From Associated Press

Maxim Shostakovich, the Russian conductor who defected to the West four years ago, says he accepted "with pleasure" his appointment as New Orleans Symphony music director beginning in the fall of 1986.

"I want to be principal conductor in New Orleans because it has a good orchestra, and I had a good relationship with the orchestra when I was in the city earlier this year," he said from Philadelphia. The New Orleans orchestra's board of directors announced it had approved a three-year contract.

Shostakovich, 47, in April conducted an all-Russian program here, including Symphony No. 5 by his late father, Dmitri Shostakovich. The conductor and his 19-year-old son, Dmitri, defected to West Germany in 1981 after a European tour with the Moscow Radio Symphony. Granted political asylum in the United States, he lives in Ridgefield, Conn.

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