conrad-taoThe Peninsula Symphony opens its season this weekend with a triple-threat soloist, and a new initiative that shines a spotlight on living women composers. Music Director and conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein says they’ll be joined for Schumann’s Piano Concerto by Conrad Tao, on a program that also includes works by Carolyn Bremer and Edward Elgar.

There’s more about the concerts at the Peninsula Symphony website.

Conrad Tao is hard to label; Mitchell Sardou Klein describes him as an “extraordinary young musician who happens to mostly be a pianist… He’s a composer of really significant accomplishment. He has commissions for major works, he’s a violinist, and then he is this just deliriously fabulous pianist. I heard him with San Francisco Symphony playing the Rachmaninoff Paganini Variations about a year and a half ago, and several other Peninsula Symphony folks were in attendance, and we all said ‘we gotta get this guy,’ and fortunately now, we did!” Opening the concerts is Early Light by Carolyn Bremer, which is the first in their ‘fortissima’ series of works by living women composers. “We’ll have a piece by a living female composer on every program this year, and probably for a long time to come,” Klein explains. “It’s a much ignored, unfortunately, segment of the repertoire, and that actually represents an opportunity for us, because there’s a huge amount of very interesting and diverse works there to choose from.” And they’ll close with Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the set of works that depict in music his circle of closest friends. Their images and brief biographical sketches will be displayed as the Peninsula Symphony performs the work.