CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to leading the group in his own way.

“Every conductor has their own various taste and sound sensibility, so I hope to shape the orchestra in a way that appeals to me,” said Lawrence Loh, who was named to the job May 30.

Loh, the resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, was one of six finalists selected to replace retiring Maestro Grant Cooper.

The two have similar backgrounds, Loh said.

“He and I have similar regional paths because I conducted an orchestra in Syracuse, New York and that’s where he came from before coming here, so we know a lot of the same people and have gotten to get together,” he said.

Cooper now serves as the artistic adviser for the WVSO and will conduct some concerts next year. Loh became the music director July 1.

Loh said he’s looking forward to leading an orchestra the community supports.

“When I had my audition concert, I got to experience first hand the way that the audience really loves this orchestra and, in particular, all the wonderful musicians in this orchestra. I know that that appreciation is there. I love being a part of that,” he said.

Charleston made sure to welcome him with open arms during his tours to the Capital City, Loh said.

“People were so friendly and welcoming,” he said. “I’ve been very impressed by the people which really make the city.”

Loh will only take part in three symphonic concerts and a pops concert during the 2017-2018 season. He will then be responsible for leading a multi-city tour in April 2018.

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