Symphony Orchestra


Side by side gallery of violinists Sandy Yamamoto, Brian Lewis, Daniel Ching, and William Fedkenheuer.

Farkhad Khudyev, music director & conductor

Sandy Yamamoto    
Brian Lewis     
Daniel Ching    
William Fedkenheuer 

This concert will last approximately 60 minutes with one intermission.


Yevgeniy Sharlat     
Capriccio for Four Violins and Orchestra   texas premiere    
Allegro Ma non troppo
Sandy Yamamoto, violin    
Brian Lewis, violin    
Daniel Ching, violin    
William Fedkenheuer, violin


Omar Thomas  trans. Nicholas Urie    
Come Sunday   world premiere (transcription)    



Pietro Mascagni     
Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana


Zoltán Kodály     
Dances of Galánta    
Allegretto moderato    
Allegro con moto, grazioso    
Allegro Vivace


About the Program 

Program Notes by Mark Bilyeu, except Come Sunday by Penny Brandt. 

Yevgeniy Sharlat    
Capriccio for Four Violins and Orchestra    
BORN 1977, Moscow, Russia    
COMPOSED 2010    
PREMIERED September 13,  2010 in Riga, Latvia, Ainars Rubikis, conductor    
DURATION 12 minutes

Composer Yevgeniy Sharlat describes himself as “a Russian Jewish musician keeping it weird in Austin. As a composer, I am very interested in human communication through sound and movement. As a teacher, I strive to break down barriers.” Born in Moscow, Russia, Mr. Sharlat came to the United States as a refugee at age 16. He studied composition at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Yale University, and since 2005, has been on the composition faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Sharlat is a 2020 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow; whose other honors include the 2006 Charles Ives Fellowship from American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission. His 2010 work Capriccio was written for the Kremerata Baltica, and is based on material inspired by J.S. Bach’s English Suite, BWV 807, for harpsichord. In 2018, Sharlat crafted an updated version, premiered by Ensemble Quodlibet, which included the harpsichord.


Omar Thomas    
Come Sunday    
BORN 1984, Brooklyn, New York    
COMPOSED 2018    
PREMIERED November 15, 2018, Illinois State University Wind Symphony    
DURATION 11 minutes

Omar Thomas is an American educator, arranger, and composer. Born to Guyanese parents in New York, Thomas was appointed Assistant Professor of Harmony at Berkeley College of Music while studying there at the age of twenty-three and he is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Texas at Austin.  His music has been performed around the world, won numerous awards, and appeared on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Come Sunday was commissioned by a consortium that includes the University of Texas at Austin and is led by the Illinois State University Wind Symphony. The composer writes: 

Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive the word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration — the frenzied and joyous climactic moments when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the black musicians in wind ensemble who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own — I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!


Pietro Mascagni    
Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana    
BORN  December 7, 1863, Livorno, Italy    
DIED August 2, 1945, Rome, Italy    
COMPOSED 1888    
PREMIERED May 17, 1890, Teatro Costanzi, Rome, Italy    
DURATION 4 minutes

During the reign of Giuseppe Verdi as the king of Italian opera: grand operas that told stories of high-profile characters and Shakespearean tragedies, a young conductor and composer named Pietro Mascagni was being drawn to the verismo movement. This school brought the spotlight away from kings, queens, and mythological figures, and focused on the average, contemporary struggles of average, contemporary people (Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci about a circus clown is perhaps the most vivid example of verismo storytelling, and this annotator recommends S4 E9 of Seinfeld for the fullest verismo experience). Mascagni entered an 1888 competition to write a new one-act opera, using a libretto he commissioned by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci inspired by the play Cavalleria rusticana (Country Chivalry) by Giovanni Verga.  The 27 year-old Mascagni, beating out 72 other entries, was awarded first place, and his opera Cavalleria rusticana became an instant hit. The short two-scene work tells the story of the young peasant Turiddu, who has seduced (and then abandoned) Santuzza, choosing instead the married Lola. The intermezzo, played between scenes with a raised curtain, depicts the quiet Easter Sunday in the Sicillian town where the opera takes place. Based on the hymn tune heard earlier in the village church, the intermezzo has become Mascagni’s calling card, not only within opera audiences, but having been used in Martin Scorse’s Raging Bull, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Part III,  and even — as an hommage to Santuzza — in the HBO series The Sopranos.


