Phoenix Youth Symphony
1017 N Olive Rd
Tucson, AZ 85721-0004
Admission - $5
Fine Arts Box Office
The University of Arizona School of Music is proud to present the Phoenix Youth
Symphony in concert, led by UA alumnus Keitaro Harada, music director and
conductor. The December 4 concert, co-sponsored by The Symphony Women's
Association, begins at 2:00 p.m. in Crowder Hall.
UA tuba/euphonium professor, Dr. Kelly Thomas, will join the youth ensemble as
soloist in James Curnow's "Symphonic Variants for Euphonium." The program will
also include "Prelude and Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's opera "Tristan und
Isolde," a suite from the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
and the beloved "Polovtsian Dances" from the opera "Prince Igor" by Alexander
"This upcoming residency by the Phoenix Youth Symphony is a wonderful
opportunity for the young musicians from the Valley and our faculty in the
School of Music to work together musically," said Prof. Ed Reid, assistant
director for advancement and development at the School of Music. "We are so
happy that Keitaro Harada and the PYS musicians were able to come to Tucson and
perform in Crowder Hall. This is hopefully just the first of many visits to our
campus by this outstanding orchestra."
The Phoenix Youth Symphony organization (PYS) is internationally recognized as
one of the premiere youth orchestras in the United States. For over 50 years
its programs have provided music education and instrumental training of the
highest quality to Phoenix metropolitan area youth.
Music Director Keitaro Harada will lead the orchestra, and offered some remarks,
"This marks my second season with the Phoenix Youth Symphony, and I could not
possibly be happier to share this concert with my Tucson audience. We have an
exciting season with 11 concerts, nine different programs and two run-out
performances to Denver and Tucson. Busy is simply an understatement. This is
only possible because I have the highest expectations from each dedicated
musicians in PYS. I believe that music is a unique art form where you simply
have to learn from someone who knows how to do it. One could read books about
how to play the violin but there is simply a limit to how much you can really
learn. In my musical career, I have been fortunate to have great masters teach
me and show me the beauty of music making. I am absolutely thrilled and
grateful to have the opportunity to share what I know with the musicians in
PYS, and present you with the wonderful music making.
"I have been fortunate to complete my formal conducting training under Thomas
Cockrell and Charles Bontrager in Tucson. The University of Arizona School of
Music has been a great influence in my career and I couldn't be happier to
present 'my' orchestra on the stage of Crowder Hall. UA faculty artist Kelly
Thomas will be performing the flashy 'Symphonic Variants for Euphonium,' by
James Curnow, and I'm extremely excited that we can collaborate again. This is
a concert not to be missed. I can guarantee that it will knock your socks off!"
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Keitaro Harada is increasingly recognized as one of the leading conductors of
his generation. A student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and recipient
of the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival,
Harada?s credentials are exemplary. At Tanglewood he assisted Christoph von
Dohnanyi in the production of Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos" and conducted
the closing performance garnering this praise from "The Boston Musical
Intelligencer:" "perfect timing, dramatic dynamics, and unerring coordination
of the musical stagecraft." A review from Opera News stated, "For the third and
final performance of Strauss's 'Ariadne auf Naxos' ... rising young Japanese
conductor Keitaro Harada, a student in the TMC program, got his turn to lead
the forces prepared by Christoph von Dohnányi. Harada's command of the score
was total, from the uncommonly beautiful legato and sweep of the opening
orchestral phrases, hinting at the inspired, ecstatic melodies created by the
character known as the Composer, to the carefully controlled climaxes of the
final duet, in which Ariadne and Bacchus join in uncomprehending ecstasy."
In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Ricardo Muti and the
Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti
International Conducting Competition and was one of four international
conductors for the Pacific Music Festival 2011 Conducting Academy in Sapporo,
Japan. He is a three-time winner of the International Conductors Workshop and
Competition in Georgia. He received an honorable mention in the International
Academy of Advanced Conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia. In September 2009,
Harada was a semi-finalist for the Fourth Eduardo Mata International Conducting
Competition in Mexico City.
