The Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra will perform its first spring concert on Monday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m., at The Met, located at 901 W. Sprague Ave. Conducted by Kevin Hekmatpanah, the orchestra will perform Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo” for cello and orchestra followed by the Schumann Symphony No. 3 also called “The Rhenish.” The soloist for the Bloch performance will be Kevin Hekmatpanah, and the guest conductor will be Andrew Kurtz.
Tickets are $7 general admission and $5 for non-GU students, and are available at the door. Tickets are free to GU students, faculty and staff. For more information, contact the music department at (509) 323-6733, or visit its Web site at www.gonzagamusic.com
Kurtz is artistic director and founder of the Center City Opera Theater of Philadelphia, a professional opera company now performing in the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center. There he has led productions of “Don Pasquale,” “La Bohème,” “Don Giovanni,” “La Traviata,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Amahl & the Night Visitors,” and “Rigoletto.” Kurtz’s conducting has been called “passionate, expansive, expert, and musical.” His repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including opera, symphonic, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.
Kurtz begins his 11th season as music director and conductor of the Gulf Coast Symphony in Fort Myers, Fla., and is in his third season as music director of the Florida Jewish Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the conductor of “CANTORS: A Faith In Song,” featuring three of the world’'s leading cantors, Alberto Mizrahi, Naftali Herstik and Benzion Miller, which began its U.S. tour in December 2004.
Kurtz’s 2005-2006 season includes nine concerts with the Gulf Coast Symphony, return appearances in January and March with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, guest conducting the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra (Spokane, Wash.), and leading performance of Puccini's “La Boheme” (June 2006) and concert performances of “L’Elisir d’Amore,” a Mozart 250th Anniversary Concert, “Pagliacci,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Madama Butterfly.”
In 2007 he will lead the world premiere (chamber orchestra version) of Lowell Liebermann’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” with the Center City Opera Theater.
Bloch, who is Swiss by birth and American by adoption, was the first modern composer to give distinctive music voice to the feelings and aspirations of the Jewish people.