Zoltán Kodály    
Dances of Galanta    
BORN December 16, 1882, Kecskemét, Hungary    
DIED March 6, 1967, Budapest, Hungary    
COMPOSED 1933    
DURATION 15 minutes

Galanta, a town along the railroad that connected Budapest and Vienna in modern-day Slokavia, was the childhood home of Zoltán Kodály, whose father was the stationmaster of the town. At this crossroads, the young Zoltán was exposed to the rich musical sononorites of the music of the Romani people, as he accounted (in the third person) “At that time there existed a famous [Romani] band...This was the first ‘orchestral’ sonority that came to the ears of the child.” These timbres — rich with violins, double basses, clarinets, a piano, accordion, panflute, and often a hammered string instrument — stayed with the young musician throughout his education which took him to Budapest and Paris. Kodály went on to be a leading figure in what is now known as ethnomusicology, traveling throughout some of the most remote parts of Hungary to record the music of those who lived there. He based much of his music on music he encountered throughout his studies (and it would be an oversimplification to say that Kodály’s art music was simply “artistic arrangements” of these melodies), and when commissioned by the Budapest Philharmonic Society to celebrate their 80th anniversary, he turned to an anthology of Hungarian folk songs published a century earlier. The five dances, presented without interruption, offer an array of Hungarian landscapes: from a band of street performers in the village to idyllic countrysides, and from military recruitment dances (yes, there was such a thing), to the sound of a lone clarinetist on a street corner.

About the Artists

Sandy Yamamoto headshot

Sandy Yamamoto

Violinist Sandy Yamamoto has dazzled audiences in concert performances around the globe for the past three decades as a soloist and as a member of the Miró Quartet. With the Miró Quartet, she performed on the major concert stages of the world, regularly concertizing in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.  As a member of the Quartet, she was a recipient of the Naumburg Chamber Music and Cleveland Quartet Awards, won First Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and was one of the first chamber musicians to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since leaving the Quartet in May 2011, she has been appointed Associate Professor of Practice in Violin Performance at the Butler School of Music.  She also founded the Butler Trio with cellist Joshua Gindele and pianist Colette Valentine. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Butler School of Music Teaching Excellence Award.





Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis

“There are a lot of fine violinists on the concert stage today, but few can match Lewis for an honest virtuosity that supremely serves the music,” reports the  Topeka Capital-Journal. Acclaimed performances include concerto debuts in both New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, among many others.  Awards for his musical contributions include the Instrumentalist Award by the 2014 Austin Critics’ Table, two Teaching Excellence Awards at the University of Texas, ING Professor of Excellence Award, Medal of St. Barthélemy (French West Indies), Texas Exes Teaching Award, Fredell Lack Award, Peter Mennin Prize, William Schuman Prize, Waldo Mayo Talent Award, and two Elizabeth B. Koch fellowships. He is also the artistic Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.






Daniel Ching with Violin

Daniel Ching

Daniel Ching, a founding member of the Miró Quartet, began his violin studies at the age of 3 under tutelage of his father. At age 5, he entered the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Division on a full twelve-year scholarship, where he studied violin with Serban Rusu and Zaven Melikian, and chamber music with Susan Bates. At the age of 10, Daniel was first introduced to string quartets.A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daniel studied violin with Kathleen Winkler, Roland and Almita Vamos, and conducting with Robert Spano and Peter Jaffe. He completed his Masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with former Cleveland Quartet violinist Donald Weilerstein. He also studied recording engineering and production with Thomas Knab of Telarc, and subsequently engineered the Miró Quartet’s first promotional disc. Daniel is on faculty at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches private violin students and coaches chamber music. He concurrently maintains an active international touring schedule as a member of the Miró Quartet.





