Two Rising Stars in Concert for Boca Symphonia Feb. 4-7
By Skip Sheffield
For its February concerts, Symphonia Boca Raton has a rising star on the podium and another one at the keyboard.
Carolyn Kuan is young, Asian, and abundantly enthusiastic about exploring new boundaries of classical music. Alexandre Moutouzkine is the piano soloist. A child prodigy, Russian-born Moutouzkine won the St. Petersburgh International Piano Competition at age 14 and emigrated to the USA at age 19. He has since travelled the world and won countless awards.
The program, labelled “From Paris to Prague,” features works by American composer Aaron Copland (Music for the Theatre); French composers Francis Poulenc (Aubade, Concerto Choreographique) and Gabriel Faure (Ballad for Piano and Orchestra, op 19), and everybody’s favorite, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Symphony No. 38 “Prague”).
Carolyn Kuan was born in Taiwan and began playing piano at age 5. She left her family behind to come to America and attend high school here. She could barely speak English when she arrived, but she was a quick study; good enough to enter and graduate from Smith College. She earned her Master of Music diploma from the University of Illinois.
Kuan conducted the Chinese New Year concerts for the San Francisco Symphony from 2007-2012. In November 2011 she was appointed conductor of the Hartford Symphony. She was the first woman and the youngest ever at the post. She recently signed a six-year contract to stay on.
She conducted the entire 2014-2015 season of the Santa Fe Opera, innovating with Eastern and Western singers and instruments. She has conducted the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. She made her recording debut in 2012, conducting the New Zealand Symphony in works by various Chinese composers.
The Connoisseur Concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7 at Roberts Theatre at St. Andrew’s School, 3900 Jog Road, Boca Raton. A pre-concert conversation will take place from 2-2:30 p.m. for those who want to know more about the pieces beforehand.
Single tickets are $45-$75. Call 866-687-1201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.