Salute to John Williams
Richard Kaufman, conductor
Academy and Grammy Award-winner John Williams has made cinematic history as the composer of some of Hollywood’s most popular and recognizable film scores including “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” and the first three “Harry Potter” films. Maestro Kaufman pays tribute to the genius of John Williams on the occasion of his 85th birthday.
Constantine Kitsopoulos has made a name for himself as a conductor whose musical experiences comfortably span the worlds of opera and symphony. He conducts in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Royal Albert Hall, as well as for musical theater, where he can be found leading orchestras on Broadway. Kitsopoulos is in his eighth year as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and continues as general director of Chatham Opera, which he founded in 2005. He serves as music director of the Festival of the Arts BOCA, an extraordinary multi-day cultural arts event for South Florida and was most recently appointed artistic director of the OK Mozart Festival, Oklahoma's premier music festival, where he led his second season this past June.
In addition to his ongoing music director commitments, in the 2014-15 season Kitsopoulos led the New York Philharmonic in holiday subscription concerts following a notable debut the previous season. He returned to the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, New Jersey, Houston and North Carolina, and made debuts with the Florida Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Louisville Orchestra and Toledo Symphony. A frequent guest conductor at Indiana University, he led Menotti’s Last Savage and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”
Kitsopoulos’ most recent recording is the Grammy Award-winning original Broadway cast album of the Tony-Award winning Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess,” released in May 2012 on P.S. Classics. His first recording, Baz Luhrmann’s production of “La Bohème,” is available on Dreamworks. Also available are recordings of “Happy End,” the only English language recording of the work, and an original Broadway cast recording of “A Catered Affair” on P.S. Classics.
Kitsopoulos studied conducting with his principal teacher Vincent La Selva, as well as Gustav Meier, Sergiu Commissiona and Semyon Bychkov. He studied piano with Marienka Michna, Chandler Gregg, Ed Edson and Sophia Rosoff.