Symphony sets sail

Arts & Entertainment

Symphony sets sail

New music director Heuser at the helm
Thomas Heuser, music director of the San Juan Symphony, stands outside the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis college, where he will conduct his first concert on Oct. 8.
Who is Thomas Heuser?

After a two-year search to replace Arthur Post, who had a successful 13-stint as music director of the San Juan Symphony, musicians, the San Juan Board and patrons chose Thomas Heuser to succeed him.
Heuser holds three music degrees: a bachelor’s from Vassar College, a master’s degree in instrumental conducting from Indiana University and a doctorate in musical arts in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati. Before he completed his doctorate, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany, where he completed a residency in orchestral conducting in Munich.
In 2011, he became music director for the Idaho Falls Symphony, where he has increased audiences, commissioned new works, enhanced community support and sparked outreach programs, especially for young people and families.
Heuser and his wife, Lauren, and son, Theodore, have moved to Durango. He will continue his commitment to the Idaho Falls Symphony and guest conduct as time permits.

If you go

What: San Juan Symphony, Music Director Thomas Heuser, presents “Fresh Faces and Firebird.”


When and where: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Community Concert Hall, Durango; 3 p.m. Oct. 9, Henderson Performance Hall, Farmington, with soloist M. Brent Williams. Works by Mozart, Needham, Dvorák and Stravinsky.


How much: Season tickets from $58 to $198; single tickets from $16 to $55.


For more information: Durango: Call 247-7657 or www.durangoconcerts.com. Farmington: Call (505) 566-3430. Surcharges may apply.

Coming up

Season ticket holders can look forward to three additional concerts. One month from the opening concert, Heuser will conduct a special performance of one of the most important works in the combined choral and orchestral repertoire. Brahms’ German Requiem will be performed with soloists Gemma Kavanagh and Seth Keeton, plus the combined choirs of the Durango Choral Society, the Fort Lewis Chamber Choir, and the Caliente Chorus of Farmington.
Come winter, Heuser will head up an all-Gershwin concert the weekend of Feb. 18-19. Featuring the sounds and rhythms of the “Roaring Twenties,” the orchestra will welcome pianist Roberto Plano for Rhapsody in Blue. It’s the annual side-by-side concert with young area musicians joining the pros for Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”
And in early April, the San Juan Symphony will round out the year with “Full Throttle with Frautschi.” Jennifer Frautschi is the Grammy-nominated violinist who will play Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and the orchestra will conclude with Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.
“The theme for the year is ‘Resounding,’ and we’ll conclude with what could be taken for a movie score – the Bartok,” Heuser said. “The whole season is full of approachable music – for first time and seasoned listeners.”
Judith Reynolds

Pre-concert talk

Maestro Thomas Heuser will preview the upcoming San Juan Symphony concert as part of the ongoing series Musically Speaking at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Rochester Hotel in Durango. The pre-concert talk is free, and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.
Heuser will repeat the talk at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Henderson Hall in Farmington.

Symphony sets sail

Thomas Heuser, music director of the San Juan Symphony, stands outside the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis college, where he will conduct his first concert on Oct. 8.
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