San Antonio Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto will direct an exciting concert celebrating the works of well-known contemporary French composers next Friday, Feb. 28, at the A.C. Jones High School Auditorium at 7 p.m.
The program will feature music by Claude Debussy, including his celebrated Clair de Lune; Gabriel Fauré; Maurice Ravel; and Camille Saint-Saëns. Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, op. 28 by Saint-Saëns, was composed for his virtuoso violinist friend and will be played by the San Antonio Symphony’s own virtuoso concertmaster Eric Gratz.
The concert is sponsored by the Beeville Concert Association, with generous support from the Joe Barnhart Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, as well as funds from many local sponsors, benefactors, patrons and friends.
Fujimoto began her appointment as associate conductor of the San Antonio Symphony in January 2012. Hailed as “a very talented conductor who knows her score and her musicians,” she has most recently served as the conducting associate for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, music director of the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras.
A native of Japan, Fujimoto attended high school in California and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor of arts in music and psychology. She holds master of music degrees in conducting from the Eastman School of Music and Boston University.
As a member of the Virginia Symphony conducting staff, Fujimoto conducted the VSO in classical, holiday and educational concerts, including the Virginia Symphony’s 2009-2010 series of Young People’s Concerts and the Virginia Beach performance of the Classics concert featuring the world premiere of Behzad Ranjbaran’s Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra. Fujimoto has also conducted the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and National Arts Centre Orchestra in performance, as well as conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as part of the Orkney Conducting Institute.
Prior to arriving in Virginia, Fujimoto served as the music director and conductor of the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard University, where she led the MSO to many milestones, including performing with pianist and Mozart scholar Robert Levin.
The concert is free to all students through high school age, to Coastal Bend College students with their student IDs, and to any adult accompanied by two children or young people through high school age. Admission for other adults who do not hold BCA season memberships is $10 at the door.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for South Texas music lovers to enjoy some of the world’s most exciting classical music at an incredibly low price,” BCA President Kay Past said. “The affordable rates are made possible by the Barnhart Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and the BCA’s many patrons. We especially hope that many young people will take advantage of this special musical offering.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 25, the Symphony will perform two special concerts for selected Beeville ISD students.
“We are hoping that many people in the community will take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to hear exciting symphonic orchestra music in Beeville,” Past said.