To start off the 2016-17 season, pianists Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni, who made their enthusiastically-received Reno debuts at the 2015 Nevada Chamber Music Festival, return to perform with Maestro Theodore Kuchar and the Orchestra. Mr. Pompa-Baldi performs the seldom-heard Piano Concerto in A minor by Respighi, and he and Ms. Friscioni join forces for the delightful Concerto for Two Pianos by Poulenc. The rest of the program is given over to exciting excerpts from Italian operas of the 19th century.
Theodore Kuchar, Music Director and Conductor
Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni, pianos
Verdi: Aida Sinfonia (realized Spada)
Respighi: Piano Concerto in A minor (APB)
Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos (APB & EF)
Cherubini: Anacreon Overture
Verdi: Giovanna d’Arco Overture
Rossini: La gazza ladra Overture
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, France, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Mr. Pompa-Baldi appears regularly at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. He performed in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kiev, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Beijing, where he played a recital in the Forbidden City Concert Hall and conducted Master Classes at the China National Conservatory, being named Honorary Guest Professor of that institution.
Pianist Emanuela Friscioni began studying piano in Italy at age five, and made her debut at the age nine. She received a diploma in piano performance from the “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatory in Milan with full marks, and went on to study with Annamaria Pennella. Other teachers have included Paul Badura-Skoda, Aldo Ciccolini and Bruno Canino. Ms. Friscioni has won many national and international first prizes, including those at the Tortona, Moneglia, Camaiore, Chieti, and Kawai Piano Competitions. She has performed throughout Italy, in Switzerland, France and other European countries. She made her U.S. debut in July 2000 with Cleveland Orchestra violinist Gino Raffaelli. Since then, she has enjoyed a career that has seen her perform solo recitals, orchestral engagements and chamber music appearances.
The multiple award-winning conductor Theodore Kuchar is the most recorded conductor of his generation, appearing on over 100 compact discs for the Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Ondine and Marco Polo labels. He has served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of two of Europe’s leading orchestras, the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Czech Radio Orchestra) (2005-2013) and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (1994-2004). In the 2011-12 season he commenced his tenure as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela. He presently also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra (2002- ) and the Reno Chamber Orchestra (2003- ). Since January 2013 he has served as Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta. An avid chamber musician, he served as the Artistic Director of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (1990-2006), and presently serves as the Artistic Director of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival since 2005.