After an exhaustive two-year search, officials with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra say they've found the next person to lead the group after outgoing conductor Arthur Post leaves.

Paul Haas, who has previously served as the head of the New York Youth Symphony and leads the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, was announced on Tuesday as the new music director for the northwestern Ontario symphony. He officially takes over July 1.

"I knew from the first time I stood in front of the [Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra] that this was a special group," Haas was quoted as saying in a written release confirming the announcement. "The level of artistry, the camaraderie and the commitment to excellence was palpable."

Haas was one of seven finalists for the position, symphony officials said; each one conducted the orchestra for at least two concerts over the past two seasons.

Aside from his work leading other ensembles, Haas has also been commissioned as a composer by venues like the Park Avenue Armory and Rubin Museum in New York, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska. He's a graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School.

Post served as conductor and music director from 2010 to 2017. He succeeded Geoffrey Moull.


  • A previous version of this story stated that Haas is wrapping up his tenure leading the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. In fact, Haas still holds that position and will continue to while he works in Thunder Bay.
    Jun 06, 2017 1:32 PM ET