Written by Colleen Ahern
The Irving Symphony Orchestra has undergone a whole host of changes during its 50-year history. Readers may recall the re-haul of the organization in 2011, spearheaded by ISO president, Tracy Boyd. The president gained Metroplex-wide attention after changing the organization’s name to ENVISO, and building a season exclusively of multimedia events that paired music with visual and performing arts. Boyd’s rebranding efforts attempted to make the ISO “one of the most progressive symphony orchestras in America,” as he said in a 2011 press release.
Two years later, the Irving Symphony Orchestra looks much the same as it did before Boyd took charge. Former ISO president Marguerite Korkmas returned to her position as president last season in order to help the symphony recover from serious financial setbacks and to bring ISO back to its roots. With the exception of the annual children’s concert, the 2013-2014 Season will not include any multi-media events.
“[Multimedia] will not be extended in our programming this year,” Korkmas said. “We really wanted to focus on great music and the performers. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be infusing some multimedia in future concerts.”
ISO conductor Hector Guzman is a big supporter of Korkmas’s redirection of the symphony. According to Guzman, abandoning Boyd’s multidisciplinary programming benefits the Irving Symphony Orchestra both financially and artistically.
“If we had kept doing that, it would have been a tremendous strain on the orchestra’s finances,” said Guzman. “In fact, ENVISO was never supposed to substitute (for) the ISO. The Irving Symphony Orchestra was always supposed to remain the Irving Symphony Orchestra. We’ve discovered that that is the name that remains with the people.”
Korkmas stressed the importance of retaining a traditional approach to performance.