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Knoxville Symphony welcomes conductor Shizuo Kuwahara on Nov. 19-20 for Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1

November 11, 2015

Nov. 11, 2015

For more information:
Rachel Dellinger
KSO Director of Communications
Direct: 865-521-2317 Cell: 865-660-3037
[email protected]

Next week, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will continue its Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series with Maestro Shizuo “Z” Kuwahara, a KSO music director candidate, as he conducts the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear.

The concerts will take place Thursday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre and are sponsored by KSO’s Circle of Friends.

Throughout the KSO’s 2015-16 season, six candidates will audition for the position of music director. Each candidate will conduct a pair of Masterworks concerts, held monthly at the Tennessee Theatre. Read more about the search here.

Musical selections include Concerto for Orchestra No. 1, written by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin, who composed many ballets, operas and orchestral works. This concerto, nicknamed “Naughty Limericks,” is referred to as a “chastushka,” or short Russian satirical folk song. The second piece on the program is Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which is one of the most widely known pieces in the piano repertoire, and will be performed by Goodyear.

Part of the recognizable first movement was played during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The third work on this concert is Rachmaninoff’s melodic and brilliant Symphony No. 3, which has three movements and is said to “use the instruments of the orchestra to their fullest effect.”

Shizuo "Z" Kuwahara will conduct the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra during performances Nov. 19-20.

Shizuo “Z” Kuwahara will conduct the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra during performances Nov. 19-20 at the Tennessee Theatre.

“This concert has a Russian theme,” Kuwahara said, “including the famous Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with a world renowned soloist, Stewart Goodyear, playing the piano. A short virtuosic concerto known as ‘Naughty Limericks’ by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin begins the concert, which will show off the strength of this orchestra.

“The program’s final piece is the powerful Symphony No. 3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, a piece which was premiered in 1939 by the Philadelphia Orchestra, where I use to work as a fellow conductor, and I am happy to share this wonderful masterwork with the audience in Knoxville.

“The Tennessee Theatre will be filled with sound of Knoxville Symphony you have not experienced before with these brilliant Russian works!”

Kuwahara is music director of Georgia’s Symphony Orchestra Augusta and the 2008 winner of the George Solti International Conductors’ Competition. He also apprenticed under Christoph Eschenbach with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a League of American Orchestras conducting fellow. Born in Tokyo, Kuwahara studied at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music His full bio can be read here.

Goodyear is an accomplished young pianist; he is a concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and composer. Goodyear has performed with major orchestras of the world. Beginning his studies at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Curtis Institute of Music and completed his master’s at The Juilliard School.

Patrons can attend pre-concert chats at 6:30 p.m. in the concert hall before each performance. Guest performers will offer their personal perspective, and audience members will have a chance for a Q&A session with the artists. This is a unique get-to-know-you opportunity.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting the KSO website. Single tickets range from $15 to $85. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 865-521-2337.

About the KSO

Established in 1935, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches.  The KSO is currently undergoing the search for a new Music Director, to be announced in 2016. For more information please visit

Maria Cornelius