Savannah Philharmonic Announces Guest Conductor, Keitaro Harada, for Music Festival Co-production

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Today, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) announces that their April 6 concert, “Rhapsody in Blue and the Firebird Suite” will be conducted by up and coming Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, Keitaro Harada.  Harada’s credentials are exemplary. In his fourth season as Conductor he maintains a blossoming, international presence throughout North America, Asia, Mexico, and Europe. With ebullient charisma, proven artistic prowess, and passion for excellence, Harada fulfills a broad scope of musical collaboration via opera, symphonic and chamber works, pops, film scores, ballet, educational and outreach programming, and multi-disciplinary projects.  SPO confirmed that Harada will become part of the Music Director Search as this provides the organization the opportunity to expand the slate of candidates.

This highly anticipated co-production with Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday April 6, 2019, at the Johnny Mercer Theater in the Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave. in downtown Savannah.  At 6:30 p.m., patrons are encouraged to attend a pre-concert interview with musical scholar John Canarina and guest conductor Harada.

The evening’s program is filled with American jazz-inflected orchestral works composed by George Gershwin and SMF Associate Artistic Director and pianist Marcus Roberts. The concert is bookended with the exhilarating compositions, including “Polovtsian Dances” by Alexander Borodin and “Firebird Suite (1919)” by Igor Stravinsky, which draw heavily from Russian folkloric traditions and are written for opera and ballet, respectively. Marcus Roberts’ “Rhapsody in D” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” will both feature the Marcus Roberts Trio.

“The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra is very excited to partner with the Savannah Music Festival as part of our celebratory Tenth Anniversary Season. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our two organizations. The audience will be thrilled with all four of these delightful, carefully curated pieces,” Savannah Philharmonic Executive Director Terri O’Neil said.

Both the Music Festival and the Philharmonic are growing in reputation and stature, with both regularly drawing renowned soloists and guest acts from around the world to the Hostess City.

Savannah Music Festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is co-led by Executive Director David Pratt, who served as the executive director of the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra from 2010-15.

“The Savannah Music Festival is genuinely excited about our collaboration with the Philharmonic. Both organizations are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, so this is a unique and wonderful way to commemorate that fact while treating Savannah music lovers to a stellar concert,” Pratt said.