect upon my musical commitments."

Yesterday and today, Edwards was in Ellensburg judging 20 orchestras in a high-school music festival and unavailable for further comment.

Edwards' other commitments include music directorship of the Columbia Symphony Orchestra of Portland and the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.

He will conduct the Seattle Youth Symphony's final concert of the season on May 15, and will lead the Marrowstone Festival in Bellingham.

The orchestra's executive director, Dan Petersen, said a search committee has been formed to find a successor.

"Three years ago, 176 conductors from around the world applied," Petersen said, "and we expect to get that many again. The search committee will decide whether we get an interim conductor for next season, or whether a permanent one can be found, or if we will invite three candidates to conduct as we did last time."

Melinda Bargreen: mbargreen@seattletimes.com

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