Kuchar named music director of Reno Chamber Orchestra

RENO, Nev. - Theodore Kuchar, conductor, chamber musician and string player, has been named music director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra this spring, as reported in the April 28 issue of The Fresno Bee in California.

Mr. Kuchar who succeeds Vahe Khochayan, who founded the orchestra in 1974, holds other positions as music director with the Boulder Philharmonic of Colorado, conductor laureate of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, in Kyiv, and as artistic director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, an annual event regarded as the country's leading music festival.

Mr. Kuchar, one of the most prolifically recorded American conductors of the past decade, was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSO) in 1994. Under his direction, the NSO Ukraine has recorded more than 50 compact discs for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, including the complete symphonies of Martinü and Prokofiev, as well as major works of Dvorak, Glazunov, Mozart, Shchedrin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.

The first of these recordings, devoted to Liatoshynsky's Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3, was awarded the ABC's "Best International Recording of the Year" in 1994. The NSO recording of the complete works for violin and orchestra by Walter Piston for the Naxos label was hailed by Grammophone (January 2000) as a "Record of the Year" for 1999.

Mr. Kuchar's guest conducting engagements have taken him to Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center in Chicago, the Sydney Opera House, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, among many others. Soloists with whom Mr. Kuchar has collaborated in past seasons include James Galway, Jessye Norman, Lynn Harrell, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang and Mstislav Rostropovich. In May 2000, at the invitation of Mr. Ma, Mr. Kuchar conducted the world premiere of the Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra by American composer Lukas Foss, with Mr. Ma as soloist.

At age 20, Mr. Kuchar was awarded the Paul Fromm Fellowship from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to undertake advance study and performance at Tanglewood, where he worked with Leonard Bernstein, Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa and Andre Previn, and in Cleveland where he worked under the guidance of Lorin Maazel. Soon after his Australian debut in 1987, Mr. Kuchar was appointed music director of the Queeensland Philharmonic Orchestra in Brisbane, while serving as music director of the West Australian Ballet in Perth until 1993.

Trained as a violinist and later a violist, Mr. Kuchar graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and served as principal violist of the Helsinki Orchestra in Finland. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and the former USSR as well as at major festivals, including Blossom, Edinburgh, Khumo and Tanglewood.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, May 18, 2003, No. 20, Vol. LXXI

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