Internationally Acclaimed Violinist Performs Brahms
This morning on KSEE Sunrise Theodore Kuchar, music director of the Fresno Philharmonic, talked with us about internationally acclaimed violinist Sarah Chang and her upcoming visit to Fresno.
No crystal ball is needed to see the future of classical music when Sarah Chang is involved. With nineteen recordings already to her credit, Miss Chang has seemingly been around “forever” since making her prodigious debut at the age of nine. She has already appeared twice with the Fresno Philharmonic, the last time occurring in October 2005. Now, a month shy of turning 28, she’s a full-fledged internationally acclaimed artist. In what will be a highlight of the Philharmonic’s season, she performs the Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms on November 15 at 8 p.m. with a repeat performance on Sunday afternoon, November 16 at 2:30 p.m. at the Saroyan Theatre. Music Director Theodore Kuchar conducts the Fresno Philharmonic.
Miss Chang’s last appearance with the Fresno Philharmonic and Maestro Kuchar garnered rave reviews from music critic George Warren. For the Fresno Bee, Warren wrote, “Sarah Chang and the Fresno Philharmonic must be heard and experienced. Words cannot capture the transcendent quality of this event. This performance was better than perfect.”
Also on the program will be Lemminkainen’s Homecoming that serves as the concluding part of a larger symphonic suite by Jean Sibelius, and which is inspired by the Finnish epic Kalevala. William Walton’s Symphony no. 1, completed in 1935, rounds out the program.
Tickets to these performances can be obtained by calling the Philharmonic Box Office at 559-261-0600, or online at www.fresnophil.org. Tickets begin at $27. Student Rush Tickets for $12 are available one hour before each performance at the Saroyan Theatre Box Office. A valid student ID is required.
For an introduction to the concert’s music, ticketholders are invited to a free pre-concert Inside Music talk presented by the Philharmonic’s Executive Director Don Reinhold beginning one hour before each performance in the theatre auditorium.
Meet Sarah Chang
For an opportunity to meet Sarah Chang up close and personal, the public is invited to a special “Meet the Artist” luncheon to be held at the San Joaquin Country Club on Friday, November 14 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required and must be made in advance no later than November 10 by calling the Fresno Philharmonic at
261-0600. The cost of the luncheon is $30.
About Sarah Chang
(From the IMG Artists website)
Violinist Sarah Chang is recognized the world over as one of classical music’s most captivating and gifted performers. One of the most remarkable violinists of any generation, she has matured into a young artist whose musical insight, technical virtuosity, and emotional range continue to astonish.
Appearing in the music capitals of Asia, Europe and the Americas, she has collaborated with most major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra amongst others. The esteemed conductors with whom she has worked include Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, André Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas and David Zinman.
This season, Sarah Chang will return to the London Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Washington National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra amongst others. Sarah Chang will also for the first time play/direct Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on tour in the US and in Asia with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, then in Europe and the UK with the English Chamber Orchestra. These tours coincide with her most recent release for EMI Classics - Vivaldi Four Seasons/Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
In 2008 - 2009, Sarah Chang will also perform the world premiere of a new work by composer Christopher Theofanidis with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She will revisit the Philharmonia Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others.
In recital last season, Sarah Chang toured Europe and the US (culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall) with pianist Ashley Wass and included in her program a new sonata commissioned specially for her in memory of the late Isaac Stern by the American composer Richard Danielpour. In past seasons, her recitals have included performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Barbican Centre in London, the Philharmonie in Berlin as well as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
As a chamber musician, Sarah Chang has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yefim Bronfman, Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Kovacevich, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Lars Vogt and the late Isaac Stern. In 2005/06 Sarah Chang toured with members of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with a Sextet program in summer festivals leading to a concert at the Berlin Philharmonie.
Sarah Chang records exclusively for EMI Classics. Her latest release, the widely lauded Vivaldi Four Seasons with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has reached the Billboard charts in the USA and continues to top the best selling charts internationally. Other recordings include Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 live with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, Fire and Ice, an album of popular shorter works for violin and orchestra with Placido Domingo conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, the Dvorak concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, as well as several chamber music and sonata discs with artists such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Vogt and members of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, Sarah Chang began her violin studies at age 4 and promptly enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay. Within a year she had already performed with several orchestras in the Philadelphia area. Her early auditions, at age 8, for Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti led to immediate engagements with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Sarah Chang has reached an even wider audience through numerous television and radio programs, concert broadcasts and best-selling records for EMI Classics throughout Europe, North America and the Far East. Along with Pete Sampras and Wynton Marsalis, she has been a featured artist in Movado’s global advertising campaign “The Art of Time.” In 2006, Sarah Chang was named by Newsweek as one of the Twenty Top Women on Leadership and in March this year, Sarah Chang was honored to be named as a Young Global Leader for 2008 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her professional achievements, commitment to society and potential in shaping the future of the world.
