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Rei Hotoda, Conductor
Season in Review 
This amazing season has literally flown by!
 
I write this as I am bringing my inaugural season as the new Music Director of the Fresno Philharmonic to a close. We are ending this year with some remarkable Carnegie Hall LinkUp! concerts that are uniting over 12,000 students with the orchestra as well as a sold out event with local superstar, Audra McDonald. 

It was a season of firsts and debuts, incredible collaborations with up and coming artists and those that have long been established, meaningful explorations into new communities, and a deepening of my commitment to presenting the music of our time.
 
In addition to celebrating my inaugural year as the Music Director of the Fresno Philharmonic and worked with such extraordinary artists such as Jennifer Koh, Sandeep Das, Natasha Paremski, and Orion Weiss were some of my incredible collaborative partners. I, and the orchestras I conducted, went on bold explorations into the music of our time with works by such composers as Jennifer Higdon, Vivian Fung, Dinuk Wijeratne and Tan Dun.
 
All in all, I can honestly say that this season has been one of such artistic growth and I celebrate the deep connection I have with the audiences in Fresno and abroad. Below are just a few of the highlights. Enjoy!
 
Best,
Rei
Inaugural Season Begins
First Season as Music Director
Fresno Philharmonic 


On October 15, the Fresno Philharmonic and I took a huge leap forward when I began my tenure as their new Music Director. Over the course of six Masterworks concerts, countless community outreach activities, a new post-concert series, a chamber music concert in a fantastic venue, several Meet the Artists luncheons, lectures at the local Rotary Clubs and at the University of Fresno, I can say it was an absolutely extraordinary season.
 
Together with the fantastic musicians of the Fresno Philharmonic, the wonderful audience members, engaged board of directors and outstanding administration, the success of this season will carry us forward as we see a tremendous upswing in ticket sales and overall subscription renewals as well as an eagerness to start new and groundbreaking projects. 
 
Next season we continue to present programs of exciting music influenced by the spoken word. From the Fresno premiere of Britten’s monumental War Requiem to the world premiere of a new work by Dinuk Witjeratne commissioned by the Fresno Philharmonic to Benjamin Boone Waterless Music to Missy Mazzoli’s River Rouge Transfiguration it will be another amazing year. Stay tuned for more information on the individual programs and other activities in the months ahead.
Putting Audiences on the Spot 
Stay Tuned with the Fresno Philharmonic


I take great joy in developing new programs and opportunities for staff, audiences and the musicians of an orchestra. As part of my inaugural season as the new music director for the Fresno Philharmonic, I created a post-concert program, Stay Tuned, to give me and the audience the rare opportunity to ask our performers off-the-cuff questions that focus on the human side to music making.  So far, we have had fun talks with pianists Orion Weiss and Awadagin Pratt; soprano Jessica Rivera; as well as several musicians of the Fresno Philharmonic. Stay Tuned has quickly become an audience favorite with standing room only crowds. I can’t wait to continue this new series next season.
Making Connections
Out and About in the Community 


Artists must reach out and make every effort to connect with the communities they serve. These connections I have made over the season, and the synergies they create, lay a strong foundation of who I am both on and off the podium.
 
I have enjoyed my time making these connections through Meet the Artist Luncheons, visits to Rotary Clubs and a lecture at the Osher Class at Fresno State, and meetings with the fantastic audiences and donors of the Fresno Philharmonic. One of the highlights was performing, from the piano, at the "Power of the Purse" benefit. This important event not only provides financial support to the Philharmonic, it truly brings together the community to celebrate this wonderful orchestra. Then, to round out my inaugural season, and in collaboration with some of the extraordinary musicians of the orchestra, we performed a special chamber music concert at an amazing venue that fit the music so perfectly, Bitwise Industries. I look forward to our next event in this space in the seasons ahead.
 
