Thu March 16 | 7:30 PM

Rachmaninov’s

Third Piano Concerto

Pianist Daniel Hsu will sweep you away with Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto alongside the PNW premiere of First Symphony Composer Gabriella Smith’s ONE.

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March 16, 2023 7:30 PM

Rachmaninov’s

Third Piano Concerto

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Daniel Hsu, piano
Gabriella Smith, composer

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Gabriella Smith: Symphony No. 1, ONE for Orchestra

(Eugene Symphony co-commission & Pacific Northwest Premiere)

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3

You’ll be swept up by Sergei Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, which sparkles and charms from its deceptively simple first notes to the elation of a triumphant close, played by radiant American pianist Daniel Hsu. Johannes Brahms’s overture — which he himself called “a very boisterous potpourri of student songs” — is infused with an irrepressible sense of fun. In between, we hear the Pacific Northwest premiere of Gabriella Smith’s new work ONE, part of our First Symphony Project showcasing talented young composers.

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About Gabriella Smith

Gabriella Smith

Gabriella Smith is a composer and environmentalist. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area playing and writing music, hiking, backpacking, and volunteering on a songbird research project in Point Reyes. Whether for orchestras, chamber ensembles, voices, or electronics, Gabriella’s music comes from a love of play, exploring new sounds on instruments, building compelling musical arcs, and connecting listeners with the natural world.

Many of Gabriella’s works address the climate crisis and participation in climate solutions. Through her music, she often tries to provide listeners with an emotional connection to the natural world in an invitation to find joy in climate action. Gabriella has also written many works inspired by field recordings she has made of terrestrial and underwater soundscapes, including the sounds of dawn choruses, trees, cacti, tide pools, and coral reefs. Her upcoming work is dedicated to climate solutions through a number of exciting initiatives currently in development.

Recent highlights include the premiere of Gabriella’s organ concerto, Breathing Forests, written for James McVinnie and LA Phil, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; and her debut at the Philharmonie de Paris with cellist Gabriel Cabezas, performing music from their album Lost Coast along with new works. Currently she is working on a version of Lost Coast for cello and orchestra, to be premiered by Gabriel Cabezas and LA Phil in May 2023, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Gabriella has held residencies with the Nashville Symphony; Instituto Sacatar on the island of Itaparica in Bahia, Brazil; and a Copland House Residency at Aaron Copland’s home in upstate New York. She received her Bachelors of Music in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music and later returned to Curtis as an ArtistYear Fellow, dedicating a citizen-artist year of national service in the Philadelphia region. She attended Princeton University for graduate school. Her mentors have included Arkadi Serper, John Adams, David Ludwig, Steve Mackey, Richard Danielpour, Dan Trueman, and Donnacha Dennehy.

When not composing, she can be found hiking, backpacking, birding, recording underwater soundscapes with her hydrophone, and volunteering on ecosystem restorations. She currently lives in Seattle.

About Daniel Hsu

Daniel Hsu

Characterized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “poet…[with] an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions, and coaxes,” American pianist Daniel Hsu is increasingly recognized for his easy virtuosity and bold musicianship. He captured the bronze medal and prizes for best performance of both the commissioned work and chamber music at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and is also a 2016 Gilmore Young Artist, first prize winner of the 2015 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, and bronze medalist of the 2015 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Daniel Hsu began taking piano lessons at age 6 with Larisa Kagan. He made his concerto debut with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at age 8, and his recital debut at the Steinway Society of the Bay Area at age 9, before being accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 10, along with his two older siblings. Since then, he has made his debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra (2016) and Carnegie Hall (2017) as part of the CAG Winners Series at Weill Recital Hall. He has appeared in recitals at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, as well as in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Pittsburgh, and New York. A sensitive and keen collaborator, Daniel has performed with the Tokyo, North Carolina, Grand Rapids, Anchorage, New Haven, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, working alongside conductors Leonard Slatkin, Nicholas McGegan, Cristian Măcelaru, Ruth Reinhardt, Marcelo Lehninger, Eugene Tzigane, and Stilian Kirov.

Recent and upcoming highlights include his debuts with the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra with Hannu Lintu, Eugene Symphony with Francesco Lecce-Chong, and Jacksonville Symphony with Courtney Lewis; chamber tours with Curtis-on-Tour (Europe) and the Verona Quartet (United States); and recitals across the United States and Japan. His Boston debut recital in spring 2019 was hailed as a “powerful, thoughtful, and sensitive program… this deeply inquisitive artist’s inner probing brought fresh meaning to great warhorses, reaching well beyond his stunning mastery of technical difficulties” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).

Daniel’s chamber music performance with the Brentano String Quartet at the Cliburn Competition earned him the Steven de Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance of Chamber Music. The Dallas Morning News praised “his impassioned, eloquently detailed Franck Quintet,” proclaiming it to be “a boldly molded account, with a natural feeling for the rise and fall of intensity, the give and take of rubato. Both he and the Brentano seemed to be channeling the same life force.” He regularly tours the United States with the Verona Quartet and in duo piano with his brother, Andrew, and appears frequently in chamber music festivals.

Decca Gold released Daniel’s first album featuring live recordings from the Cliburn Competition of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, op. 110, as well as his award-winning performance of Marc-André Hamelin’s Toccata on “L’homme armé.” He has also been featured in interviews and performances for WQXR, APM’s Performance Today, and Colorado Public Radio, and was profiled as one to watch by International Piano magazine.

Now 22 years old, Daniel graduated from Curtis in spring 2019, where he studied with Gary Graffman, Robert McDonald, and Eleanor Sokoloff. He is a Marvel film buff and enjoys programming—he contributed to the creation of Workflow (now known as Siri Shortcuts), which won the 2015 Apple Design Award and was acquired by the tech giant in 2017.

ADDITIONAL 2017 CLIBURN AWARDS:
Steven De Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance of Chamber Music
Beverley Taylor Smith Award for the Best Performance of a New Work

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The health and safety of Eugene Symphony audience members, musicians, and staff members has been and will always be our top priority. We strongly welcome and encourage patrons who wish to continue wearing masks while attending performances to do so. We want all of our attendees to feel comfortable and accepted in your choice. You take care of you, we'll take care of the music and ensuring that your experience attending a Eugene Symphony concert remains exceptional.

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LOCATION: Hult Center for the Performing Arts


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