Ode to Joy

This year our perennially popular “Ode to Joy” program also features one of today’s most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman. The orchestra will be joined by the forces of the O’ahu Choral Society and led by JoAnn Falletta. This all-Beethoven program is an event not to be missed. Piano tuning for this performance courtesy of Alan Nishimura at Mozart Music House.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Esther Yoo, O’ahu Choral Society artistic director

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 2
Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 “Choral”


Ticket sales close at the HSO Box Office at noon on Friday, January 4. To purchase tickets after this time, please purchase through Ticketmaster.



Yefim Bronfman, Piano

Internationally recognized as one of today’s most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman stands among a handful of artists regularly sought by festivals, orchestras, conductors and recital series. His commanding technique, power and exceptional lyrical gifts are consistently acknowledged by the press and audiences alike. In celebration of the 80th birthday of Maestro Temirkanov, Mr. Bronfman’s 2018-19 season begins with a European tour with St. Petersburg Philharmonic. This is followed by a Scandinavian tour with The Royal Concertgebouw and Maestro Gatti with orchestral concerts in Europe during the season including Paris (Orchestre National de France), London (LPO), Cologne (WDR), Rome (Santa Cecilia), Berlin (Philharmonic), and Vienna Philharmonic on tour. In the US he will return to orchestras in Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Dallas, and in recital can be heard in New York (Carnegie Hall), Berkeley, Stanford, Aspen, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Naples, Rome and on tour in the spring with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena.

He has also given numerous solo recitals in the leading halls of North America, Europe and the Far East, including acclaimed debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1989 and Avery Fisher Hall in 1993. In 1991 he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia, marking Mr. Bronfman’s first public performances there since his emigration to Israel at age 15. That same year he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. In 2010 he was honored as the recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University.

Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, under Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. He is a 2015 recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.
Yefim Bronfman became an American citizen in July 1989.

The O‘ahu Choral Society (OCS), established in 1995, brings together approximately 100 singers from all walks of life, from young adults to kupuna, united by their talent and love for classical music and choral singing. OCS is also known for its performances of choral masterpieces with the former Honolulu Symphony and today’s Hawai‘i Symphony.
The mission of the O‘ahu Choral Society is to present the highest quality performances of great choral music for the enjoyment and enrichment of the community of Hawai‘i, and to be a passionate leader and contributor to the cultural and artistic vitality and spirit of Hawai‘i. Esther S. Yoo, Artistic Director
Thomas Yee, AccompanistBOARD OF DIRECTORS
Stephanie Morem, President
Elizabeth Flint, Vice President
Sally Hattemer, Treasurer
Malina Maneevone, Secretary
Esther Haas
Kathryn Russell

Esther S. Yoo, Artistic Director Oʻahu Choral Society

Esther S. Yoo is the Artistic Director of the Oʻahu Choral Society and conducts he Honolulu Symphony Chorus. A native of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Yoo holds a octor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Conducting, both from the University of Toronto studying with Raffi Armenien and Doreen Rao. In addition, Dr. Yoo graduated with an Artist Diploma in piano performance from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and has studied extensively with Russian pianist Vera Gornostaeva. She has appeared in festivals and masterclasses in France, Austria and Switzerland and has given recitals in Germany, France and Italy. As a conductor, Dr. Yoo was invited as a conducting fellow at the Oregon Bach Festival and Toronto Bach Festival with Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has also participated in conducting master classes with Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Harry Christophers, Stephen Darlington and Dale Warland.

Esther Yoo brings professional choral singing experience, having sung under the batons of Robert Shaw, James Levine, James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling, among others. A versatile conductor, she has worked extensively with high school, collegiate and professional choirs, including choirs at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hollins University, University of Toronto and at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. She also directed choirs at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and conducted concerts with Canada’s professional chamber choir, The Elmer Iseler Singers.

