The Conroe Symphony Orchestra, based in Montgomery County, Texas, near Houston, has hired its first female orchestra conductor — Anna-Maria Gkouni, who hails from Athens, Greece.
The Board of Directors of the Symphony welcomed the Greek native at a small reception held in her honor on March 16 at the Conroe Symphony Centre.
Board of Directors Chair, The Honorable Kathleen Hamilton told the assembly that Gkouni “takes the reins as the Symphony’s new Conductor and Music Director.
“Gkouni is set to lead the all-volunteer Symphony in its 24th Season, which hopes to begin performing again this summer,” she noted.
Gkouni, who is not only an orchestral conductor, but a pianist and piano instructor as well, has musical interests “from classical to jazz and traditional music to more electronic and progressive sounds,” the Texas press reported.
The Athens native earned her piano performance and a music theory degree from Philippos Nakas Conservatory.
After receiving her BA from Ionian University in Corfu, Gkouni went all the way to Nebraska to earn her MA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“To lead the Conroe Symphony Orchestra is a dream come true,” Gkouni told members of the Texas press. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to conduct this exceptionally talented group of musicians.
The search for a new conductor, undertaken during this unusual time in which music cannot be played to audiences, was led by Dr. Don Hutson, who had served as the Music Director for thirteen years.
Asked for his thoughts about Gkouni, he replied “she’s precisely the fresh new talent that is needed to take the Conroe Symphony Orchestra in a bold new direction. As Board members our desire is to create experiential new works of art that help expand the reach of the orchestra. I believe that Anna-Maria will take us there.”