Derby Debut For Pittsburg Supremo
Conductor Fawzi Haimor will make just his second appearance in the UK on July 22 – taking the podium at Derby Cathedral alongside regional orchestra Sinfonia Viva.
Mr Haimor is Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), where he conducts a variety of concerts.
Born in Chicago, Mr Haimor lived in Saudi Arabia where his father worked for the United Nations until he was 11, when his family relocated to San Francisco.
He could have had a stethoscope in his hands, but his main tool is a baton. He was headed toward medical school until his love of classical music began to tug harder and harder.
A long time violinist, he has earned bachelor’s degrees in both music and neurobiology, physiology, and behaviour, and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of California-Davis before completing his second master’s in instrumental conducting from Indiana University.
He was assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony prior to stepping up to the podium with the PSO. As a guest artist, Mr Haimor also works with such orchestras as Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Erie Chamber Orchestra and Amman Symphony in the Middle East.
He recently made his UK debut at Cadogan Hall in London and, speaking from his Pittsburgh home, Mr Haimor said he was looking forward to returning to the UK and visiting Derby for the first time.
“As well as working in London, I also got the opportunity enjoy a host of performances by British orchestras and was blown away by the talent of musicians.
“We have several British musicians at the PSO who are amazing and I think it must be down to the high standard of the music education system that really shines through at a professional level.
“I am so looking forward to working with Sinfonia Viva as I have heard great things from colleagues.
“I am a California boy at heart so my style is very relaxed and calm. My job is simple – to work with musicians to develop a single idea and present a piece of music.
“I don’t believe that a performance is all about the conductor’s interpretation of the score. A performance is a collaboration with the musicians to create something that is wonderful and enjoyable.”
The programme for July 22 will be a rich variety of classical music by Haydn: Il ritorno di Tobia, Hob.XX1:1 : Overture; Schumann: Cello Concerto; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Sibelius: Op 44 – Valse Triste and Scene with Cranes and Beethoven: Symphony No.1.
Soloist Leonard Elschenbroich takes centre stage for Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Leonard joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme in 2012, a prestigious award offering performances and recordings with all the BBC orchestras, recitals at Wigmore Hall and The Sage, Gateshead, with all performances broadcast on the BBC.
Mr Haimor continued: “I am very much looking forward to working with Leonard for the first time and the programme is amazing. These pieces are fantastic in their own right and very rarely come together so it will be a treat for us all.”
A father of two young girls, passionate about the education of young musicians, Mr Haimor was the first music director of the newly formed Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, while holding the position of Assistant Conductor with the orchestra.
Here, he was involved in the development of a brand new premier level youth orchestra for the state of Alabama. He was also the founder and first music director of the Davis Summer Symphony, an organisation geared towards the education and outreach of classical music to residents of the Davis, California community. He has subsequently been invited to guest conduct youth ensembles across the United States.
He concluded: “I am keen to find out more about Viva’s education work for which I understand they have won national acclaim.
“Education is the key to our industry. It not only inspires young people to develop their musical talents but also hopefully gives them an experience which will be the start of their appreciation for classical music which they will develop throughout their lives.”
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