New Worlds for Old Stomping Ground

World-renowned conductor and founding Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM), Theodore Kuchar will return to Townsville this weekend to lead the Barrier Reef Orchestra's 'New Worlds' as guest conductor. IMAGE: Supplied

Townsville’s Barrier Reef Orchestra (BRO) will welcome back an old friend this March, when world-renowned conductor and founding Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM), Theodore Kuchar returns to lead BRO as a guest conductor.

BRO’s upcoming performance, New Worlds, draws on works that have had significant importance to Theodore during his colourful life and career, including Dvorak’s Symphony From the New World and works by Marquez, Ginastera and Moncayo.

Theodore said he was drawn to Dvorak’s work due to their shared Slavic background.

“Dvorak was a Slavic immigrant in the USA when he composed this best-known of symphonies,” said Theodore.

“During my Ukrainian, Czech and Slovak [Orchestral] directorships, the orchestral works and symphonies of Dvorak have been our calling-cards and he is the single composer whose works I have performed more than anyone else’s.

“The three Latin-American works are calling cards from my period as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela (National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela) and feature on our Grammy CD Latin-American Classics.

“The works with European origins were composed in and as a result of the Americas.”

Theodore said his upcoming time with the Barrier Reef Orchestra in Townsville would be as emotionally symbolic as it would be musically gratifying.

“You must understand that this Orchestra’s existence is an evolutionary development of the very first conversation concerning the establishment of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music,” he said.

“In all honesty, during the first decade of the Festival’s existence, I cannot remember any conversation in which a first discussion about the Festival … did not evolve into a wish that Townsville would, one day, have its own symphony. I see my upcoming weeks as a great privilege and commitment.

The Great Barrier Reef Orchestra, lead by Theodore Kuchar, will present New Worlds at James Cook University’s Sir George Kneipp Theatre this Saturday from 7:30pm. For tickets, visit What’s On Townsville.

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