Conductor Lawrence Foster, considered by some to be a prime candidate for the job of music director of the Pacific Symphony, will take over the Jerusalem Symphony conditionally in 1991, but he doesn't expect that it will take him out of the running for the Pacific Symphony post.
Reached in Switzerland, Foster said Wednesday that he sees no difficulties in juggling responsibilities in Israel and in Costa Mesa, in addition to other conducting opportunities, should he be offered the Pacific Symphony job.
"I do think that's possible," he said by phone. "The Jerusalem commitment is for a certain number of weeks each year, which far from utilizes the full year. . . . I can only say that given the right circumstances, any conductor would enjoy working permanently with such an orchestra (as the Pacific), including myself."
Foster said he will accept the Jerusalem Symphony directorship--he is currently its music adviser--on the condition that the orchestra is reorganized and separated from its radio and television obligations. Only in that way could it become "genuine competition for the Israel Philharmonic," he told the German magazine Opernwelt in the November issue.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Foster is in his last season as music director of the Orchestra Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He appeared last month at the helm of the Pacific at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.
Preston Stedman, chairman of the Pacific's search committee, told The Times in 1988 that the orchestra "more than likely" would be sharing its next music director with "at least one other orchestra." Other orchestra officials denied Stedman's prediction, however.