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Knoxville Symphony Orchestra kicks off 80th season, music director search September 17

September 1, 2015

Sept. 1, 2015

For more information, contact:
Rachel Dellinger, KSO director of communications
Direct: 865-521-2317 Cell: 865-660-3037
[email protected]


In just three weeks, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will kick off its 80th season with American Masters: Gershwin & Bernstein.  KSO Resident Conductor James Fellenbaum conducts the Orchestra, joined by guest pianist Sean Chen for a spectacular season opener. The concert will take place on Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre.   These performances are sponsored by Twin City Dealerships.

Throughout the KSO’s 2015-16 season, six candidates will audition for the position of the next KSO Music Director. Each candidate will conduct a pair of Masterworks concerts, held monthly at the Tennessee Theatre. Read more about the KSO Music Director Search here.

Musical selections for the opening concerts include Chadwick’s Jubilee from Symphonic Sketches, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Gershwin’s Piano concerto in F talented pianist Sean Chen.

Twenty six-year-old pianist Sean Chen has performed with orchestras all over the world, recorded solo albums, and has earned numerous accolades including being the first American to earn a Cliburn award since 1997 where he took home third prize, just months after being named the 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association. Sean grew up in Oak Park, California and now resides in New Haven, Connecticut, where he completed his artist diploma at the Yale School of Music under Hung-Kuan Chen in May 2014. He previously studied with Jerome Lowenthal and Matti Raekallio at The Juilliard School, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Patrons can attend pre-concert chats at 6:30 p.m. in the concert hall before each performance. Guest performers will offer their personal perspective and audience members will have a chance for Q&A with the artists. This is a unique get-to-know-you opportunity! There will be a very special Opening Night champagne toast in the Tennessee Theatre lobby at 7:00 p.m. All patrons are invited to enjoy complimentary champagne and toast to the next KSO season!

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting our website. Single tickets range from $15.00 – $85.00. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 865-521-2337.

About the KSO

Established in 1935, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches.  The KSO is currently undergoing the search for a new Music Director, to be announced in 2016.