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Principal conductor


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The multiple award-winning conductor Theodore Kuchar is the most recorded conductor of his generation and appears on over 100 compact discs for the Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Ondine and Marco Polo labels. He has served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of two of Europe’s leading orchestras, the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Czech Radio Orchestra) (2005-2013) and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (1994-2004). In the 2011-12 season he commenced his tenure as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela. He presently also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra (2002- ) and the Reno Chamber Orchestra (2003- ) and  as Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta since January 2013. An avid chamber musician, he served as the Artistic Director of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (1990-2006), and presently serves as the Artistic Director of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival since 2005.

Among Mr. Kuchar's numerous accolades include BBC Record of the Year, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Record of the Year, Chamber Music America Record of the Year, Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice and a nomination for a Latin Grammy Award (in the category of Best Instrumental Album of 2013). The 2014-15 season will see the release of seven new compact discs, devoted to the complete symphonies of Ukrainian Boris Lyatoshynsky and Yevhen Stankovych (National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine), orchestral works by the Turkish composer Ulvi Camal Erkin (with the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra) and American composers Paul Chihara and Walter Saul.

Highlights of the past season have included a four-week, 20 concert tour of the USA with the Czech Symphony Orchestra while guest conducting engagements including the BBC Symphony, BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales (filling in on one day’s notice to conduct Josef Suk’s epic Asrael Symphony), Berlin Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He has collaborated with major artists including James Galway, Jessye Norman, Lynn Harrell, Shlomo Mintz, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang, Mstislav Rostropovich, Joshua Bell, and Frederica von Stade, among others.

With the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has recorded 15 compact discs devoted to the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen, the complete overtures and tone poems of Dvorak, and the complete orchestral works of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana for the Brilliant Classics label. Also completed for Brilliant Classics was a world premiere recording of Rachmaninov’s Fifth Piano Concerto, a reconstruction of that composer’s Second Symphony based on the composer’s earliest manuscripts, and the Piano Concertos of Ravel and Bartók. With the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has conducted tours of Australia, Germany, Italy, Korea, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the USA.

During his tenure with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Kuchar conducted cycles of the complete symphony by Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Prokofiev, Schubert and Shostakovich, and led eleven international tours to Asia, Australia, Central Europe and the United Kingdom. Under Mr. Kuchar’s direction, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine became the most frequently recorded orchestra of the former Soviet Union. Between 1994 and 2004 the orchestra recorded over 80 compact discs for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, including the complete symphonies of Kalinnikov, Lyatoshynsky, Martinu and Prokofiev, as well as major works of Dvorak, Glazunov, Mozart, Shchedrin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. They also recorded the symphonies and orchestral works of Ukraine’s leading contemporary symphonist, Yevhen Stankovych. The recording of Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 was awarded ABC’s “Best International Recording of the Year” in 1994. Their recording of the complete works for violin and orchestra by Walter Piston for the Naxos label was hailed by Gramophone (January, 2000) as a “Record of the Year” for 1999. The complete symphonies of Prokofiev, on the Naxos label, are regarded by many critics as the most accomplished cycle available on compact disc.

Kuchar remains as strong an advocate of composers of the present day as he does of the great composers of the past. In addition to his recordings of contemporary works with the NSO of Ukraine, he has also conducted premieres of works by Lukas Foss (the Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist), Giya Kancheli, Joseph Schwantner, Alfred Schnittke, Osvaldo Golijov and Rodion Shchedrin, among others.


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