Orchestras

ASU’s orchestras provide high-level training for music majors and minors as well as opportunities for non-music majors to continue playing at the college level.

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2022-23 season

Assistant conductors

Sergio Freeman
Sergio Freeman, conductor, instrumentalist and vocal coach was born in Mazatlán, México. He was principal clarinetist of Camerata Mazatlán and has played with orchestras like Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes and Orquesta del Teatro del Bicentenario. As a pianist and vocal coach he collaborated with the Mazatlan opera studio and at the Bellas Artes opera studio in Mexico City. He has served as rehearsing pianist and vocal coach at productions of operas like Traviata, Rigoletto, La Medium, L’elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Tosca, Sour Angelica, Gianni Schicchi among others.

As a conductor he holds a master’s degree from the University of Veracruz from which he graduated with honors, his conducting mentors were Lanfranco Marcelletti Jr. and Gaetan Kuchta. He has conducted groups like Enigma Ensemble, Orquesta Universitaria de Música Popular de la UV, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo. Sergio is currently Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orquesta del Teatro Ángela Peralta. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral in Musical Arts at Arizona State University and serves as Assistant conductor of the ASU orchestras under the guidance of Jeffery Meyer.

Kara Piatt
Born and raised in Arizona, Kara Piatt began her conducting studies during her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance at Northern Arizona University. Her voice and piano background led her to become an Assistant Conductor and Pianist with the NAU Lyric Opera Theatre and Director Dr. Daniel Keith O’Bryant in their rehearsals and performances. Simultaneously, Kara was the accompanist for multiple instrumental and choral ensembles in the NAU School of Music, which exposed her to a wide variety of conducting styles. These experiences ignited a true passion for conducting and led Kara to pursue many educational opportunities across the country with various renowned conducting pedagogues. She most recently graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with her Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting under the tutelage of Mark Gibson. There, her conducting engagements included serving as Assistant Conductor of the CCM Philharmonia, CCM Concert Orchestra, and the CCM Dance and Opera programs. She also had the opportunity to work closely with talented conductors such as Maestro Louis Langree from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,
and she even joined the CCM Philharmonia as a pianist on numerous occasions. Kara is incredibly excited to continue her studies at ASU for her Doctorate in Orchestral and Opera Conducting. She feels it will push her to new heights as a conductor, educator, and musician, and bring her closer to her eventual goal of sharing classical music with modern audiences around the world.

Joseph Sieber
As founder and conductor of the Central Switzerland Youth Symphony Orchestra (ZJSO), conductor and pianist Joseph Sieber made his mark on Switzerland's musical landscape from a young age. His work has been profiled by national and foreign media and during his work with the orchestra he brought together hundreds of young musicians and artists from all parts of Switzerland. Graduating with honors from the prestigious at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, he conducted the BBC Philharmonic in the summer of 2022. Further engagements during his studies there brought him together with a variety of top ensembles in the symphonic repertoire (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic), contemporary music (Psappha Ensemble), ballet (Northern Ballet), and opera (Opera North). In addition to his work as a conductor, he completed studies in piano (Prof. Konstantin Lifschitz) and composition (Prof. Dieter Ammann), As a pianist, Joseph Sieber has performed a wide variety of genres as a concert soloist and chamber musician and was a multiple-prize winner at the Swiss Youth Music Competition. An enthusiastic choral singer, he sang for several seasons with the Swiss Youth Choir and the EuroChoir, also acting as assistant to the principal conductors.

He begins his doctoral studies in conducting at Arizona State University in the fall of 2022. Learn more at www.josephsieber.com.

Schedule of Performances

 

For ASU Gammage ticketed events, tickets are available for $12 at the ASU Gammage Box Office or can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (fees apply). For ASU students, faculty and staff see ticketing information below.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Chamber Orchestra

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky Rite of Spring
Sunday, October 2, 2022, 3 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theatre       
Tickets: $12 and $20  purchase tickets      

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Cathal Breslin, piano
Stravinsky: Rite of Spring

The ASU Symphony Orchestra begins the 2022-23 concert season joined by ASU faculty pianist Cathal Breslin with a thundering welcome back for live audiences! Breslin soars in Rachmaninoff’s epic Piano Concerto No. 2, followed by Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite of Spring. Don’t miss out on the heart-pounding experience of these classical music favorites performed in the magnificent Ikeda Theatre.

ASU Symphony Orchestra with Vijay Iyer
Rites of Spring: Radhe Radhe and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12   purchase tickets              

Vijay Iyer: Radhe Radhe
            Vijay Iyer, piano
Ches Smith, drums
Prashant Bhargava, film director
Stravinsky: Rite of Spring

Themes of ritual, transformation, and ecstasy emerge in this concert highlighting composer and pianist Vijay Iyer’s Radhe Radhe and Stravinsy’s Rite of Spring. Iyer joins the ASUSO on stage for his own work, a lavish visual and sonic ballet of sorts, featuring the interplay of live music and film documenting the Hindu ritual of Holi. Written to create an interplay between Stravinsky’s dark and rapturous ballet and Holi’s joyful and colorful celebration of springtime, Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava respond to the Rite of Spring through an extraordinary live encounter with chaos and ecstasy.

