The outdoor season of the Queens Symphony Orchestra was a great fun! Time now to start focusing on the opening concert of the Rogue Valley Symphony's season, which starts in early September.

The inaugural concert introduces one of the most heralded musicians on the scene today. Anthony McGill entered the broad public eye thanks to the combination of his talent and activism. The concerto we selected, written specifically for him, offers an opportunity to get to know Anthony’s drive and passion.

The pandemic-delayed visit of the composer and concert pianist phenom, Michael Brown, gives both sides of his personality room to shine. The toast to Beethoven feels as timely in 2022 as it did back in 2020! On its heels, Britton-René Collins will astound you by her virtuosity, playfulness and lyrical maturity. She is perfectly positioned to make marimba your next favorite solo instrument. A warm welcome will be given to Alexander Sitkovetsky in January. A friend of the orchestra is back to tackle one of the most formidable violin concertos in the literature. The Earth-shattering opus by Shostakovich promises a memorable concert experience. Next up, Michelle Cann, whom we witnessed rise from “known” to “star” as we were discussing her visit! Michelle brings a double bill of concert pieces by Florence Price and Richard Strauss.

I would like to point out two selections in our season that may be less familiar. First, William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, an unjustly sidelined piece. It has all the might of Dvořák’s big opuses, to which it adds a distinctly American high-voltage energy. Speaking of high voltage, La Noche de los Mayas by Silvestre Revueltas must be propelled by a nuclear reactor. This one is an instant blockbuster!

The grand Planets by Holst, accompanied by visuals, closes the season of superlatives. It is, however, not our only production with theatrical elements. For Passio by Arvo Pärt, the concert hall will be treated like a theater: it will be enhanced by lighting design to make this dramatic retelling of St. John’s Gospel a deeply felt contemplation.

Here is to finding many unforgettable moments together in 2022/23. I cannot wait to welcome you to the concert hall!



QSO, RVS, and MM in the press!

A great write up about the Queens Symphony Orchestra in Queens Chronicle! I appreciate the compliments by the QSO Board President Kenichi Wilson and our cellist Amy Camus!

We put a most varied, colorful and interesting season together at the Rogue Valley Symphony. For the final show - Holst's Planets with a movie - we will even have a NASA scientist on hand! Read more in Medford's Mail Tribune.

I had a very enjoyable chat with Andrea Serečinová from Hudobný život (Musical Life), if you can read Slovak. We talk about the cross-section of music and immigration. Some things we discuss: How does it compare rehearsing an orchestra on the West Coast vs. East Coast vs. Slovakia? Will there be permanent changes to orchestras' operations post-pandemic? And why were some European composers successful upon their immigration to the U.S. but most were not?


I will try to translate this text if time allows. Until then, the Slovak text lives on my FB page.