Darko Butorac to leave Missoula Symphony Orchestra after 2018-19 season

Darko Butorac took the helm at the Missoula Symphony Orchestra in 2007. (Missoula Symphony Orchestra)

After 12 years with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, Darko Butorac announced early Friday that he’ll leave after the 2018-2019 season.

“It has been a great honor to serve as the music director of the MSA since 2007,” he said. “I am so proud of our orchestra and everything we have achieved together over the last decade.

“Not only are they fantastic musicians, they are also wonderful colleagues, and I am very much looking forward to our last season together.”

Following the 2018-2019 season, Butorac will move on to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina.

“Living in Missoula and being part of our great community has been an incredible experience, one that will remain deep in my heart for the rest of my life,” he said. “I want to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you do to make classical music vibrant in Missoula.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead our beloved orchestra, and I thank you for generous time and support in making the magic of music thrive in our community.”

A search committee to find Butorac’s successor is being assembled and the Missoula Symphony Association will begin taking applications in the fall.

A group of finalists will be named in spring 2019, and each finalist will conduct a concert during the 2019/20 season. A similar process was used when Butorac came to Missoula.

His tenure was marked by the orchestra’s resurgence, and met with considerable public acclaim.