Hawaii Symphony Orchestra to launch inaugural season this weekend in Honolulu


The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will launch its inaugural season this weekend at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu.

The orchestra’s debut performance, set for 4 p.m. on Sun. March 4, will mark the return of symphonic music to Oahu after a quiet stretch of about two years. 

About a year ago, the 110-year-old Honolulu Symphony folded. Prior to its liquidation due to debt-related matters, the symphony operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for about a year and cancelled all of its concerts.

In the aftermath of the liquidation a group of Hawaii business leaders announced their intention to bring back the music. Among the group’s members: Oswald Stender, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee who is now serving as director of the new Board of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

In a recent news release issued by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Stender said: “It is our belief that having a symphony orchestra organization in Hawaii is critical to the state’s artistic and economic vitality.” He continued, “We are all thrilled to be making the dream of a new orchestra a reality.”

Maestra JoAnn Falletta (pictured, right) is serving as artistic advisor for the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 masterworks series. Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony, has put together a series that includes the return of guest conductor, Naoto Otomo and longstanding Hawaii favorites, such as cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. The series will feature popular works ranging from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to Brahms Piano Concerto and Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto.

Here’s the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s masterworks season lineup. All performances will take place at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (4 p.m. on Sun., March 4, and 7 p.m. on Tues., March 6) — Conductor: Naoto Otomo; soloist: Lisa Nakamichi (piano). Weber Overture to “Oberon;”
 Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466; and Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67.

Brahms Piano Concerto (7 p.m. on Thurs., March 22, and 8 p.m. on Fri., March 23) — Conductor: Shinik Hahm; soloist: Norman Krieger (piano). Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5;
 Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15; and Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43.

Dvorak’s New World (4 p.m. on Sun., April 1, and 7 p.m. on Tues., April 3) — Conductor: Jeffrey Kahane; soloist: Jeffrey Kahane (piano). Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58; and Dvorak Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, “From the New World.”

Russian Easter & Tchaikovsky’s 5th (8 p.m. on Fri., April 6, and 8 p.m. on Sat. Sat. April 7) — Conductor: Joann Falletta; soloist: Michael Ludwig (violin). Rimsky­‐Korsakov Russian Easter Overture, Op. 36; Wieniawski Violin Concerto No.2 in D Minor, Op.22; and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op.64.

Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony (4 p.m. on Sun., April 22, and 7 p.m. on Tues., April 24) — Conductor: Sarah Hicks; soloist: Joe Burgstaller (trumpet). Zhou Tian Thousand Years of Good Prayers; Arutunian Trumpet Concerto in A-Flat Major; 
Bach (Vivaldi) Concerto in D Major, BWV  972; and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, Italian.

Rodrio’s Guitar Concerto (8 p.m. on Fri., May 4, and 4 p.m. on Sun., May 6) — Conductor: Junichi Hirokami; soloist: Manuel Barrueco (guitar). Takemitsu to the Edge of Dream for Guitar and Orchestra; Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez; and Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27.

Dvorak’s Cello Concerto (4 p.m. on Sun., May 13, and 7 p.m. on Tues., May 15) — Conductor: Maximiano Valdes; soloist: Zuill Bailey (cello). Dvorak Slavonic Dance, Op. 46. No. 8; Dvorak Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104; and Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 90.

Pictures at an Exhibition (8 p.m. on Sat., May 19, and 4 p.m. on Sun., May 20) — Conductor: Jung-Ho Pak; soloist: Jon Kimura Parker (piano). Tan Dun Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica; Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue; Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43; and Mussorgsky (Ravel), Pictures at an Exhibition.

For additional information at the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, call (808) 593-9468 or click here.

Categories: Oʻahu