Something to Tchaik-out this weekend

Symphony season opens with new tunes, director finalist and youth solo competition winner

Christopher Koch is one of three finalists for the Juneau Symphony’s artistic director opening. He will lead the season-opening program “Passion & Longing.” (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

Christopher Koch is one of three finalists for the Juneau Symphony’s artistic director opening. He will lead the season-opening program “Passion & Longing.” (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

Juneau Symphony’s upcoming season will offer a glimpse of seasons to come.

This season, three finalists for the symphony’s artistic director position will lead programs in the capital city. Juneau Symphony Executive Director Charlotte Truitt told the Capital City Weekly the new artistic director is expected to be announced in May.

The finalists were selected after a year-long search that included almost 50 applicants, Truitt said.

[Symphony prepares for upcoming showcase and continues director search]

“Each program is a reflection of their style,” Truitt said. “The new artistic director will start next season.”

Concert-goers will have a chance to fill out surveys about the programs, too, Truitt said.

The first finalist to lead a program will be Christopher Koch, who will lead season-opening concerts Saturday and Sunday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Auditorium. The theme and title of his program is “Passion & Longing.”

“Everything on the program was selected because it sort of channels a different emotional affect or response,” Koch said in an interview.

The program will feature Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sixth and final symphony, operatic soprano Jennifer Forni performing Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and Giacomo Puccini’s “Vissi d’arte” from “Tosca.” Youth solo competition winner 15-year-old Alexander Yu will also join the orchestra for Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen.”

Operatic soprano Jennifer Forni will perform Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and Giacomo Puccini’s “Vissi d’arte” from “Tosca” as part of Juneau Symphony’s season-opening concert. (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

Operatic soprano Jennifer Forni will perform Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and Giacomo Puccini’s “Vissi d’arte” from “Tosca” as part of Juneau Symphony’s season-opening concert. (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

This will be the first time Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony will be performed in Juneau, according to the symphony.

“It’s very intense in the way that it changes moods and emotional states,” Koch said of Tchaikovsky’s symphony, which was finished shortly before the composer’s death. “He felt really good about it. The last piece is a lament. It’s slow, it’s very powerful, but it’s very different for him.”

Koch is currently music director of the Springfield Regional Opera, music director of the Missouri Philharmonic and co-founder/music director of the Joplin Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as executive director of the Springfield Regional Opera and was formerly music director for the contemporary group Ensemble 21.

The youth solo competition winner Yu was concertmaster of the Juneau Student Symphony from 2016 to 2018, according to Juneau Symphony, and has previously performed with the symphony.

Youth solo competition winner 15-year-old Alexander Yu, seen in this photo playing violin, will also join the Juneau Symphony Orchestra for Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen.” (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

Youth solo competition winner 15-year-old Alexander Yu, seen in this photo playing violin, will also join the Juneau Symphony Orchestra for Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen.” (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Symphony)

[Small Southeast city tries for big borough]

However, this season will mark his first solo performance with the symphony.

Yu began studying violin when he was 4 years old with teacher Guo Hua Xia, according to the symphony.

“As a teacher, I like that Alex is always eager to learn new things and challenge himself,” Xia said in a press release.

Know & Go

What: Juneau Symphony Concerts

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. There will be a pre-concert conversation an hour before each performance.

Where: Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Auditorium, 1639 Glacier Ave.

Admission: Tickets cost $15-$38. They are available through juneausymphony.org or by calling 586-4676.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Nov. 27

Mountain reflections are seen from the Mendenhall Wetlands. (Courtesy Photo / Denise Carroll)
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Superb reader-submitted photos of wildlife, scenery and/or plant life.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
At Wednesday evening’s special Assembly meeting, the Assembly appropriated nearly $4 million toward funding a 5.5% wage increase for all CBJ employees along with a 5% increase to the employer health contribution. According to City Manager Rorie Watt, it doesn’t necessarily fix a nearly two decade-long issue of employee retention concerns for the city.
City funds wage increase amid worker shortage

City Manager says raise doesn’t fix nearly two decade-long issue of employee retainment

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Dec. 3

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Molly Yazwinski holds a 3,000-year-old moose skull with antlers still attached, found in a river on Alaska’s North Slope. Her aunt, Pam Groves, steadies an inflatable canoe. (Courtesy Photo /Dan Mann)

 

2. A 14,000-year-old fragment of a moose antler, top left, rests on a sand bar of a northern river next to the bones of ice-age horses, caribou and muskoxen, as well as the horns of a steppe bison. Photo by Pam Groves.

 

3. Moose such as this one, photographed this year near Whitehorse in the Yukon, may have been present in Alaska as long as people have. Photo by Ned Rozell.
Alaska Science Forum: Ancient moose antlers hint of early arrival

When a great deal of Earth’s water was locked up within mountains… Continue reading

FILE - Freight train cars sit in a Norfolk Southern rail yard on Sept. 14, 2022, in Atlanta. The Biden administration is saying the U.S. economy would face a severe economic shock if senators don't pass legislation this week to avert a rail worker strike. The administration is delivering that message personally to Democratic senators in a closed-door session Thursday, Dec. 1.  (AP Photo / Danny Karnik)
Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

President vows to quickly sign the bill.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Juneau state Sen. Jesse Kiehl, left, gives a legislative proclamation to former longtime Juneau Assembly member Loren Jones, following Kiehl’s speech at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce’s weekly luncheon Thursday at the Juneau Moose Family Center.
Cloudy economy, but sunnier political outlook lie ahead for lawmakers, Kiehl says

Juneau’s state senator tells Chamber of Commerce bipartisan majority a key to meaningful action

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Dec. 2

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

KENAI — On Thanksgiving, Alaska Wildlife Troopers released a dispatch about a… Continue reading

Most Read