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Robert Franz is a Candidate for Music Director at Windsor Symphony Orchestra

And Lauren Edson is a finalist in the Milwaukee Ballet's Genesis competition

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Though local performers spend much of their time working on pieces for Boise audiences, many also work on projects elsewhere.

That includes Boise native Lauren Edson, the former Trey McIntyre Project dancer who worked on the January production of The Winterreise Project for Opera Idaho. Edson is one of three finalists competing in Milwaukee Ballet's Genesis: International Choreographic Competition. Edson was chosen from 30 applicants and will compete alongside choreographers James Gregg and Gabrielle Lamb.

"We pick three finalists, who are flown into Milwaukee, and they have three weeks to create new works," said Leslie Rivers, marketing associate with the Milwaukee Ballet. "We also fly in a panel of judges from around the country."

Each finalist is given a dance team of eight performers, and spends more than 90 rehearsal hours creating a new 20-minute work, which debuts before a live audience at the Pabst Theater. The first-place winner receives a $3,000 prize and an offer to create an original piece for Milwaukee Ballet's 2013-14 season.

In other out-of-state arts news, Boise Philharmonic Music Director Robert Franz is on the shortlist for a new position in the Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario. In late January, The Windsor Star reported Franz was a candidate in the Windsor Symphony Orchestra's five-month search for a new music director. According to Tony Boatman, interim executive director of Boise Philharmonic, Franz is in the early stages of a five-year contract with the Phil and will retain his position if offered the job in Windsor.

"Most music directors have more than one orchestra," Boatman explained. "Robert, right now, is the associate conductor at the Houston Symphony. Should he be the anointed one in Windsor, he said he would give up the Houston position."

Boatman said the Windsor and Boise orchestras are about the same size and that if Franz is chosen, there will be "more of a juggling act in future seasons."

"It's a strength," Boatman said. "Having him as a music director of the Windsor Symphony would be a feather in the cap of Boise, because it says that we have somebody that someone else values."

Shelley Sharpe, communications manager for the Windsor Symphony, said a committee has yet to make a decision, but they are at the "tail end of the process."

For more info on Franz and Boise Philharmonic's future, check out Arts in BW's Wednesday, Feb. 20 issue.

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