Artistic Director James Judd’s previous directorships include Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and a groundbreaking 14 years as Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Judd came to international attention as the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, a post he accepted at the invitation of Lorin Maazel. Later he returned to Europe after being appointed Associate Music Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra by Claudio Abbado, an ensemble he continues to serve as an honorary Artistic Director. As music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, he brought the ensemble to a new level of visibility and international renown through appearances at the 2000 Summer Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, the 2003 Auckland International Arts Festival, the Osaka Festival of International Orchestras, as well as a specially televised Millennium Concert with Kiri Te Kanawa as soloist. He also led the orchestra on its first ever tour of the major concert halls of Europe, culminating with a debut appearance at the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw in August, 2005. In North and South America he is a frequent and much-admired guest conductor, having appeared with the orchestras of St. Louis, Montreal, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Seattle, Indianapolis, Utah, Vancouver and Ottawa.