Exciting Debuts
Nashville, Asheville and Stamford 

I made my debut with the Nashville Symphony in June.  Over the course of two concerts, I led the orchestra in performances of works by Kabalevsky, Beethoven, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Dvořák. In October, I made my first appearance with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra with a program that took the audience on a journey through time and cultures with Dinuk Wijeratne’s Concerto for Tabla and Orchestra, featuring the master tabla player Sandeep Das, as its centerpiece. Most recently, in May, I made my debut with the Stamford Symphony Orchestra, which was a female tour de force from the amazing concertmaster Deborah Buck to collaborating with the incredible pianist, Cecil Licad, to having the dynamic composer Vivian Fung in the audience. 
Championing The Voices of Today
A Season that Reflects Diversity in Programing from Kernis to Adams to Foss to Higdon to Tan Dun to Fung 

I have an insatiable curiosity for the new and reimagined, which makes me the perfect advocate for the music of our time. In Fresno, we performed at least one contemporary work on each of the six masterworks programs, a tradition that will continue throughout my tenure. Works by Aaron Jay Kernis, John Adams, Lucas Foss, Kenneth Froelich, Jennifer Higdon, and Tan Dun punctuated my inaugural season.
 
In Chicago, with the University of Chicago, I led the world premiere of Gene Coleman’s Dreamlives of Debris, featuring bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood and Ensemble Dal Niente as well as four newly-commissioned works at the Listen/Space Residency in Tollgate Canyon in Utah. In Asheville, I had the extreme pleasure of collaborating with the extraordinary tabla player, Sandeep Das, on Wijeratne’s Concerto for Tabla and Orchestra. Most recently, with the composer in the audience, Vivian Fung’s String Sinfonietta with the Stamford Symphony was well received with open minds and ears. 
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Highlights of Rei Hotoda in the News

ABC 30 Action News (Fresno), May 23, 2018
Thousands of Fresno County students performing alongside Fresno Philharmonic

The Munro Review, April 18, 2018
In season’s most moving Masterworks concert, Fresno Philharmonic offers music for the soul

VPR, April 13, 2018
Fresno Philharmonic Interviews: Rei Hotoda on Heaven & Earth

The Munro Review, April 13, 2018
From the physical to the celestial, the Fresno Philharmonic reaches for the sky

Valley Public Radio, February 23, 2018
Fresno Philharmonic Interviews: Rei Hotoda & Jennifer Koh
 
The Fresno Bee, February 22, 2018
You know ‘West Side Story,’ now hear another side of America’s superstar composer

The Spokesman-Review, March 4, 2018
Spokane Symphony names five finalists to succeed Eckart Preu

WSHU, April 17, 2018
Music Interview: Rei Hotoda Leads The Stamford Symphony
 
VPR, March 15, 2018
Fresno Philharmonic Interview: Rei Hotoda and Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio

Classical Voice of North Carolina, October 21, 2017:
Rei Hotoda and Sandeep Das Triumph in Asheville Symphony's Journeys Concert

The Munro Review, October 16, 2017:
A stellar launch as music director:  Rei Hotoda’s inaugural concert as Fresno Philharmonic conductor is filled with passion, musicality and showmanship

Valley Public Radio, October 10, 2017:
Interview: Fresno Philharmonic's Rei Hotoda Ready For First Performance

The Munro Review, October 13, 2017:
Welcome to the podium: The Fresno Philharmonic celebrates a new era with the official arrival of Rei Hotoda as music director

Mountain Express, October 18, 2017:
Meet the conductor: Q&A with ASO music director finalist Rei Hotoda


ABC 30 Action News (Fresno), October 9, 2017:
Leading the orchestra for the first time in the philharmonic's history will be a woman

Blue Ridge Public Radio, October 17, 2017:
Part 1 of 2: A Complex Search for the Asheville Symphony's Next Music Director

Blue Ridge Public Radio, October 18, 2017:
Part 2 of 2: Conductors Talk About What it Takes to Win the Job

Munro Review, June 6, 2017 

Fresno has a new maestro: Rei Hotoda

Fresno Bee, June 6, 2017
Beethoven and beer? Fresno Philharmonic’s first woman musical director promises change


KVPR, June 6, 2017
Fresno Philharmonic Selects Rei Hotoda As First Female Music Director


Valley PBS, June 8, 2017:
Meet the New Fresno Philharmonic Music Director

ABC Channel 30/Fresno, June 6, 2017
Fresno Philharmonic hires first woman music director

Park Record, July 14, 2017:
Hotoda will lead Chang and Utah Symphony in chamber concert

Salt Lake City Tribune, July 14, 2017:
Intermezzo steps up to the plate for summer season

Salt Lake City Tribune, July 18, 2017:
Smaller Mahler makes a big statement at Intermezzo
© 2015 Rei Hotoda All Rights Reserved






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Rei Hotoda, conductor · 1 Main Street · Morton, IL 61550 · USA

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