Stuart Malina wears a lot of hats. Or, one should say, he carries a lot of batons. He\u2019s been the music director and conductor for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania for more than two decades. He\u2019s also the principal guest conductor for the Florida Orchestra and the music director of the This September, he picks up another when he takes the baton from David Gilbert, who led the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra for 45 years. But while Malina is the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra\u2019s first new conductor in five decades, he\u2019s no stranger to the Nutmeg State. \u201cThe Merritt Parkway is a parkway I know really, really well,\u201d Malina said.\u00a0 The accomplished conductor and pianist grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., but frequently traveled to New Haven where his grandparents lived. After getting his undergraduate degree, he attended a master\u2019s program at the Yale School of Music. \u201cIt\u2019s a return to an area where I not only went to school, but I also get a return to an area where my parents and extended family (are),\u201d he added. \u201cSo many of my friends live in New York City, Westchester County, in Fairfield County. I\u2019m really looking forward to the chance of not only of spending more time with them but for them to have an easy opportunity to see the work I do. There\u2019s a real satisfaction in that.\u201d That commitment to family and friends has guided much of his career. It\u2019s not uncommon for conductors to lead various orchestra\u2019s depending on when a season might fall. It\u2019s also common for conductors to travel the country, and sometimes world, between seasons. But for much of his time in Harrisburg, Malina stayed put. \u201cUp until fairly recently I have not gone that path,\u201d he said. \u201cMy priorities didn\u2019t just lay with conducting. I really wanted to have a home life. I wanted to be around for my kids. So I made a very conscious decision to limit the activities outside of Harrisburg.\u201d Now that his children are older, Malina said, he\u2019s had the opportunity to travel. He\u2019s performed with in Fort Worth, Hawaii, Eugene, Hong Kong, New Mexico, Fresno, Charleston, and Greensboro, as well as the Chautauqua Institution and the Sarasota Music Festival. In 2003, he won a Tony Award for orchestration with Billy Joel for the musical \u201cMovin\u2019 Out.\u201d Malina will open the orchestra\u2019s 2022-2023 season Sept. 10 working double duty. He\u2019ll be conducting along with being the featured pianist for a performance of George Gershwin\u2019s jazzy, symphonic masterpiece, \u201cRhapsody in Blue.\u201d \u201cHe has it all for us. He is not only a very fine well-respected conductor, the orchestra was thrilled to be working under him,\u201d Lenore de Csepel, the orchestra board of director\u2019s vice-chair, said. \u201cHe\u2019s an outstanding musician we feel he has great musical skills. He has community commitment, fundraising ability and some wonderful communication skills.\u201d de Csepel said that communication, and a less-orthodox approach to conducting, is what helped Malina beat more than 170 other applicants for the job.\u00a0 \u201cIn the past we were operating under the old fashioned way of doing things with conductors \u2014 come out, bow say a few words about the piece and start,\u201d she said. \u201cWith Stuart, he\u2019s so personable. He\u2019s happy to mix it up with our community and our board. That\u2019s going to make a difference for us.\u201d Malina admits he likely talks more than most other conductors. And he goes beyond that to entertain an audience as well. Malina once held an impromptu curling match during a Florida Orchestra Performance to honor the success of the U.S. Olympic team. Malina said his personality will come through from the stage through his program as well. The opening weekend will also feature a few Leonard Bernstein numbers from the musical \u201cOn the Town\u201d and William Grant Still\u2019s \u201cPoem for Orchestra.\u201d Later performances will include well known pieces from Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky mixed in with newer, lesser known pieces like Reena Esmail\u2019s 2018 piece, Black Iris (#metoo). \u201cThose coming to our concerts this year will get a good sense of what I am about, the kind of relationship that I hope to have with not just the orchestra, but the audience,\u201d Malina said. \u201cI\u2019m hoping they\u2019ll be turned on enough to walk in and want to see more of it.\u201d The Greenwich Symphony Orchestra performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Greenwich High School Performing Arts Center, 10 Hillside Rd., Greenwich. Concert dates are Sept. 10 and 11; Nov. 12 and 13; Jan. 29 and 29; Feb. 18 and 19; and April 15 and 16. The April concert will feature guest conductor Andre\u00b4 Raphel.