As the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra continues to search for a new musical director, the 2017-18 season opens Saturday, Oct. 7, with guest Maestro Yuga Cohler, a finalist for the top spot.

At the Anne S. Richardson Auditorium at Ridgefield High School, the program will feature Paul Frucht’s “Dawn,” Elgar’s Concerto for Cello with Julian Schwarz as soloist, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “ Scheherazade.”

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where he studied computer science, the 28-year-old Cohler is considered a cultural innovator. Appointed music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Chamber Orchestra in 2015, he came to national attention with his creation of The Great Music Series. The first installation of the series, a comparison of the works of Kanye West and Beethoven, “Yeethoven,” was hailed as a work of “musical genius,” and received widespread attention from such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post.

Cohler recently completed a sold-out international tour with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring rockstar Yoshiki, which concluded with two performances in Carnegie Hall. As a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, Cohler studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert at the Juilliard School. He has been awarded fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. He also studied at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Soloist Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991.In 2013, Schwarz won 1st prize in the professional cello division of the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and in 2016 won 1st prize at the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo” with Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki. He made his concerto debut at 11 years of age with the Seattle Symphony, with his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium.

Anne S. Richardson Auditorium at Ridgefield High School, 700 North Salem Road, Ridgefield. Saturday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m. $60-$15. 203-438-3889.