Robert Schumann famously said, “To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” On Friday, March 10 at 7:30pm at the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University, guest conductor and music director candidate Tania Miller will lead the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) in a concert highlighting enduring resilience of the human spirit with Schumann’s Second Symphony, Silvestrov’s Hymne, and Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with guest soloist Chelsea Guo. Uniquely talented as both a pianist and soprano, Ms. Guo also will perform a vocal encore, “Vilja’s Song” from Franz Lehar’s opera The Merry Widow.
Tania Miller says, “Music helps us to perceive the world with renewed perspective and awareness as we experience history, social cultures, emotions, and the endeavors, struggles and joys of human life through its expression. I hope the audience will feel the visceral impact of music in their lives as they join us for this concert.”
The program will feature Robert Schumann and Ludwig van Beethoven, two composers who used music as a tool to address their mental health struggles. The concert will open with Hymne by Valentin Silvestrov. Miller says, “Silvestrov is one of the Ukraine’s most important composers. When the war broke out, as an 84-year old, his first decision was to stay at his home in Kyiv, but he was eventually brought to safety to Berlin. Silvestrov’s beautiful work Hymne is programmed for this concert so that we can take a moment to connect emotionally to the people in the Ukraine and to witness their beautiful culture through his music.”
Canadian Conductor Tania Miller has distinguished herself as a dynamic interpreter, musician, and innovator. Maestra Miller was Music Director of Canada’s Victoria Symphony for 14 years and was named Music Director Emerita for her commitment to the orchestra and community. She has distinguished herself as a visionary leader and innovator with a deep commitment to contemporary repertoire and composers and has gained a national reputation as a highly effective advocate and communicator for the arts. An avid writer about music and the arts, her writing has been featured in Symphony Magazine, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, and Better Humans.
Four music director finalists – Donato Cabrera, Tania Miller, Perry So, and James Blachly – will each spend a different week in New Haven this winter and spring, rehearsing with the orchestra for a concert that they have programmed, leading music education activities, and meeting with key community constituency groups. The NHSO’s search committee, comprising musicians, board directors, and community members, will announce the NHSO’s new music director in the Summer of 2023. Current Music Director Alasdair Neale’s tenure will continue through the Spring of 2024 and the new Music Director will begin in the role in the Summer of 2024.
Chelsea Guo has already attracted international attention as a pianist and soprano of remarkable gifts. Most recently, she was named one of four winners of the 2022 Young concert Artists (YCA) Susan Wadsworth International Audition. Her dual artistry is featured in her 2021 debut recording, “Chelsea Guo: Chopin in My Voice”, which includes beloved Chopin solo repertoire, along with two Chopin songs and one Rossini aria in which the artist accompanies herself. The inclusion of the Rossini aria is typical of many of the concert programs Chelsea offers, which include both piano and vocal works, enriching the opportunity for her audience to experience music in a broader context and displaying the influence that singers had on composers of their time. Gramophone Magazine included the recording in their Essential New Albums and Classic FM featured Chelsea for an entire week as a “Young Classical Star.” The album reached #7 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart and received five stars from BBC Music Magazine, which wrote: “Here is a rare talent.”
Tickets: Tickets start at $15. Tickets for youth 17 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. To purchase tickets, visit NewHavenSymphony.org or call (203) 693-1486 Monday-Friday from 12-5pm.
Miller Conducts Schumann & Beethoven is sponsored by Southern Connecticut State University, the National Endowment for the Arts, Frontier, and the New Haven Register.