Music Director Finalist Robert Franz to lead
the Reno Chamber Orchestra March 30-31, 2019
Concerts will also feature Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert and
the Reno Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers


RENO, NV (March 8, 2019) – Guest conductor Robert Franz will lead The Reno Chamber Orchestra in its fifth program of the season, and the first in a series of six that will determine the ensemble’s next Music Director on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m. at UNR’s Nightingale Concert Hall. Maestro Franz will also deliver a pre-concert talk moderated by Executive Director Thom Mayes 45 minutes prior to each performance.

As the grand finale to the season, Maestro Robert Franz, Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Artistic Advisor of the Boise Baroque Orchestra will lead a program of works by Ravel, Brahms and Beethoven. 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.

This last concert of the season also marks the first concert of a series of six, each featuring a conductor finalist. Since the Spring of 2018, the Reno Chamber Orchestra has been engaged in a search process to find a new music director/conductor, only the third in its 45-year history. Out of over 150 applicants from around the globe, six finalists were chosen. Each finalist will conduct one concert beginning this month with Maestro Franz, and continuing into the 2019-2020 season. Audience members and musicians of the orchestra will be given a survey after each performance to share their feedback on the featured conductor. Who will lead the Orchestra for the 2020 season and beyond? The orchestra plans to make its decision and public announcement in the Spring of 2020.

Ticket prices range from $30 to $55 for adults, and $5 for those 18-years and younger or full-time students. Tickets and more information are available at or by calling (775) 348-9413. Ticket prices include admission to an optional pre-concert talk which takes place in Nightingale Concert Hall 45 minutes before each performance. This is an informative, 30-minute conversation from the stage with guest conductor Robert Franz, moderated by Executive Director Thom Mayes to learn more about the conductor’s background and approach to artistic leadership. Audience participation is encouraged, as we select the candidate to lead the RCO into its next chapter of providing inspiring and intimate classical music performances. Pre-concert talks are made possible in part by Nevada Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Support for these Reno Chamber Orchestra concerts has been provided by a generous grant from The Arthur and Mae Orvis Foundation.

YOUR ORCHESTRA – The Reno Chamber Orchestra


Robert Franz
Robert Franz, a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator, is acclaimed by critics and composers alike. Current posts include Music Director of the Windsor Symphony and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Artistic Advisor of the Boise Baroque Orchestra. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, Franz’s recent appearances include the Cleveland Orchestra, the Baltimore, St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Victoria Symphonies, and Italy’s Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina. Recognized for his expertise on music’s impact, this season Franz gave a TedX Talk titled Active Listening and Our Perception of Time.
As Windsor Symphony’s Music Director, Franz was recently presented by The Windsor Endowment for the Arts with its Arts Leadership Award. The WSO celebrated its 70th season last year and enjoyed its best year which included a record seven sold-out performances. Recent collaborations include the Windsor International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Windsor, and the Canadian Historical Aviation Association. This season showcases Franz’s programming versatility with concerts that include the Canadian premiere of Heather Schmidt’s Lunar Reflections, collaboration with the Toronto based, Kamancello, an ensemble dedicated to building bridges between western classical music and middle eastern music, along with the world premiere of Jordan Pal’s Scylla, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra.
Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Franz was honored with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership. It was presented in recognition of his immense success in advancing the organization’s educational and community engagement activities. Franz is also Founder and Music Director of the Idaho Orchestra Institute, an intensive experience designed for college and advanced high school musicians.


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.



About Reno Chamber Orchestra
In its forty-fifth year, the Reno Chamber Orchestra has won the title of Best Performing Arts Group in the Reno Gazette Journal’s annual “Best of Reno” survey. Reno Magazine named the Orchestra one of its Best of Reno Top 101 in 2009, and Truckee Meadows Tomorrow awarded the Orchestra its prestigious Silver Star Award “for improving the quality of life in the Truckee Meadows.” Along with its regular season of Orchestra concerts, each December the Reno Chamber Orchestra presents the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, featuring some of the finest musicians in the world performing chamber music. Among the world-famous performers that have appeared with the Orchestra are Leonard Nimoy, Itzhak Perlman, Roger Wagner, Edgar Meyer, and Pepe and Angel Romero.


Press Contact:

Sophie Ralston
Reno Chamber Orchestra
(775) 762-1516

Robert Franz (RAH-bert Franz)
Steven Vanhauwaert (STEE-ven Van-HOW-ert)

Note: High resolution photos available upon request