Orchestra has new conductor for its 52nd season

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Oct. 20, 2011
Dr. Cheung Chau is the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's new orchestra  artistic director. He will conduct the first concert of the MSOC’s 52nd season on Saturday, Oct. 29, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Manchester Community College's SBM Foundation auditorium. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Dr. Cheung Chau is the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's new orchestra artistic director. He will conduct the first concert of the MSOC’s 52nd season on Saturday, Oct. 29, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Manchester Community College's SBM Foundation auditorium. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is welcoming its new conductor, Dr. Cheung Chau, at the Oct. 29 opening concert of the MSOC’s 52nd season. Cheung served as substitute conductor in 2010 and joined the orchestra as its musical director this past summer. “I realized this was a very talented orchestra and the people were very dedicated,” said Chau of his experience with the orchestra in 2010.

Chau looks forward to keeping the orchestra functioning as a group for the musicians, while also finding programs to which the local community can relate. He is particularly interested in engaging young people, perhaps with a collaboration with the Manchester High School orchestra.

Originally trained as a cellist, about 10 years ago an injury forced Chau to consider other musical careers. He decided to pursue conducting as a way to stay in the music field.  “I enjoy doing both [playing cello and conducting],” said Chau. “Each helps me with the other.” Chau does continue to play in the Atma Trio with his wife, Blanka Bednarz, a violinist, and pianist Slawomir Dobrzanski.

Chau commutes between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where his wife lives and is a tenured professor at Dickerson College. He teaches at the University of Connecticut and is the director of the UConn orchestra, and he is also the music director of the Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.

Chau noted that the orchestra is still looking for trombone players as well as most string instruments, including viola, cello and bass.

Vernon resident Kevin Quinn, a trombonist, recently joined after learning about an opening. “I’m always looking for an opportunity to play,” said Quinn.

“We do interesting programs,” said Ray Wilson, of Glastonbury. He has been playing cello with the orchestra since 1975. “I enjoy it and want to have places to play,” he said.

Manchester resident Carol Maas has been with the orchestra for 28 years, playing violin along with her husband, Tom. She is also the orchestra teacher at Manchester High School. “I enjoy playing good orchestral music,” Maas said.

The Oct. 29 concert will feature music of many styles. “All of the pieces, much of the audience will have heard,” explained Chau, noting the works by Bernstein, Dvorak, Wagner, Bizet and Beethoven.  The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the SBM Foundation Auditorium at Manchester Community College. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance through the website msoc.org.


Comments

Oct 29th concert POSTPONED

Due to an unusually early winter storm, this concert is postponed. Please visit the MSOC website www.msoc.org or the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale Facebook page for more information..

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