Theater & Arts

For Kuchar’s last season, a selection of favorites

Clovis native Kelley O’Connor will perform with the Fresno Philharmonic in April.
Clovis native Kelley O’Connor will perform with the Fresno Philharmonic in April. Special to The Bee

For 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 season 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 Kelley O’Connor 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.

Season lineup

  • For a complete look at the new Fresno Philharmonic season, including programming, go to