Since coming to Hawaiʻi, Dr. Yoo has conducted major choral/symphonic works including Verdi’sRequiem with the Freiburg Kammerphilharmonie, and J. S. Bach’s Magnificat and John Rutter’s Gloria with the Honolulu Symphony.
More recently she has conducted Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Carmina Burana and Brahms’ Requiem with members of the Hawaiʻi Symphony. She has also directed the Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and conducted Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Mass with the Hawaiʻi Youth Symphony.

Dr. Yoo is active as guest clinician and adjudicator and serves as past-president of the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Previously, she held faculty positions at Hollins University in Virginia and University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. She is also a member of Chorus America, National Collegiate Chorus Organization, Hawaiʻi Music Teacher’s Association, College Music Society and International Federation of Choral Musicians.

Barbara Quintiliani, Soprano

Making her Hawaii debut, and hailed as “the Verdi soprano the world has been waiting for” by the Boston Globe, Barbara Quintiliani was the first American woman in twenty-five years to be awarded First Prize in the prestigious Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, Spain. In that same competition, she was also awarded the coveted Verdi Prize from Montserrat Caballe and the Prize of the Public. Subsequently, Ms. Quintiliani made an auspicious European debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu as Elettra in Mozart’s fiendishly difficult incarnation of the storied Greek princess in Idomeneo. She has since garnered a reputation for taking on the most difficult roles in the dramatic Italian repertory with ease and aplomb from the title roles in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Lucrezia Borgia, and Maria Padilla, for which she gathered unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike at the Wexford Festival Opera, to Verdi’s Elvira (Ernani), Leonora (Il Trovatore), Lina (Stiffelio), and Gulnara (Il Corsaro) as well as Bellini’s perilous Norma and Cherubini’s Medea.

And whether she is sharing the beauty and excitement of well known works such as Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mahler’s Second Symphony, or of lesser known works for soprano and orchestra including Samuel Barber’s heart wrenching concert aria Andromache’s Farewell, Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ Three Poems of Fiona McLeod, and Hector Berlioz’s “La Mort de Cleopatre”, Ms. Quintiliani is equally at home on the concert stage.

From the very beginning of her musical studies, the most intimate of interchanges between vocal artist and audience, the song recital, has held a special place in Ms. Quintiliani’s heart. She is a proud alumna of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. The mezzo-soprano herself saw to Ms. Quintiliani’s development as a recital artist, and under the auspices of her foundation, Ms. Quintiliani made her Weill Recital Hall debut in the “As The Song Continues” series in New York, NY. As a member of the distinguished roster of recital artists, she and her collaborative pianist traveled extensively throughout the country.

Also, Ms. Quintiliani was broadcast nationally in recital by WQXR and NPR stations nationwide as a part of the prestigious “On Wings of Song” series. She has the great honor of sharing many concerts at national and international classical music festivals, and will be embarking on a recital tour in the 2019/2020 season. Ms. Quintiliani has been the recipient of several of the most prestigious awards for her work. These include the Grand Prize in the National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, First Place in the Marian Anderson International Vocal Arts Competition, First Place in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at The Houston Grand Opera, First Place of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition in New York, and a Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.

Ms. Quintiliani can be heard on recording for Naxos, The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro JoAnn Faletta, and Albany Records, Becoming a Redwood performing the eponymous song cycle with pianist Craig Terry.

Susan Platts, Mezzo-Soprano

Susan Platts brings a uniquely rich and wide-ranging voice to the concert and recital repertoire.  She is particularly esteemed for her performances of Gustav Mahler’s works. She is a Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative Fellow, which gave her the opportunity to study with world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman. Ms. Platts has performed with, amongst others, the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Houston Symphonies, as well as the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras.

She has collaborated with many of today’s leading conductors including Marin Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, JoAnn Falletta, Jane Glover, Keith Lockhart, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Peter Oundjian, Bramwell Tovey, Osmo Vänska and Pinchas Zuckerman.

Ms. Platts’ recent highlights include her Royal Opera House debut in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, John Adams’ Nixon in China for BBC Proms, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the premiere of a new work by Howard Shore with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Mexico City with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Ms. Platts was on a recent Naxos release of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version). She has recorded the full version of Das Lied von der Erde with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and Lieder of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms on the ATMA label.

