ROCO In Concert: Family
Traditional — Bèo dạt mây trôi (Arr. Ngo Hoang Quan)
Michael Abels — Borders
Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
ROCO's Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation In Concert series opers September 23 with "Family" at Miller Outdoor Theatre, sponsored by ABC13 Houston! This performance will also be livestreamed free at Miller Outdoor Theatre's website and social channels.
Artistic Partner Mei-Ann Chen leads the orchestra in a program inspired by community, family, and hope, honoring Houston’s cultural diversity. Juan Pablo Contreras‘ Mariachitlán will take you to the colorful streets of the composer’s birthplace in Jalisco, Mexico, featuring a mariachi band, and the traditional Vietnamese folk song Bèo dạt mây trôi tells the story of longing to be reunited with missing loved ones.
Grammy-nominated guitarist Mak Grgic features as soloist in the world premiere of a ROCO-commissioned guitar concerto by Michael Abels (composer for the films NOPE, GET OUT, and US), echoing themes of strife and healing, and Ludwig van Beethoven‘s dramatic Symphony No. 5, nicknamed the "Fate Symphony," reminds us that our fate can be in our own hands, encouraging us to write our own stories.
About Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Praised for her dynamic, passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, Ms. Chen has been named Chief Conductor of Austria’s Recreation Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte beginning fall 2021 after two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, making her the first female Asian conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra. Since September 2019, she also serves as the first-ever Artistic Partner of Houston’s ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). Ms. Chen also has served as Artistic Director & Conductor for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival since 2016. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, she has appeared with distinguished orchestras throughout the Americas, Europe, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, and Scandinavia, and continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide (over 110 orchestras to date). Honors include being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America; the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop; and 2005 First Prize Winner of the Malko Competition (she remains as the only woman in the competition history since 1965 to have won First Prize), and ASCAP awards for innovative programming. https://www.meiannchen.com/
About Mak Grgic, guitar
Touted as a "gifted young guitarist" by The New York Times, and "a guitarist to keep an eye on" by the Washington Post, Mak Grgic [GER-gich] is a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide-ranging interests. From the ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant- garde and microtonal music, his roles as soloist, collaborator, and recording artist are fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy. http://www.makgrgic.com/