NC Symphony Extends Music Director's Contract

Grant Llewellyn's effort to inject energy into the North Carolina Symphony has earned him an early contract extension.

Symphony leaders wanted to lock in Llewellyn before other orchestras tried to lure him away when his contract expires in 2008. The new deal locks him in through 2012.

Llewellyn has been credited with reinvigorating the 74-year-old state symphony with his charm and enthusiastic performances. More people are buying tickets to the concerts, donors are giving more money and the orchestra is getting bigger.

Chief executive officer David Chambliss Worters isn't revealing details of the contract. The News and Observer of Raleigh reports in Friday's editions that the most recent federal tax records show Llewellyn received 92-thousand dollars in his first, partial season in 2004-2005. That's when he conducted only six weeks' worth of concerts.

Since the 2005-2006 season, Llewellyn has been conducting 12 to 14 weeks a year.