"The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra extends its warmest wishes for a rapid recovery to Maestro Kahane and we hope that it won't be too long until we can welcome him back to the Islands," said Executive Director Steve Monder. "We are thankful that two such celebrated artists – Jorge Mester and William Wolfram – are able to join us at the last minute for what we anticipate to be a spectacular concert weekend."
Opening this concert is Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Beethoven's last appearance as a concerto soloist was at this Concerto's inauspicious premiere in 1808. Fortunately for contemporary audiences, the Concerto gained much-deserved critical praise and popularity when a young pianist named Felix Mendelssohn rescued it from obscurity years after Beethoven's death.
Then, musicians and concertgoers alike will journey from the Blaisdell Concert Hall to the "New World" with Dvořák's Ninth Symphony. With an incredible spirit of freshness and innovation, it has justly earned its reputation as one of the most popular masterworks in the repertoire.
For more information about the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra, visit http://www.hawaiisymphonyorchestra.org.
About Jorge Mester
Jorge Mester is recognized throughout the world as a preeminent conductor, renowned for the excellence and prominence he brings to every organization he leads. He has served as music director of the Naples Philharmonic (FL), the Louisville Orchestra (KY), and the Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony for 25 years. Mester is also Conductor Laureate of the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, which he led as music director for 21 years from 1970 to 1991.
As the artistic director of the National Orchestral Association's New Orchestra Music Project from 1988 to 1992, he became familiar with an impressive number of American composers and had the opportunity to present many new works at Carnegie Hall. He also served as chief conductor of the West Australia Symphony Orchestra in Perth and principal guest conductor of both the Adelaide Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Mester's passion for opera has led him to become a sought-after conductor in opera houses worldwide, including the New York City Opera, the Sydney Opera, the Spoleto Festival and the Washington Opera in Der Rosenkavalier, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly, Salome, and The Cunning Little Vixen. He pushed the boundaries of classical music presentation through a series of original "symphonic theatre" productions incorporating classical music, dance and drama with The Pasadena Symphony. In 1985, he received Columbia University's prestigious Ditson Conductor's Award for the advancement of American music.
Jorge Mester’s recent guest-conducting engagements include Breckenridge’
Indeed, he has taught several generations of conductors, including James Conlon, Dennis Russell Davies, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta, and John Nelson. Mester, who is of Hungarian descent, was born and raised in Mexico City and currently resides in Southern California. An accomplished violist, he performed with the Beaux-Arts Quartet for several years before focusing exclusively on conducting.
About William Wolfram
American pianist William Wolfram was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, and a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. A versatile recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, he has won the respect of musicians and critics across the country and abroad. Wolfram has several recordings on the Naxos label, has played recitals in cities throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe, and has performed with dozens of the finest orchestras in the world.
Wolfram continues his remarkable concert career in 2011-12, playing Beethoven's Concerto No. 4 with the Naples (FL) Philharmonic and Columbus ProMusica Chamber Orchestra; Brahms' Concerto No. l with Dayton and Orlando philharmonic orchestras, also Huntsville Symphony Orchestra under Gregory Vajda; Britten's Concerto in Bonn, Germany under Andrew Litton; Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 2 with Virginia Symphony Orchestra, under JoAnn Falletta; and Liszt's Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 3 with the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.
His concerto debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of Leonard Slatkin was the first in a long succession of appearances and career relationships with numerous American conductors and orchestras. He has appeared with the San Francisco, Saint Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle and New Jersey symphonies, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and the Grand Teton and Obispo Mozart festival orchestras, among many others. He enjoys regular and ongoing close associations with the Dallas Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has worked include Jerzy Semkow, Joseph Silverstein, Mark Wigglesworth, Jeffrey Tate, Vladimir Spivakov, Gerard Schwarz, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jeffrey Kahane, James Judd, Roberto Minczuk, Stefan Sanderling, JoAnn Falletta, James Paul, and Carlos Kalmar. Abroad, Wolfram has appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Warsaw, Moscow, and Budapest philharmonics, the Capetown and Johannesberg symphonies of South Africa, L'Orchestre de Bretagne, the orchestras of Thailand and Singapore, and the National Symphony of Peru.
An enthusiastic supporter of new music, he has collaborated with and performed music by composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Kenneth Frazelle, Marc Andre Dalbavie, Kenji Bunch, and Paul Chihara. His world premiere performance of the Chihara re-orchestration of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, with the Milwaukee Symphony under the baton of Andreas Delfs, was met with great critical attention and acclaim.
Wolfram has extensive experience in the recording studio. For the Albany label, he recorded the piano concertos of Edward Collins with Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Wolfram has recorded, and continues to record, the solo piano music of Franz Liszt for Naxos records. These recordings include Liszt's rarely heard Etudes en douze exercices, as well as opera transcriptions of both Donizetti and Bellini. Wolfram was the focus of a full chapter in Joseph Horowitz's book, The Ivory Trade: Music and the Business of Music at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. On television, he was a featured pianist in the documentary of the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, William Wolfram resides in New York City with his wife and two daughters.