Gridiron to ASU Gammage: A Musical Celebration of the Sun Devil Spirit featuring Gus Farwell
Friday, November 4, 2022, 7:30 p.m
ASU Gammage 
Free admission  reserve tickets 

Former ASU quarterback and tenor Gus Farwell, who made worldwide headlines during the pandemic singing from his balcony in Barcelona, returns to the ASU Gammage stage to sing beloved works from the opera, broadway, and American songbook featuring the ASU Symphony Orchestra, Gospel Choir, ASU Marching Bands and faculty performers.

Many know Farwell from his time playing quarterback for the ASU football team or as the voice singing Go Devils Go! at touchdowns, but Farwell became famous worldwide in the early days of the pandemic for singing opera from his balcony in Barcelona. Every night for 65 days, after the applause for the front line medical workers, Farwell would sing to the gathered crowds, bringing hope and solace to a weary city. 

Brought to you by ASU Gammage in partnership with SunDevil Athletics and ASU Salute to Service Week 2022, the program will include songs from Tosca, Carmen, La Bohème, the Wizard of Oz, Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and more! Admission is free.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia
The Power of Youth
Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12  purchase tickets 

Georges Bizet: Petite Suite Jeux d’Enfants
Max Lu: New work, world premiere
New work by ASU student composer, world premiere
Charles Gounod: Marche Funèbre d’une Marionette
            ASU Philharmonia
Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
            ASU Symphony Orchestra

The ASU Symphony and Philharmonia present “The Power of Youth” featuring two world premieres by emerging young composers, a series of youthful miniatures by Bizet and Gounod, and Bernstein’s comedic and popular Candide Overture. The concert concludes with the sublime catharsis of melody and drama in Symphony No. 3 by Brahms, who faced crippling pressure as a child prodigy and only found the creative power and confidence to fulfill his symphonic promise late in life.

ASU Chamber Orchestra
Concerto Competition Prize Winners
Thursday, December 1, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12  purchase tickets 

Frank Proto: A Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass & Orchestra
     Tzu-I Yang, bass
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Concerto for Bassoon (1992)
     Leon Jin, bassoon
Maurice Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin

A perennial audience favorite, this year’s ASU Concerto Competition winners are once again sure to evoke the awe and imagination of audiences. Rising stars Leon Jin (bassoon) and Tzu-I Yang (bass) perform their prize-winning solos with the ASU Chamber Orchestra. The concert concludes with Ravel’s effervescent series of dances, Le Tombeau de Couperin.

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Boulanger
Sunday, February 12, 2023, 3 p.m.
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
Monday, February 13, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage   
Tickets $12 

Lili Boulanger: D'un matin de printemps (Of a Spring Morning)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol, op.34
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4, op.36

The ASU Symphony Orchestra celebrates the beginning of the spring season with one the early 20th century’s lesser-known treasures, Lili Boulanger’s D'un matin de printemps (Of a Spring Morning), and continues with Rimsky Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, a virtuosic and sparkling fantasy on Spanish themes. Symphony No. 4, Tchaikovsky’s powerful drama of the struggle with the inescapable power of fate concludes the concert.

ASU Chamber Orchestra Strings
"Reflections of Hope and Home” in collaboration with DBR Lab
Monday, February 27, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Organ Hall
Free admission

Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
Quinn Mason: Reflections on a Memorial
Julius Eastman: Joy Boy
Daniel Bernard Roumain: Isorhythmiclationistic from String Quartet No. 5 “Rosa Parks”
Daniel Bernard Roumain: They Still Want to Kill Us (world premiere arrangement)
Jessie Montgomery: I Want to Go Home

Join the ASU Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and guests from ASU’s Theatre and Dance program in a meditative concert in celebration of Black History Month. In addition to Quinn Mason’s moving Reflections on a Memorial, Julius Eastman’s minimalist masterpiece Joy Boy, and Roumain’s ode to Rosa Parks Isorhythmicnationlistic, ASU Alumni soprano Yophi Adia Bost returns to sing a newly created arrangement of Roumain’s powerful They Still Want to Kill Us written to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and Brooklyn Rider
Wednesday, April 5, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage 
Tickets $12                

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Rissolty Rossolty
Ruth Crawford Seeger: Songs (world premiere arrangements by Colin Jacobson)
Michael Abels: Global Warming
Osvaldo Golijov: Tenebrae for string quartet
Gabriela Lena Frank: Contested Eden
Ascending Bird (trad. Persian song)

As part of the prestigious ASU Visiting Quartet Residency Program, the critically acclaimed string quartet Brooklyn Rider joins the ASU Symphony Orchestra in a rich tapestry of musical selections exploring major issues facing a global, interconnected society on a warming planet. With its intrepid musical appetite, the quartet will act as leaders, soloists, and collaborators throughout the evening on this fascinating and thought-provoking musical journey. Works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Michael Abels, Gabriela Lena Frank, and others.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Choirs
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Friday, April 28, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12 

Carlos Simon: Fate Now Conquers
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Kaitlyn Sabrowksy, soprano
Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano
Bille Bruley, tenor
Gordon Hawkins, bass

The ASUSO and ASU Choirs celebrate the end of the 2022-23 season with Beethoven’s monumental utopian vision of the unity of humankind, Symphony No. 9. The concert begins with Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, a brilliant new work inspired by an emotional journal entry from Ludwig van Beethoven’s notebooks. 

