In Thursday’s (10/8) Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), Steven Uhles writes, “Shizuo Z Kuwahara, the new conductor and music director for Symphony Orchestra Augusta, is ready to do what he was brought to Augusta to do: conduct a symphony orchestra. Mr. Kuwahara—known as Z—will make his debut Saturday at First Baptist Church of Augusta. He was selected from more than 150 applicants, four of whom were brought to Augusta to program and conduct an audition concert with the symphony last season. Mr. Kuwahara’s concert took place in January. … In addition to rebranding the former Augusta Symphony as Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Mr. Kuwahara has focused on putting together a season that expands the repertoire and raises audience expectations. … He was concerned about the statement he would make with the first selection at the first concert. He chose Sound the Bells, written by American composer John Williams as a tribute to Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito on the occasion of his marriage to Masako Owada. … Mr. Kuwahara said he loved the idea of a piece that addressed both sides of his culture, the Japanese and the American.”

Posted October 8, 2009