DPAA announces medical leave for artistic director Neal Gittleman

Credit: Photographer: Andy Snow

Credit: Photographer: Andy Snow

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance announced Thursday that Neal Gittleman, artistic director and conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, is on medical leave to recuperate from a surgical procedure.

Associate conductor Patrick Reynolds will conduct the orchestra throughout Gittleman’s recovery. Gittleman is tentatively expected to return to the podium in early spring.

Gittleman was diagnosed with intermediate-stage prostate cancer in late 2022.

“The good news is that there’s a very high probability of a cure,” said Gittleman, in a release. “The bad news is that recovering from surgery will keep me off the podium for a while.”

“The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance family extends its warmest wishes to Neal as he recovers,” says DPAA President and CEO Patrick Nugent and DPAA Board President Ed Tomme in a joint statement. “Neal is a pillar of our organization. His dedication and contributions to the arts and the community are unmatched, and we look forward to his triumphant return to the podium.”

Reynolds, a University of Dayton music professor, has conducted SuperPops concerts, Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts, and Magic Carpet programs for many years. Most recently, he conducted DPAA’sHometown Holiday” production featuring the one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”

“This absence is frustrating, of course, but it also has a silver lining,” added Gittleman. “It makes me appreciate and cherish even more the opportunity I have to make music with our Philharmonic musicians, our Dayton Opera singers and our Dayton Ballet dancers. To paraphrase from Paul McCartney’s ‘Rocky Raccoon,’ I’ll be back as soon as I’m able!”

The DPAA says Gittleman’s procedure went well and he is resting at home. The organization asks the public to respect his privacy throughout his recovery. Any cards or words of encouragement can be sent to Neal Gittleman c/o DPAA, 126 N. Main St, Suite 210, Dayton, OH. 45402.

For information about DPAA’s 2022–2023 season, visit daytonperformingarts.org.

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