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Springfield conductor gets Tulsa Ballet gig


By tax time, Peter Stafford Wilson’s stack of W-2s will be about as thick as the score for a Mahler symphony.

The music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra has been named principal conductor of the Tulsa Ballet in Oklahoma.

But, he’s not leaving his local post, nor will he quit his other two jobs — as associate conductor of the Columbus Symphony and as music director of the Westerville Symphony.

“I don’t see Tulsa being any kind of impediment to my work in Springfield,” Wilson said. “If anything, it will continue to energize my work.”

“You may hear some ballet tunes you’ve never heard before,” he added, joking.

Wilson, who’s entering his 11th season as conductor here, began a relationship three years ago with the Tulsa Ballet, a professional ballet company founded in 1956, when the company asked him to guest-conduct six performances of “The Nutcracker” without any rehearsal.

“I feel like I have a flair for that work,” he explained, “and it’s opening up new markets and new dimensions in my career. I’m approaching my 60th birthday, and yet I’m still anxious to grow.”

Wilson’s tenure with the local symphony has been one of growth — in 2010, the SSO was honored with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

“The fact he has gotten the attention of places like the Tulsa Ballet speaks well about what he’s done in Springfield,” said David Deitrick, the symphony’s executive director.

Wilson said he plans on serving Springfield “as long as they’ll have me.”

And, as if four jobs isn’t enough, Wilson also was tapped to be interim orchestra director at Cedarville University for this school year.

“The logical answer would’ve been, ‘Gee, thanks, but no,’ ” he said. “I couldn’t quite say it.”


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