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Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts

190 S. Cascade Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903 United States
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Mason Bates Alternative Energy

Yugo Kanno "Revive" for Koto and Shakuhachi

Beethoven Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral"

About The Performance

One of the greatest storytelling symphonies in music, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony No. 6 shines in a transcendent concert led by guest conductor Carolyn Kuan. The Philharmonic, joined by the exceptional Masayo Ishigure on koto and Zac Zinger on shakuhachi, unites East and West in a celebration of the natural world.

Join us for Colorado Springs Philharmonic Pre-Concert talks. Go behind the curtain and inside the score with these 30-minute pre-concert conversations.

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Carolyn Kuan

Recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn Kuan has enjoyed successful associations with top-tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. Her commitment to contemporary music has defined her approach to programming, and established her as an international resource for new music and world premieres. Appointed Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011, she has signed a renewal contract through May 2024.

Ms. Kuan’s North American engagements have included performances with the Baltimore Symphony, where she returned in the 2019/2020 season; as well as the symphonies of Detroit, Milwaukee, Omaha, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto; the Florida and Louisville orchestras; the New York City Ballet; the Colorado Music Festival and Glimmerglass Opera Festival; the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Washington National Opera. In the 2021/2022 season, she made her debut with the Columbus (OH) Symphony and returned to conduct Opera Theatre of St. Louis in Harvey Milk and the Santa Fe Opera to conduct Huang Ruo’s M Butterfly.

Recent international engagements have included concerts with the Bournemouth Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Residentie Orkest, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan, Royal Danish Ballet, the West Australian Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. Ms. Kuan will make her debut with English National Opera in Philip Glass’ Satyagraha in the 2021/2022 season.

Although debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra (at the Mann Music Center), at Lincoln Center (leading the opera Blue), and Orchestre de Paris were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Kuan has had highlights in recent seasons that include debuts with the Singapore Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Portland Opera, conducting a production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. She led Mark Campbell’s Stonewall with New York City Opera in June 2019, which helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

Carolyn Kuan also collaborated with Beth Morrison in a project called Ouroboros Trilogy, a three-part exploration of life, death, and rebirth as symbolized by the ancient Greek icon of a serpent eating its own tail. Working with composer Scott Wheeler, she directed Naga, one of the three operas commissioned for the trilogy. She conducted the premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Trial with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and has conducted the Santa Fe Opera in Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-sen; and the Washington National Opera in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.

While maintaining a solid connection with traditional repertoire, Carolyn Kuan has cultivated a unique expertise in Asian music and contemporary works. From 2007 to 2012, she directed the annual San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year concert. For the Seattle Symphony, Ms. Kuan helped launch the hugely successful Celebrate Asia! program with community leaders representing eight Asian cultures, and led sold-out performances for three consecutive years. She has led world premieres for Music from Japan, and has conducted multimedia productions of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto and A Monkey’s Tale as part of Detroit Symphony’s World Music Series.

From 2003 to 2012, Ms. Kuan was engaged with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and visiting composers. Some of her finest successes have bridged the gap between cultural and social issues, as in her work raising awareness of conservation and the environment through her performances around the globe of the multimedia project “Life: A Journey Through Time.” Developed by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and music director Marin Alsop, the project features music by Philip Glass and images by famed National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. Ms. Kuan’s notable performances of Life include a presentation at the Ninth World Wilderness Congress with Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan; at the eight-day June festival, Change Is Powerful, with the Detroit Symphony; and at CERN’s (European Organization for Nuclear Research) historical Large Hadron Collider Inauguration, with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande attended by Swiss President Pascal Couchpin, French Prime Minister François Fillon, more than 20 other European heads of state, and dozens of Nobel laureates.

Carolyn Kuan’s previous positions include Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Ballet; and Assistant Conductor for the Baltimore Opera Company. In her 2012 debut album for the Naxos label, Ms. Kuan conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in various works by Chinese composers.

Masayo Ishigure

Masayo Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of both Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai and successfully completed the 33rd Ikusei-kai program sponsored by NHK to foster and train aspiring artists in Japanese music. In 1988, Ms. Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music from Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen.

Ms. Ishigure moved to New York City in 1992 and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Merkin Hall, Asia Society, Japan Society, Metropolitan Museum, and other venues in the New York City metropolitan area. She has been invited to perform at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the Smithsonian Institute, and was a guest artist with the Seattle Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Masayo Ishigure has appeared in concerts for the World Music Institute, Japan Society, Music from Japan, the China Institute, and has participated in music festivals in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Alaska. Masayo Ishigure also accompanied several performances by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Mr. Peter Boal.

Masayo Ishigure has recorded music for CBS Master Works, television commercials, and the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack for “Memoirs of a Geisha” alongside artists like Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. She has been honored with the 2016 Consul General’s Commendation and was nominated by Newsweek as one of the “100 Japanese People the World Respects” in 2007. Her discography includes solo albums like “Grace” and collaborative works such as “The World of Tadao Sawai” and “East Wind Ensemble.”

Masayo Ishigure has taught koto and shamisen at Wesleyan University, CT, and Columbia University since 2010 and offers private lessons in New York City, New Jersey, and Washington DC.


Zac Zinger

Zac Zinger is an award-winning composer, arranger, orchestrator, music supervisor, and multi-instrumentalist with years of experience in a wide variety of mediums. His innovative technique and style on the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), as well as the unique multicultural blend of his compositions have garnered critical acclaim at home and abroad. His contributions as composer, arranger, orchestrator and performer include such major video game titles as Street Fighter V, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Elden Ring, PubG Mobile, Final Fantasy XV, Just Cause 4, Jump Force, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Side Stories.

A multi-talented performer, Zac plays saxophones, shakuhachi, flute, clarinet, EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), and a host of world flutes. He has performed in twelve countries, in esteemed venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has been credited for musical contributions to 80 commercial music releases and counting, two of which have won Grammy Awards. He has worked with such musical luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Branford Marsalis, Michael Bublé, Dionne Warwick, Audra McDonald, Bear McCreary, and Tituss Burgess, and is a regular member of the Grammy Award winning 8-Bit Big Band and Adam Neely’s Jazz School.


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