Unknown & Gorgeous: River & Iron

Sunday, March 10, 2024 - 2:30 pm

This program draws on connections to Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley while honoring Ochsner’s Finnish-American roots.

Erik Ochsner is considered by audiences and critics alike to be one of the leading film-with-live-orchestra conductors due to his energy, attention to detail and precise synchronization. Equally comfortable on the concert stage or leading opera, oratorio and multi-media performances, he has performed in Adelaide, Athens, Beijing, Calgary, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jakarta, Kitchener-Waterloo, Krakow, Leipzig, Louisiana, Melbourne, México City, Montreal, Moscow, Nashville, New York, Ottawa, Portland, Reykjavik, Richmond, Rochester, Round Top, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Sofia, South Bend, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tampere, Tokyo, Vancouver, Youngstown, and Wellington, NZ.
Ochsner was invited to conduct the world premiere of Mary Poppins in Concert (1964) at the Sydney Opera House; was Principal Touring Conductor of La La Land Live in Concert, for which he conducted 50 performances of Justin Hurwitz’s Academy Award and Grammy Award winning score across the globe, and on 40 hours’ notice, he flew to Taiwan to conduct Beauty and the Beast in Concert to fill in for an ailing colleague! His versatility as a conductor has stretched across a broad range of repertoire: from conducting as few as five performers in contemporary and
modern works, to leading 300 performers in Live to Projection film concerts.

Last year Ochsner made his debut with both the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the South Bend Symphony leading performances of Ghostbusters: Live in Concert! He also conducted a Día de Muertos concert in Sound Bend. With the Vancouver Symphony, he conducted Star Wars in Concert: Episode 6: Return of the Jedi; and will return with Star Wars in Concert: Episode 7: The Force Awakens in 2023. With Montreal’s FILMharmonique, he has conducted Star Wars in Concert: Episode 4: A New Hope and Star Wars in Concert: Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back and will return for Star Wars in Concert: Episode 6: Return of the Jedi in May 2023.

Ochsner’s long relationship with the Krakow International Film Music Festival have been hugely successful leading sold-out performances in a 16,000-seat arena of Pixar in Concert, Frozen and Beauty and the Beast (both performed in Polish), plus Disney in Concert: The Magic of Music with the Krakow Film Festival Youth Orchestra.

Other films he has conducted: Back to the Future, Batman, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Ghostbusters, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek (2009), and Star Trek Into Darkness. Ochsner is Founder and Music Director of SONOS Chamber Orchestra. SONOS has premiered 4 SONOS commissions; 2 world premieres, 13 US premieres and 3 New York premieres. Recordings include Brian Wilbur Grundstrom: An Orchestral Journey (CD), and Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul (DVD). Ochsner premiered The Music of Star Wars with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, a full-length evening production featuring the music of John Williams and video game composer Gordy Haab plus the Canadian performers Charlie Ross and Émilie Fournier; was Music Director and conductor of the 2017 Opera America New Works Showcase and was a Guest Conductor at the Nanjing (China) Forest Music Festival. In 2021-2022, he has served as Artistic Advisor to Schirmer Theatrical.

Ochsner attended The Pierre Monteux School, is a graduate of Dartmouth College and is a proud Finnish American dual citizen. He lives in New York City, loves travelling, wine and collecting requiem recordings. www.erikochsner.com plus Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Aaron Copland – John Henry: A Railroad Ballda for Orchestra

Eugene Kapp – Kalevipoeg’s Ballet Suite
I. Kalevipoeg’s Dance with the Maiden of the Lake
II. Karelian-Finnish Dance
III. Forging of the Swords
IV. Dance of the Shepherds and Shepherdesses
V. Dance of the Wind
VI. Folk Dance

Alexander Mosolov – The Iron Foundry

Uuno Klami – Kalevala Suite
I. The Creation of the Earth
II. The Sprout of Spring
III. Terhenniemi
IV. Cradle Song for Lemminkainen
V. The Forging of the Sampo


Peter Boyer – Rolling River: Sketches on “Shenandoah”

Tobias Picker – Old and Lost Rivers

Ottorino Respighi – Pines of Rome
I. The Pines of the Villa Borghese
II. The Pines Near a Catacomb
III. The Pines of the Janiculum
IV. The Pines of the Appian Way

For underwriting opportunities please contact fundraising@youngstownsymphony.com. 

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