Rockford Symphony Orchestra Music Director Announces Retirement

Oct 16, 2019

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director says next season will be his last at the helm of the organization.

In an announcement Wednesday, Steven Larsen said he plans to retire after the 2020-2021 season. It will mark his 30th with the orchestra.

Orchestra Marketing Director Michelle McAffee says he’s provided the next level of growth the RSO board was hoping for when they hired him in 1991.

“He went from five concerts a year to -- now we’re over twelve," she said. "He’s built an orchestra of exceptional professionals.”

McAffee said Larsen also has an ability to engage the audience.

“He’s relatable," she said. "He makes the music relatable. And we will definitely be looking for someone who shares that trait.”

A committee of community members, board members and RSO musicians has been formed to lead the search for a new music director. McAffee said the RSO hopes to have a new director in place for the 2022-2023 season.