Category: Music Director Search

Grand Rapids Symphony welcomes music director Marcelo Lehninger

Marcelo Lehninger, Grand Rapids Symphony’s new music director, has conducted orchestras throughout the world, from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, not once but twice. Two appearances over two seasons sealed the deal as well between the Brazilian-born conductor and the Grand Rapids Symphony . One word comes to mind when Lehninger recalls his first appearance with the Grand Rapids Symphony – “flexibility.” ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Thursday, June 2, 2016

Recap: Guest conductor leads Grand Rapids Symphony in climatic experience with "Pines of Rome"

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Utter the words, “20th century music,” and watch as faces of many unabashed lovers of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms turn to stone. Though classical music took some unusual turns into unknown waters in the last century, that wasn’t the case in all situations. So all we are saying is give 20th century music a chance. That’s what the Grand Rapids Symphony’s audience did on Friday night. DeVos Performance Hall erupted several times into enthusiastic cheers for music... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, April 23, 2016

Unexpected turn with BSO changed music director candidate Marcelo Lehninger's career

The careers of many great conductors were launched when they suddenly were called upon to lead a performance. Arturo Toscanini, a 19-year-old cellist and assistant chorus master who had never picked up a baton, was plucked unexpectedly from the orchestra to conduct a performance of “Aida.” Leonard Bernstein was a newly appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1943 when the 25-year-old suddenly was thrust into making his New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall debut... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, April 22, 2016

Q & A with Music Director candidate Marcelo Lehninger

Guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger returns to DeVos Performance Hall to lead your Grand Rapids Symphony in music including Ottorino Respighi’s epic tone poem, “The Pines of Rome,” on April 22-23. Lehninger, who was in Grand Rapids in February 2015 to lead the orchestra in Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony No. 9, is the eighth guest conductor to lead the Grand Rapids Symphony this season during its search for a new music director. Violinist Arnaud Sussmann... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, April 13, 2016

See the Grand Rapids Symphony 30 years ago in WGVU broadcast

The fall of 1985 was a busy time.  In September, the wreck of the RMS Titanic finally was discovered in the North Atlantic; Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds belted his 4,192nd major league hit to become baseball’s all-time hit leader; and the first Nintendo home video game console was released in the United States along with the debut of Super Mario Bros.  In October, the space shuttle Atlantis made its maiden flight into outer space, and the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recap: Enthusiastic conductor, accomplished pianist produce art from adversity with Symphony

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Trial and adversity sometimes produces great art.  Ludwig van Beethoven endured the loss of his hearing. Robert Schumann suffered the loss of his sanity and, eventually, his life. Both of their miseries lasted a lifetime. But the work the produced lasts forever.  Pianist Martin Helmchen, a German-born, prize-winning pianist, made his debut in DeVos Performance Hall on Friday, March 18, to give an insightful performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hong Kong-born conductor Perry So debuts with Grand Rapids Symphony

Conductor Perry So was born and raised in Hong Kong, and it’s there that he first heard of the Grand Rapids Symphony , believe it or not.  Musicians in the Hong Kong Symphony, who happen to have Michigan connections, spoke well of the orchestra that So conducts this week.  “A young, energetic orchestra that really wants to get it right,” So recalled his former colleagues telling him. “A work ethic is everything. It’s a quality I prize above all else.”  The well-traveled... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Q&A with Music Director candidate Perry So

Guest conductor Perry So makes his debut in Grand Rapids on March 18-19 to lead your Grand Rapids Symphony in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5 among other works.  A frequent guest conductor across five continents, Perry So is a candidate to become the next music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony.  The native of Hong Kong leads your Grand Rapids Symphony in Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 in C major, a “great musical novel that encompasses enormous ranges of emotions... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Recap: Grand Rapids Symphony's wide-ranging program takes your breath away

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The music of Johannes Brahms isn’t an appetizer. Brahms of the 1880s, the mature master of the German Romantic era at the height of his creative powers, is a main course, served on a silver platter on major holidays and important family gatherings. Under normal circumstances, the Grand Rapids Symphony wouldn’t begin a concert with a Brahms Symphony. Not unless it also was the end of the concert. But a music director search isn’t a normal circumstance, so ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, February 20, 2016

Carlos Izcaray, Venezuelan-born, Interlochen-trained, debuts with Grand Rapids Symphony

Carlos Izcaray was principal cellist of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra when he was approached one day by a member of its board of directors and invited to conduct a youth symphony orchestra performance.  The son of an eminent Venezuelan conductor had dabbled in conducting during his college years while studying music in the United States, so he decided to think about it.  “When is it?” Izcaray asked.  “Tomorrow” came the reply.  “In Venezuela, there’s a... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Thursday, February 18, 2016
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