South Dakota's profile over the last 20 years has taken a decidedly upward trajectory. Our population has grown substantially. In fact, according to the last census (2012), South Dakota has a growth rate that is 11th in the country!

People around the country are finally realizing that Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota, not North Dakota, and in the Black Hills - not right next to the Sioux Falls falls!

Along with these other recognitions, Sioux Falls has shown up on "best of" lists all over the place. Now one of our most respected cultural institutions is receiving raves from a writer for The New Yorker magazine.

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If you're unfamiliar with The New Yorker, it is an American magazine that features fiction, satire, news items, poetry, cartoons, and reviews of all things art, including music.

Alex Ross is the music critic for The New Yorker and has been for 26 years, mostly covering the classical music scene. But he has also contributed essays on film, ecology, and literature. In his latest review, he identified himself as a fan of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO), "from afar".

The title of his article sort of says it all - How the South Dakota Symphony Became One of America’s Boldest Orchestras

Ross flew to Sioux Falls for the final performance of the SDSO's Centennial season. He praises music director Delta David Gier for his dedication, innovation, and support of American composers. Gier recently won a Coumbia University conductor's award

That award referred to Gier as the "model of an engaged conductor". Ross expands on that by calling the SDSO "the model of an engaged orchestra"!

Ross's first paragraph makes his feeling about the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's accomplishments very clear. On a yearly budget smaller than what the Chicago Symphony pays it's conductor. . .

the South Dakota Symphony is bolder and savvier in its programming than all but a handful of American ensembles.

High praise indeed!

Source: The New Yorker Magazine

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