ASU Studio Orchestra

ASU Studio Orchestra
Mozart Symphony No. 40 and other masterworks
Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Katzin Concert Hall 
Free admission

Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Mozart: Symphony No. 41

ASU graduate conductors take the podium in this intimate concert featuring Mozart’s beloved Symphony No. 40, Debussy’s impressionist masterpiece Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Beethoven’s powerful, politically-inspired Egmont Overture.

ASU Studio Orchestra
Petrushka and Pagliacci
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Katzin Concert Hall
Free admission

Ruggero Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (selections)
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947), arr. Josh Oxford

Hear Stravinsky’s brilliant Petrushka, the story of three puppets and the magician that animates them, reimagined for the intimate setting of Katzin Concert Hall. The program will also feature songs and arias from the Ruggero’s ever-popular Pagliacci, highlighting singers from ASU’s renowned Music Theatre and Opera program.

 ASU Philharmonia

ASU Philharmonia
Stringtastic!
September 30, 2022,  7 p.m.
Tempe High School, Tempe

The ASU Philharmonia begins the 2022-23 concert season by honoring the string sections of the orchestra and featuring them in their own ensemble. We will also be honoring the life of one of our very own cello player, Alec Berg, gone too soon. This evening is a meaningful celebration of string ensemble music and the wide palette of colors and emotions it has the power of evoking. We will also be joined by the Tempe High School Strings and their new director: Osvaldo Mendoza for a side-by-side at the end of the concert.

     Earl Manneein: I Can Read Metal
     Edward Elgar: Sospiri, op.70
     Felix Mendelssohn: Sinfonia No.7, D minor
     Camille Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des Animaux, Le Cygne
     Quinn Mason: Irish Dance Suite for String Orchestr
     Pascual Marquina, España Cani (side-by-side)

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia
The Power of Youth
Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets:
$12 

Georges Bizet: Petite Suite Jeux d’Enfants
Max Lu: New work, world premiere
New work by ASU student composer, world premiere
Charles Gounod: Marche Funèbre d’une Marionette
            ASU Philharmonia
Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
            ASU Symphony Orchestra

The ASU Symphony and Philharmonia present “The Power of Youth” featuring two world premieres by emerging young composers, a series of youthful miniatures by Bizet and Gounod, and Bernstein’s comedic and popular Candide Overture. The concert concludes with the sublime catharsis of melody and drama in Symphony No. 3 by Brahms, who faced crippling pressure as a child prodigy and only found the creative power and confidence to fulfill his symphonic promise late in life.

ASU Maroon & Gold Band and Philharmonia
Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets:
$12 

Join us on Valentine’s Day for a special event where the Maroon and Gold Band joins in perfect harmony with the ASU Philharmonia.

     Elgar: Salut d’Amour, op.12
     Sergei Golovko: Russian Marimba Concerto with concerto competition winner Angelita Ponce Johann Strauss Jr.: Frühlingsstimmen, op.410

ASU Philharmonia: Blossom
Monday, April 24, 2023, 7.30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Tickets:
$12 

Join us as ASU Philharmonia concludes its season with an exciting collaboration with the Phoenix Youth Philharmonic Orchestra for an evening of inspiring music. William Grant Still and Astor Piazolla are some of the featured composers as well as the 2021-22 ASU composition competition winner Deanna Rusnock presenting her piece, Concerto for the Growing Pianist, featuring esteemed ASU faculty Andrew Campbell on the piano.

William Grant Still: Serenade
Deanna Rusnock: Concerto for the Growing Pianist
    
Andrew Campbell, piano soloist
Astor Piazzolla: Sinfonietta 

For ASU Gammage ticketed events, tickets are available for $12 at the ASU Gammage Box Office or can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (fees apply). All students with ASU, college, or school ID receive one complimentary ticket and all HIDA faculty and staff receive two complimentary tickets. Complimentary tickets can be picked up at the box office prior to the event and during all normal business hours.

All Herberger Institute students, faculty and staff and Mirabella residents are eligible for complimentary tickets to most events ticketed through the Herberger Institute box office. Click buy tickets to obtain your complimentary tickets using your 10-digit ASU ID as the promo code.

Listen and Watch

Musicians playing

Harp of Nerves

JIJI performs Harp of Nerves, a guitar concerto by Hilary Purrington, with the ASU Symphony Orchestra.

An orchestra playing on stage

Don Juan

The ASU Symphony Orchestra opens the 2018-19 with Strauss’s explosive tone poem Don Juan, which launched him to international fame when he was only 25 years old.

Orchestral opportunities