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Thursday

SEP 27

7:30 pm

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KU Symphony Orchestra with special guest

Blake Pouliot, violin

Conducted by

Carolyn Watson


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SEP 27 | KUSO w/Blake Pouliot, violin

Program Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”) . . . . . . Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

20-Minute Intermission Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) Special guest Blake Pouliot

Please see your pre- and post-performance emails for program notes.

Blake Pouliot Establishing himself as one of Canada’s most promising young artists, 24-year-old violinist Blake Pouliot is the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition. Pouliot has been described by the Toronto Star as, “One of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime,” and after his performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto at his debut with the Montreal Symphony and conductor Vasily Petrenko in February 2017, he was described by Montreal’s La Presse as “Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly virtuoso.” In September 2017, Pouliot recorded his debut album for the Canadian label Analekta Records. The CD, features the works of Ravel and Debussy and was released in early 2018. Upcoming and recent highlights include return engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto and Montreal Symphonies; and debuts with Seattle, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Edmonton, Newfoundland and Pasadena Symphonies. He will also be featured in recital at the Banff Centre, Fête de la Musique Mont Tremblant, Orford Arts Centre and Pasadena’s Boston Court. As Grand Prize winner of the OSM Manulife Competition, Pouliot toured across South America during the summer of 2017 as a soloist with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas, performing Astor Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons” with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto and Paolo Bortolameolli. He then returned to Montreal where he was featured in recital at the Montreal Symphony’s Viree Classique series.


SEP 27 | KUSO w/Blake Pouliot, violin

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Since his solo orchestral debut with the Toronto Trinity Chamber Orchestra at age 11, Pouliot has performed as soloist with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra (Colorado), Ottawa Symphony, Pacific Symphony, the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and with conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Nicolas McGegan, Tito Muñoz, Carl St. Clair, Alain Trudel and Hugh Wolff. Pouliot has performed in recital in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto, and he was featured on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series with Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. A featured performer on CBC Radio Canada on numerous occasions, Pouliot has received several honors in Canada. In 2013, he received the Canada Council for the Arts’ Michael Measure Prize, which gave him the opportunity to tour major Canadian cities with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Pouliot also earned first prize for his piano composition “Starlight on Water” at the 2010 Canadian Contemporary Music Festival. Additionally, Pouliot had the honor of performing a private recital for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2012. Pouliot studied violin in Canada with Marie Berard and Erika Raum, and he completed his training as an associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as other summer music programs. He is currently a Professional Studies Certificate candidate at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where he studies with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair. Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank as First Laureate of their 2015 Competition.


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SEP 27 | KUSO w/Blake Pouliot, violin

Carolyn Watson A major prizewinner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest, Carolyn Watson was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, where she studied with David Zinman. She has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, including the BBC Concert; the North Czech Philharmonic and Savaria Symphony Orchestras; the St. Petersburg Chamber and Kodály Philharmonics; as well as the Brandenburg Symphony and Budapest Operetta Theatre. Watson is the recipient of a number of prestigious national and international awards for young conductors, including the Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors, the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize awarded via the Australian Music Foundation in London, and the Berlin New Music Opera Award, to name a few. In 2008, Watson conducted the World Youth Day Orchestra on the occasion of the Pope’s arrival in Australia for a live audience of 100,000 people plus a worldwide-televised audience of about five million people. From 2013 to 2015, she held the prestigious position of Music Director of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, having also conducted the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra since moving to the U.S. in 2013. Winner of the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Performance and runner-up for The American Prize in Conducting, Watson is also an enthusiastic music educator. She currently serves as Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Kansas and continues an active freelance career throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. Watson holds a PhD in Performance (conducting) from the University of Sydney, where the subject of her doctoral thesis was “Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiber.”

KU Symphony Orchestra Founded in 1904, the orchestra program at KU is one of the oldest in the nation. Dean Skilton first assembled a group of music students to form a rudimentary ensemble, and the KU Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) has grown during the ensuing 100-plus years. The KUSO serves the university community and the greater Lawrence area, while reaching out to audiences in nearby cities. It is one of the outstanding collegiate orchestras in the country, performing well-known works from the standard repertoire for orchestra as well as less familiar literature. In addition to its regular concert season, popular performances by KUSO include those at the annual Collage Concert and Holiday Vespers.

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KUSO w/Blake Pouliot program  

KUSO w/Blake Pouliot program  

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