By Natasha Anderson
Rei Hotoda, the first of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s six finalists for its music director position, presents a melodic journey through time and place with her audition concert on Saturday, October 21, at 8 p.m. at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The program includes Dvorák’s Carnival Overture, Wijeratne’s Concerto for Tabla and Orchestra, featuring master tabla player Sandeep Das, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
“I wanted to program a concert that reflects the incredible diversity of music in the Western North Carolina area,” says Hotoda. “The thriving arts and culture scene in Asheville is nationally recognized and praised, so I knew these works would fit nicely with this community.”
The evening will take the audience to Bohemia with Dvorák’s lively Carnival Overture exploding with sound and energy. The next stop is South Asia as Wijeratne’s Concerto for Tabla and Orchestra blends the unique timbre of the tabla with the orchestra’s full palette. The program ends with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. which has a distinctly Russian flavor and depicts the composer’s struggles, joys and triumphs.
“The fact that this classical orchestral concert features a tabla instrument is quite unique and rare,” says Hotoda. “I am thrilled to work with the renowned tabla player Sandeep Das from the Silk Road Project to perform with the Asheville Symphony. It will be a marriage made in heaven.”
Rei Hotoda was recently appointed music director of the Fresno Philharmonic. She has appeared as a guest conductor with many leading ensembles, including the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Utah, Toronto and Winnipeg, as well as the Colorado and St. Louis symphonies.
Audience members will have an opportunity to give feedback regarding Hotoda’s audition via survey after the concert. The five other finalists will conduct concerts in November, February, March, April and May.
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is located at 87 Haywood Street in Asheville. Single tickets for all concerts are $24–$69, depending on seating section. Reduced youth pricing is available. Single tickets and season ticket packages can be purchased online at ashevillesymphony.org, by phone at 828.254.7046 or in person at the U.S. Cellular Center box office at 87 Haywood Street.