As a Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship recipient at Tanglewood Music Festival
2010, Harada prepared Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos" for Christoph von
Dohnanyi. Harada conducted many of the Festival Orchestra concerts including
Antoniou?s Concertino for Double Bass with Boston Symphony Orchestra
principal double bass, Edwin Barker. The "New York Times" wrote, "...with Jacob
Druckman's 'Aureole' (1979), a score rich in hazy mystery and textural allure,
qualities that Keitaro Harada had no trouble coaxing from the orchestra."
As an opera conductor, Harada assists and conducts staging at Arizona Opera
including "La Bohème," "Don Giovanni," "Così fan tutte" and "Mikado." He was
an apprentice conductor to Lorin Maazel at the inaugural Castleton Festival
where he studied four Britten chamber operas. He made his professional opera
debut in May 2011 with North Carolina Opera for Britten's "Turn of the Screw"
and received this review from North Carolina's "News Observer": "Conductor
Keitaro Harada led a tightly sprung, supremely confident performance, moving
inevitably along the work's strange pathways, including scenes accompanied only
by timpani, bells or harp. The chamber orchestra filled Durham?s Carolina
Theatre with immensely impressive playing."
Harada is currently the principal guest conductor for the Sierra Vista Symphony
Orchestra, cover conductor for Arizona Opera and music director for Phoenix
Youth Symphony, an organization internationally recognized as one of the
premiere youth orchestras in the United States. He previously served as
conductor of Arizona Symphony, UA Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mercer/Macon
Symphony Youth Orchestra, and assistant conductor of the Tucson Symphony and
Macon Symphony Orchestras.
A recent featured alumni guest on National Public Radio's "From the Top," a
video and audio documentary on Harada's career can be found on their website:
Dr. Thomas was appointed tuba/euphonium instructor and director of pep bands
at the University of Arizona in 2001. A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, he began
his studies with R. Winston Morris at Tennessee Technological University. There
he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education. He also holds a Master
of Music degree in music education from Arizona State University where he
studied with Sam Pilafian, and he completed a Doctor of Musical arts degree at
Arizona State University in 2006.
Professor Thomas participated in the famed Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble
(TTTE), under the direction of R. Winston Morris, while at TTU. Kelly has
appeared as a soloist as well as an ensemble member on the following recordings
affiliated with the TTTE: "Euphoniums Unlimited" (Mark Records 2004), "The Kings
of Brass" (Mark Records 2001), "Tubalogy 601" (Mark Records 2000), and "Unleash
the Beast" (Mark Records 1995). In 1995 and 2007 Kelly performed at Carnegie
Hall as a soloist and ensemble member with the TTTE. Dr. Thomas has
collaborated with Gunther Schuller, Adam Gorb, James Grant, Greg Danner and
David Maslanka in recent years.
Professor Thomas has also performed at the International Tuba Euphonium
Association (ITEA) Conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada; Conway, Arkansas;
Cincinnati, Ohio; Tucson, Arizona and Regina, Canada. He has also performed at
the United States Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Washington D.C. In
2003 and 2007 he hosted the ITEA Regional Conference in Tucson, on the campus
of The University of Arizona. In 2005, he conducted the UA Brass Choir and
performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
Kelly is a founding member and tubist for the Original Wildcat Jass Band, a
traditional New Orleans and Chicago jazz band. This touring ensemble has been
featured throughout Tucson as well as New Mexico, California and Colorado.
They released their debut recording titled "Introducing The Original Wildcat
Jass Band" in 2004. Their second recording, "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead,"
was released in 2007. Their third recording, "Two Deuces," was released in 2008.
Kelly also was featured on a recording of the rhythm section of the Jass Band,
"Rhythm Street," released in 2008. Dr. Thomas is an artist and clinician for