kelleyconnor_2014_kjacinthFor Maestro Theodore Kuchar’s last season with the Fresno Philharmonic, the longtime music director has designed a lineup that includes some of his favorite music and “outstanding artists who are my most beloved colleagues.” Kuchar will depart in May at the end of the 2015-16 after serving the second longest tenure as musical director in the orchestra’s history.

Longtime patrons will no doubt welcome back such world-class performers as Lynn Harrell, Sergei Babayan and Clovis native Kelley O’Connor (pictured) with enthusiasm.

The season includes several works that Kuchar has recorded: Shostakovich’s Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, Tchaikovsky’s “Francesca da Rimini,” Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 (Inextinguishable) and Prokofiev’s dramatic cantata “Alexander Nevsky.”

In addition to Fresno, Kuchar — who makes his home here — conducts the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. He also is artistic director and principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela and the Reno Chamber Orchestra.

The Fresno Philharmonic’s 62nd season features six Masterworks concerts. Three will be performed at the Saroyan Theatre (one performance) and three at the Shaghoian Hall (two performances each).

Guest artists include Lynn Harrell on cello (Sept. 27), Pascal Rogé on piano (Oct. 17 and 18), Noah Bendix-Balgley on violin (Jan. 16 and 17), Francesca Dego on violin (Feb. 13 and 14), Sergei Babayan on piano (March 13) and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor (April 24).

There are two concerts in the pops series: “Home for the Holidays” (Dec. 5) and Cirque de la Symphonie (May 15), both at the Saroyan.

Here’s the lineup:

Masterworks I: Sept. 27: Lynn Harrell Returns
Sunday September 27, 2015 3:00 pm
William Saroyan Theatre
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Lynn Harrell, cello


SHOSTAKOVICH Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2
SCHUMANN Cello Concerto
BLOCH Schelomo
R STRAUSS Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

Masterworks II: Bruckner’s Cathedral of Sound
Saturday October 17, 2015 7:30 pm
Sunday October 18, 2015 3:00 pm
Paul Shaghoian Memorial Hall
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Pascal Rogé, piano
Rong-Huey Liu, oboe


WALTER SAUL Kiev 2014: Rhapsody for Oboe and Orchestra
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No.5, Egyptian
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7

Masterworks III: Best of Brahms
Saturday January 16, 2016 7:30 pm
Sunday January 17, 2016 3:00 pm
Paul Shaghoian Memorial Hall
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin


BRAHMS Hungarian Dances
BRAHMS Violin Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

Masterworks IV: Bella Italia
Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30 pm
Sunday February 14, 2016 3:00 pm
Paul Shaghoian Memorial Hall
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Francesca Dego, violin


VERDI Overture to I vespri siciliani
PAGANINI Violin Concerto No. 1
CASELLA Paganiniana
TCHAIKOVSKY Francesca da Rimini

Masterworks V: Babayan Plays Rachmaninov
Sunday March 13, 2016 3:00 pm
William Saroyan Theatre
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Sergei Babayan, piano


SIBELIUS Pohjola’s Daughter
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 4
NIELSEN Symphony No. 4, Inextinguishable

Masterworks VI: Alexander Nevsky
Sunday April 24, 2016 3:00 pm
William Saroyan Theatre
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale
Fresno State Concert Choir
Anna Hamre, director
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano


DVOŘÁK Biblical songs
KALINNIKOV Symphony No. 1
PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky

Pops I: Home for the Holidays
Saturday December 5, 2015 7:30 pm
William Saroyan Theatre
Carl Topilow, conductor
Special Guest Jack Hannah, narrator
Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale
Anna Hamre, director

Pops II: Cirque de la Symphonie
Sunday May 15, 2016 3:00 pm
William Saroyan Theatre
Theodore Kuchar, conductor
Cirque de la Symphonie

Donald Munro

Donald Munro

Donald Munro is The Bee's arts and culture critic. He currently has the opening song to "Galavant" stuck in his head and doesn't know if he can ever get it out.
Donald Munro

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