As the grand finale to the season, Robert Franz, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Music Director of the Windsor Symphony, and longtime Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, leads music by Ravel and Brahms. Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, a Nevada Chamber Music Festival favorite, makes his first appearance with the Orchestra in Franck’s Symphonic Variations, and joins forces with the University of Nevada, Reno Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers in Beethoven’s great Choral Fantasy.

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR

Robert Franz, guest conductor
Steven Vanhauwaert, piano
UNR Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers (Dr. Paul Torkelson, director)

Beethoven: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Franck: Symphonic Variations
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80

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Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Singers led from the piano by Leif Ove Andsnes (from the BBC Proms 2015).


Robert Franz photo
Robert Franz
As Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz’s appeal as a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator, is acclaimed by critics and composers. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, Franz’s recent appearances include The Cleveland Orchestra, the Baltimore, St. Louis and Victoria Symphonies and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Italy. This summer he founded and co-directed the inaugural season of the Idaho Orchestra Institute.

As Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Franz was recently honored as the first member of the Symphony conducting staff with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership. It was presented to Franz in recognition of his immense success in advancing the organization’s educational and community engagement activities. He continues to lead the Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts, including its summer neighborhood concert series, an outreach program dedicated to bringing music to all of Houston’s communities. Franz marks his eighth year as Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra Music Director by directing the festival orchestra and mentoring aspiring conductors. In past years, he has brought the orchestra to Denali National Park and Preserve in a performance that marked the first time an orchestra had performed there. ASCAP has recognized Franz on two occasions for his advocacy in arts education. Under his direction, both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra were awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming.


Steven Vanhauwaert photo
Steven Vanhauwaert
Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his ‘impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique’, Steven Vanhauwaert has garnered a wide array of accolades, amongst which the First Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. Mr. Vanhauwaert has made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles performing the world premiere of Fratello, by Magnus Lindberg, and he was featured again in the Piano Spheres series at Disney Hall with a daring program consisting exclusively of 20th and 21st century etudes for piano, including special commissions by Veronika Krausas and Eric Tanguy. He also appeared as a soloist at the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, and the National Philharmonic of Ukraine in Kiev, amongst others.

His discography features Schubert, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Stravinsky, Ravel, Schumann, and Debussy, as well as a wide range of lesser-known composers. His albums Joseph Woelfl: The Paris Years (Sonarti Records) and Pensées Intimes (Hortus Records) were included in the Top 10 award on the Belgian radio and received 5 diapasons in France. His album Dispersion (Hortus Records) featuring works by Hindemith, Vierne, Casella, Schulhoff and a world premiere recording by Belgian composer Raymond Moulaert, received rave reviews in Germany, France, Holland, the UK and the US. Mr. Vanhauwaert is a Steinway Artist.