In 2005, Yale University named a chair in Sprague Hall in honor of Sarah Chang. In June 2004, she was given the honor of running with the Olympic Torch in New York, and became the youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame award. She is a past recipient of Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” award, Germany’s “Echo” Schallplattenpreis, “Newcomer of the Year” honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London, and Korea’s “Nan Pa” award. In July 2005 she was awarded the Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize, and in 1999 she received the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given to instrumentalists.
Theodore Kuchar: Biography (from the
Theodore Kuchar, one of the most prolifically recorded conductors of the past decade, has recorded over 90 compact discs for the Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Ondine and Marco Polo labels. For the past fifteen years, he has served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of two of Europe's important orchestras, the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Czech Radio Orchestra) and the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine. He presently also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Reno Chamber Orchestra in the United States. He is a frequent guest conductor with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and in February 2005 conducted a three-week tour of the United States with the Northwest German Philharmonic. During the past several seasons, guest conducting engagements have taken him to many major musical centers including Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Prague, Seoul and Sydney. His collaborations with major artists have included James Galway, Jessye Norman, Lynn Harrell, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang, Mstislav Rostropovich and Frederica von Stade, among others.
With the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, Kuchar has recorded compact discs devoted to the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen, and the complete overtures and tone poems of Dvorak. This past summer, Maestro Kuchar, in collaboration with the Janacek Philharmonic, completed a 3-cd recording of the orchestral works of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana for the Brilliant Classics label. Also completed for Brilliant Classics, was a world premiere recording of Rachmaninoff’s Fifth Piano Concerto, a reconstruction of that composer’s Second Symphony based on the composer’s manuscripts. With the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has conducted tours of Australia, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland, and in January and February of 2009 they will undertake a four week tour of the USA.
During his tenure with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Kuchar conducted complete symphony cycles by Bruckner and Schubert, and led eleven international tours to Asia, Australia, Central Europe and the United Kingdom. Under Mr. Kuchar’s direction, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine became the most frequently recorded orchestra of the former Soviet Union. Between 1994 and 2004 the orchestra recorded over 70 compact discs for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, including the complete symphonies of Kalinnikov, Lyatoshynsky, Martinu and Prokofiev, as well as major works of Dvorak, Glazunov, Mozart, Shchedrin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. They also recorded the symphonies and orchestral works of Ukraine’s leading contemporary symphonist, Yevhen Stankovych. The recording of Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 was awarded ABC’s “Best International Recording of the Year” in 1994. Their recording of the complete works for violin and orchestra by Walter Piston for the Naxos label was hailed by Gramophone (January, 2000) as a “Record of the Year” for 1999. The complete symphonies of Prokofiev are regarded by many critics as the most accomplished cycle available compact discs.
Kuchar remains as strong an advocate of composers of the present day as he does of the great composers of the past. In addition to his recordings of contemporary works with the NSO-Ukraine, he has also conducted music by Americans George Crumb, Lukas Foss, and Benjamin Lees, among others. In May, 2000, at the invitation of Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Kuchar conducted the world premiere of Lukas Foss’s Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra, with Mr. Ma as soloist.
As a violist, Kuchar continues to devote several periods annually to one of his most serious passions, the performance of chamber music. Since 1991, he has served as Artistic Director of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music, an annual event regarded as the one of the more important chamber music festivals in the Southern Hemisphere. His colleagues have included James Buswell, Martin Chalifour, Sarah Chang, Leila Josefowicz, Truls Mork, Paul Neubauer, Irina Schnittke, and Thomas Zehetmair. In 1994, he participated with colleagues Oleh Krysa and Alexander Ivashkin in the world premiere of Penderecki’s String Trio in New York City. In July of 1999, he appeared as violist in two recordings for the Naxos label of works by Alfred Schnittke (with Irina Schnittke and Mark Lubotsky) and Walter Piston. The latter recording was awarded the Chamber Music America/WQXR “Record of the Year” for 2001.
During the 1996-97 season, Kuchar and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine undertook a project devoted to the performance of the cycle of complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner, in their original versions. This historic project, commemorating the centenary of Bruckner’s death, was sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the 1997-98 season, they undertook a cycle of the complete symphonies of Franz Schubert, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.