Jim Price, tenor

Founder of Opera Maui, American tenor Jim Price recently completed a 15-city tour throughout China, and made his Chinese national television debut on CCTV 6 as a soloist at the Silk Road International Film Festival. A popular performer in Asia, Mr. Price performed Gustl in The Land of Smiles at the Shanghai Symphony Hall, and as a soloist at the Shanghai Concert Hall for the annual Patek Philippe Christmas Concert. He has performed several roles with Opera Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and three seasons with the Macau International Music Festival.
In Hawaii, Mr. Price appeared in eight seasons with Hawaii Opera Theatre and several appearances with the Hawai‘i Symphony including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C Major, and Handel’s Messiah.

Additional performances include several roles over three with Finland’s Savonlinna Opera Festival, including the world premiere of Free Will and as Goro in Madama Butterfly. He performed Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Tamino in Magic Flute with Boheme Opera New Jersey, Schmidt in Werther in Berlin, HMS Pinafore in San Antonio, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on Maui, and several roles in the international tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Major US appearances include Mozart’s Regina Coeli at Carnegie Hall and the North American debut of Giordano’s Il Re at Lincoln Center.
Upcoming performances include concerts in Shenzhen, Changsha, and Guangzhou, China, and Hilo, Honolulu, and Kahului in Hawaii.

Kevin Deas, Bass-Baritone

Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, as well as the most illustrious orchestras on the North American continent, and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals. 2018-19 season highlights include performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria and the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Porgy and Bess with the Florida Orchestra, performances of Handel’s Messiah with the National Cathedral and Virginia Symphony, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Joe Horowitz’s “Dvorak in America” project with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Verdi’s Requiem with the National Philharmonic.In the 2017-18 season he was a soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with VoxAmaDeus, in Mozart’s Requiem with Boston Baroque, Handel’s Messiah at the National Cathedral, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (NYC). He also sang the title role in Porgy and Bess with Duisberg Phiharmoniker; in Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, and in a tour of Asia with the Pacific Symphony; sings in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the Seattle Symphony; and was a soloist with the Delaware and El Paso symphony orchestras, and with the PostClassical Ensemble, with which he was Artist in Residence.

Recent successes include Messiah with the Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and National Cathedral; Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Richmond Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the Virginia Symphony, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Jacksonville Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Mozart’s Requiem with VoxAmaDeus, The Trumpet Shall Sound with the PostClassical Ensemble, and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with JoAnn Falletta at SUNY Potsdam.

He has performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Richmond and Winnipeg symphonies and the National Philharmonic; Messiah with Boston Baroque, the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Kansas City symphonies, the National Philharmonic, and at the Warsaw Easter Festival; Mozart’s Requiem with the Alabama and Vermont symphonies; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Oratorio Society of New York; St. John Passion with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico; Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with the New York Philharmonic; and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Chicago and Columbus symphonies.

A strong proponent of contemporary music, Kevin Deas was heard at Italy’s Spoleto Festival in a new production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors in honor of the composer’s eighty-fifth birthday, recorded on video for international release. He also performed the world premieres of Derek Bermel’s The Good Life with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Hannibal Lokumbe’s Dear Mrs. Parks with the Detroit Symphony. His twenty-year collaboration with the late jazz legend Dave Brubeck has taken him to Salzburg, Vienna and Moscow in performances of To Hope! He performed Brubeck’s Gates of Justice in a gala performance in New York.

Kevin Deas recorded Wagner’s Die Meistersinger (Decca/London) with the Chicago Symphony under the late Sir Georg Solti, and Varèse’s Ecuatorial with the ASKO Ensemble under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Other releases include Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Handel’s Acis and Galatea (Vox Classics); Dave Brubeck’s To Hope! with the Cathedral Choral Society (Telarc); and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Virginia Symphony and Boston Baroque (Linn Records). Dvorák in America (Naxos), features Mr. Deas in the world premiere recording of Dvorák’s “Hiawatha Melodrama” and the composer’s own arrangement of “Goin’ Home” with the PostClassical Ensemble.