Music Director and Conductor, Reno Chamber Orchestra
Artistic Director, Nevada Chamber Music Festival
Sponsored by Friends of the RCO
Theodore Kuchar has for ten years served as Music Director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, and for nine as Artistic Director of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. One of the most prolifically recorded conductors of the past decade, Maestro Kuchar appears on over 100 compact discs for the Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Ondine and Marco Polo labels. During the past 18 years, he has served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of two of Europe’s preeminent orchestras, the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. He presently also serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela and the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he served as the Artistic Director of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music from 1990 to 2006. Since 2004, he has served as Resident Conductor at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, the educational institution established by the late George Szell, in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra.
Upcoming projects during the 2012-13 season include tours to China, Korea and Italy with the Janácek Philharmonic, a tour to the major orchestras of South Africa with violinist Joshua Bell, and a tour to China with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, as well as recordings of the orchestral works and operatic suites by Janácek with the Janácek Philharmonic, the complete orchestral works of Ginastera, and a disc of Latin American classics, including works by Marquez, Moncayo, Revueltas, Piazzolla, Ginastera and others with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela.
Guest conducting engagements include the BBC Symphony, BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and Munich Philharmonic. During the past several seasons, guest conducting engagements have taken him to major musical centers including Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Prague, Seoul and Sydney. He has collaborated with major artists including James Galway, Jessye Norman, Lynn Harrell, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang, Mstislav Rostropovich and Frederica von Stade, among others.
With the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has recorded twelve compact discs devoted to the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen, the complete overtures and tone poems of Dvorák, and the complete orchestral works of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana for the Brilliant Classics label. Also completed for Brilliant Classics was a world premiere recording of Rachmaninoff’s Fifth Piano Concerto, a reconstruction of that composer’s Second Symphony based on the composer’s manuscripts, and a compact disc of Piano Concertos by Ravel and Bartók.
During his tenure with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Kuchar conducted complete symphony cycles by Bruckner and Schubert, and led eleven international tours to Asia, Australia, Central Europe and the United Kingdom. Under Mr. Kuchar’s direction, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine became the most frequently recorded orchestra of the former Soviet Union. Between 1994 and 2004 the orchestra recorded over 80 compact discs for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, including the complete symphonies of Kalinnikov, Lyatoshynsky, Martinu and Prokofiev, as well as major works of Dvorak, Glazunov, Mozart, Shchedrin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. They also recorded the symphonies and orchestral works of Ukraine’s leading contemporary symphonist, Yevhen Stankovych. The recording of Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 was awarded ABC’s “Best International Recording of the Year” in 1994. Their recording of the complete works for violin and orchestra by Walter Piston for the Naxos label was hailed by Gramophone (January, 2000) as a “Record of the Year” for 1999. The complete symphonies of Prokofiev are regarded by many critics as the most accomplished cycle available compact discs.
Kuchar remains as strong an advocate of composers of the present day as he does of the great composers of the past. In addition to his recordings of contemporary works with the NSO of Ukraine, he has conducted world premieres of works by Giya Kancheli, Joseph Schwantner, Alfred Schnittke and Rodion Shchedrin, among others. In May 2000, at the invitation of Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Kuchar conducted the world premiere of Lukas Foss’s Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra, with Mr. Ma as soloist.
As a violist, Kuchar continues to devote several periods annually to one of his most serious passions, the performance of chamber music. His colleagues have included James Buswell, Martin Chalifour, Sarah Chang, Leila Josefowicz, Truls Mork, Paul Neubauer, Irina Schnittke, and Thomas Zehetmair. In 1994, he participated with colleagues Oleh Krysa and Alexander Ivashkin in the world premiere of Penderecki’s String Trio in New York City. He has appeared as violist in recordings for the Naxos label of works by Alfred Schnittke (with Irina Schnittke and Mark Lubotsky), Bohuslav Martinu and Walter Piston. The latter recording was awarded the Chamber Music America/WQXR “Record of the Year” for 2001.