William Fedkenheuer

William Fedkenheuer

William Fedkenheuer, widely respected for his roles as a performer, teacher, coach, and consultant, leverages over two decades of experience both on and off stage as a member of three internationally renowned string quartets (Miró, Fry Street, Borromeo). Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he claimed the title of Canadian National Fiddle Champion in 1989 before debuting as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic in 1994. Prestigious performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Esterhazy Castle, and Suntory Hall and his performances extend to global platforms, including NPR, PBS, NHK, and the Discovery Channel, as well as publications such as Strings and Strad magazines. William is also active as a consultant and professional development coach, drawing on a quarter-century of experience in the music industry and his unique set of tools. Married to violist Leah Nelson, William shares his passion for curiosity, hiking, burgers and chocolate with his two sons, Max and Olli. For further details, visit






Professor Farkhad Khudyev holds his conducting baton and looks into camera

Farkhad Khudyev

Farkhad Khudyev is the winner of the Gold Medal “Beethoven 250” at the 1st International Arthur Nikisch Conducting Competition; the Solti Foundation US 2018 and 2022 Career Assistance Award; the Best Interpretation Prize at the 1st International Taipei Conducting Competition; the 3rd prize at the 8th International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition; and the Gold Medal/Grand Prize at the 2007 National Fischoff Competition. Khudyev has worked with orchestras worldwide including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Monterey Symphony, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Xi’an Symphony Orchestra and the State Taipei Chinese Orchestra. Farkhad was born in Turkmenistan, where he studied at the State Music School for gifted musicians, and then completed his studies at Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory and Yale University. Khudyev serves as the Music Director of the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra in Austin, and the Orchestral Institute at the Hidden Valley Institute of the Arts in Carmel, California.


Symphony Orchestra


Mei Liu, concertmaster    
Benjamin Kronk    
Ellie Sievers    
Han Na Lee     
Bella Benrubi    
Kyle Adams    
Misa Stanton    
Na-Yeon Kim    
Oliver Fiorello    
Tina Zhao    
Jackie Shim    
Suhaas Patil    
Brandon Garza

VIOLIN 2    
Yebeen Seo    
Zichuan Wang    
Leah Streety    
Sui Shimokawa    
Danielle Najarian    
Suhyun Lim    
Thomas Gougeon     
Noah Briones    
Lamu Zhaxi    
Ivan Arras     
Chloe Yofan    
Jimmy Shim

Jason Lan, principal    
Anahit Matevosyan    
Emily Whitney    
Emmanuel Aguilera    
Casey Boyer    
Christine Le    
Gwanji Lee    
Dean Roberts    
Kendall Weaver

Katsuaki Arakawa, principal       
Aili Kangasniemi    
Tsz To Wong    
Madison Garrett    
Je-Shiuan Hsu     
Yilin (Selina) Xu    
River Maxfield    
Mika Syms    
Nicole Parker    
Daniel Meglino    
Javy Liu    
Saava Wagner     
Melody Lihou    
Johnathan Brodie    
Hudson Schill

Tony Sanfilippo, principal    
Andres Hernández-Labra     
Gonzalo Kochi Kikuchi     
Justin McLaughlin    
Kaitlin Ruiter    
Xingchang Ye    
Lucas Scott    
Mirabai Weatherford    
Sori Walker    
Patricio López-Castro

Elizabeth Ornduff 2    
Rebecca Huynh 4    
Sophie Maness 3

Caroline Ferguson 2    
Thomas Almendra 3    
Sara Brown 4

Gabriel Vaca 2    
Raghav Vemuganti    
Henry Landrum 3,4

Kody Harrington 2    
Jolie Hammerstein    
Isabella Perez 3    
Hiester, David 4

David Bennette

Ian Welch 2,4    
Dylan Marquez    
Madelaine Artman 3    
Garrett Cooksey    
Emily Quinn    
Dylan Marquez

William Paladino 2,4    
Rossi Leland     
Guillem Torró Senent

Brandon Reyes 2    
Jace Byrd    
Eric Garcia

Connor Korioth

Matt Garcia    
Marcos Jurado    
Seth Underwood    
Jaime Garcia

Karamihan, Kirsten

Yaping (Chloe) Lo

Xiaoyi Lin

1. Sharlat  
2. Thomas  
3. Mascagni  
4. Kodály

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April 19, 21, 26 &28 
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All University of Texas at Austin students are allowed one free ticket as long as they are available. Student tickets must be picked up at the Box Office with valid student I.D. Seating is unassigned.

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New Music Orchestra Strings