HSO Music Director-Designate Carolyn Kuan to Lead Patriotic Festivities

This Fourth of July weekend, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will Celebrate America! at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival with a program of patriotic favorites on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows.  Led by Music Director-Designate Carolyn Kuan (in her debut season at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival), highlights of the program will include such American classics as Copland's Lincoln Portrait (with guest narrator Howard Sprout), Bernstein's Overture to Candide, and excerpts from John Williams' Star Wars soundtrack (featuring the Farmington High School Choirs); plus the traditional soundtrack to Independence Day: The Star Spangled Banner, Armed Forces Salute, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever (with FIREWORKS!). 

Music Director-Designate Carolyn Kuan will become the HSO's tenth Music Director in September 2011, the first woman to hold that position.  She is increasingly recognized as one of the most exciting, innovative, and outstanding conductors of her generation.  Past associations have seen Ms. Kuan as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Ballet, and Assistant Conductor for the Baltimore Opera Company.  With explosive passion, impeccable technique and profound musical depth, her performances have included concerts with the Baltimore Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Festival del Sole, Florida Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Toledo Symphony and San Francisco Symphony.

Howard Sprout is well known to Hartford area audiences for his many performances as baritone soloist with ensembles including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of New England, the New Haven Symphony, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and CONCORA. He has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as Philip Brunelle, Richard Hayman, Erich Kunzel, Skitch Henderson, Mitch Miller, John Covelli, Murray Sidlin and Arthur Winograd. Mr. Sprout will narrate Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, which incorporates Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address into the music; Mr. Sprout’s great-great grandfather fought with the Army of the Potomac until July 2, 1863 when he was mortally wounded in the second day’s fighting at Gettysburg.

The Farmington High School choirs have performed for prestigious events at the Connecticut State Capitol, the CMEA Convention, the National Cathedral and Basilica in Washington, DC, and the CIAC Olympics Opening Ceremony at Foxwoods MGM.  Students in the program enrich the community through performances that reach people of all ages; this year, Farmington was selected as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” in the nation.   Their director, Leslie Imse, was Connecticut Choral Director of the Year for ACDA in 2005.  The State Department of Education awarded Leslie with the Celebration of Excellence in Education Award and Teacher of the Year Award in 1992.  Most recently, she was selected by the College Board as an Advanced Placement Music Theory Reader.  


The Star Spangled Banner; American Salute; Armed Forces Salute; Lincoln Portrait; Sing Along, America!; Overture to Candide; Suite For Orchestra from Star Wars; “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace1812 Overture; God Bless the USA; The Stars And Stripes Forever

Ticket Information: Subscriptions to the 2011 Talcott Mountain Music Festival range in price from $150-$1420.  Single tickets range in price from $20-$45. Lawn tickets for kids 12 and under are $5.   Discounts are available for tickets purchased in advance.  For more ticketing information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860)244-2999 or visit
Additional Information: Gates open at 6:00 p.m. for all Talcott Mountain Music Festival concerts. Open to all ticket holders, the HSO Family Activity Tent is open from 6:00 p.m to 7:15 pm; families can enjoy free activities such as music-themed games and crafts, the “Instrument Zoo,” and youth performances.  In the case of severe weather, this concert will be performed the following night (July 2) at the same time.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-2012 season is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. The 2011 Talcott Mountain Music Festival is presented by Hartford Hospital. “Celebrate America” is sponsored by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra 2011 Talcott Mountain Music Festival is made possible with generous support from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Classic Hotels of Connecticut; Ensign Bickford Industries, Inc.; The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.; Bloomfield Public Schools; Town of Simsbury; Falcetti Music; Paine’s; Seabury/Seabury at Home; Chubb; Connecticut Light & Power; HB Group, Inc.; Show Lighting Corporation; Simscroft Echo/Girard Brothers Corporation; Travelers; United Healthcare; Viking Fuel Oil Company; Walker Systems Support; Apple Rehab Sport & Spa; Bank of America; Big Y; CIGNA; Federman, Lally & Remis, LLC; Metro Bis; Motley Rice, LLC; Robert Hensley & Associates, LLC; Simsbury Bank; The Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UCHC; Tom and Suzy Reich; TRUMPF; and UBS.