SALT LAKE CITY — After 28 years as music director and principal conductor with Ballet West, Terence Kern will transition to his new position as music director emeritus. His new title will take effect at the conclusion of Ballet West's 2011-12 season and the production of "Emeralds."

"Throughout our history, Ballet West has been fortunate to have visionary leadership, and Terry is an integral part of our growth," said Artistic Director Adam Sklute. "He has served Ballet West with dedication, enthusiasm, a sense of humor and a commitment to excellence. We are privileged to have him remain as director emeritus to provide artistic guidance and continuity."

Kern graduated from the University of Wales and went on to study piano and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London. After studying with Nadia Boulanger and Constantin Silvestri, he won the school's coveted Conductors Prize. Conducting would take Kern around the world, and he began his career as staff conductor for the Sadler's Wells Opera Company (now the English National Opera). In 1972, he became music director for the London Festival Ballet, a position he held for eight years. During this time, he made major ballet recordings for E.M.I. In 1980, he became the music director for the Scottish Ballet and later for the Joffrey Ballet. While working with the Joffrey, Kern also conducted most of the leading symphony orchestras in the United States. His freelance conducting positions with Ballet West led to a permanent position with the company as music director and principal conductor in 1988.

The Utah Chamber Orchestra will be led by various guest conductors during Ballet West's 2012-13 season, with the goal of filling the full-time position by the end of the 2012-13 performance year. The search for the company's next music director will begin immediately.