Symphony Orchestra

Concerto Competition Concert 2


Violinists playing in the UT Symphony Orchestra.

Farkhad Khudyev, conductor
Kevin Charoensri, featured composer
Maria del Pilar Pavlova, soprano
Hank Landrum, clarinet 
Ke-Yuan Hsin, guest conductor

This concert will last approximately 40 minutes without intermission.


Kevin Charoensri orch. Hiester
Rising Light
Ke-Yuan Hsin, conductor


Giuseppe Verdi
Pace, pace mio Dio from Forza del Destino
Maria del Pilar Pavlova, soprano


Aaron Copland
Clarinet Concerto
Slowly and expressively
Rather fast

Hank Landrum, clarinet


About the Program

Program notes by Mark Bilyeu except Rising Light by the composer

Kevin Charoensri
Rising Light
BORN 2003
COMPOSED July 2022
PREMIERED September 21, 2022 The University of Texas at Austin Wind Symphony,  Ryan Kelly, conductorTonight’s performance is the premiere of the orchestral version.
DURATION 10 minutes


In Spring of 2022, my mother asked me to walk with her to get groceries because she felt fearful of the violent, racist attacks on Asian American women across the country, such as the seven attacks on innocent Asian women in New York. From this, Rising Light, was born. I knew I had to say something with my voice I had been given, which was in music.Asian Americans are raised to stay quiet and be non-confrontational about issues, and I found it hard to break my shell in writing. I was scared to write moments too big, and often thought about scrapping the piece. Comments such as calling my music “too Asian” always got to my head, and I made sure I never used common Asian musical language or instruments in my music, such as a pentatonic scale or a gong in my pieces. I also wanted to incorporate the sounds of protest that I grew up with in my piece in the form of stomps and claps. The name, Rising Light, is inspired by the floating Lantern Festival in Thailand, where I was raised, where people write their fears, worries, and thoughts and send it off on a lantern. For me, writing this piece has felt much like that, being a place for me to vent and express all my emotions regarding this issue. Despite being disgusted and saddened by the surge of Asian hate, I wanted this piece to non-apologetically celebrate both the beautiful cultures I grew up in. While there are dark moments in this piece, I wanted this piece to celebrate the beautiful bi-cultural identity of Asian Americans.

— Kevin Charoensri                  

Giuseppe Verdi
Pace, pace mio dio from Forza del Destino
BORN October 10, 1813, Le Roncole, Italy
DIED January 27, 1901, Milan, Italy
PREMIERED October 29, 1862, Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia
DURATION 5 minutes

After a three-year battle between Giuseppe Verdi and the Italian censors over his opera “Un ballo in maschera,” the titan of Italian opera nearly called it quits. It was time for a break. In a letter to the Countess Clara Maffei, he wrote: “From ”Nabucco,” you may say, I have never had one hour of peace. Sixteen years in the galleys!” He was prolific: over the course of those sixteen years, he crafted twenty-two operas, and decided to pause. But, when a commission from Russia’s Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg presented itself, he couldn’t say no, and set out with his characteristic focus on his twenty-third opera, La forza del destino. Telling the story of how three characters’ lives become inextricably— and fatally— entangled, the work was an instant success (and yet, Verdi continued to make revisions six years after its premiere, with the 1869 version for La Scala now being the standard). “Pace, pace mio dio” is the fourth-act aria sung by Leonora, a noblewoman who has fled to a monastery to live a solitary life after the man she loved, Alvaro, shoots her father. Believing Alvaro has fled to America, her years of solitude have brought her no peace, she now only wishes for death.


Aaron Copland
Clarinet Concerto
BORN November 14, 1900
DIED December 2, 1990
COMPOSED 1947-1949
PREMIERED November 6, 1950,  NBC Symphony Orchestra, Benny Goodman, clarinet, Fritz Reiner, conductor 
DURATION 17 minutes

It was the mid-1940’s, and Benny Goodman was faced with a dilemma: how would he—the “King of Swing”— remain relevant as Swing music faded and rhythm and blues began to take hold. Goodman, already well-versed in the classical canon, decided to commission composers to write works for his own use. Stravinksy had already written his Ebony Concerto for the jazz clarinetist Woody Herman, and Goodman turned to Béla Bartók which resulted in his work Contrasts, and then to Aaron Copland who agreed to write a concerto for Goodman.  “I made no demands on what Copland should write,” Goodman later recounted, “He had completely free rein, except that I should have a two-year exclusivity on playing the work. I paid two thousand dollars and that’s real money [over $28,000 in today’s U.S. economy]. At the time there were not too many American composers to pick from... We never had much trouble except for a little fracas about the spot before the cadenza...” Copland crafted much of the concerto during a residency in Rio de Janeiro, which he cited as a major influence on the work, later telling his biographer it was “an unconscious fusion of elements obviously related to North and South American popular music (for example, a phrase from a currently popular Brazilian tune, heard by me in Rio, became embedded in the secondary material).” The concerto premiered on an NBC radio broadcast. Goodman took advantage of his two year exclusivity agreement, and performed the work many times, often with Copland conducting. Today, it stands as a staple of not just the clarinet repertoire, but of Copland’s catalogue: full sparse chords, atmospheric lyricism, and even a final, jazzy glissando.


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About the Artists

A headshot of Kevin Chanseroni

Kevin Charoensri

Kevin Charoensri (b. 2003) is a Thai-American San Diego native who now resides in Austin, studying music composition (BM) at the University of Texas at Austin.  Charoensri began writing music at age 12, and he has written works for band, orchestra, choir, chamber music, jazz, film scores, and pop music production in Los Angeles. Charoensri currently studies with Omar Thomas, Donald Grantham, Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Russel Podgorsek at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a junior and a piano principal, being the jazz pianist for the UT Jazz Bands. In September of 2022, Charoensri’s work “Rising Light” was premiered by the University of Texas Wind Symphony under Dr. Ryan Kelly. The piece was well-received and Charoensri’s work has had several performances at major universities. He has also been on several guest composer visits/residencies at schools including, but not limited to, UCLA, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M Commerce, Orange County School of The Arts, Cal State Fullerton, University of Delaware, and the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble.



a headshot of Maria Pavlova

Maria Del Pilar Pavlova

Native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, soprano Maria Del Pilar Pavlova made her operatic debut in Mexico City in 2012, performing as  “Gianetta” in L’Elisir D’Amore by Gaetano Donizetti. She later made her international debut in 2020 in the Austin production of Mussorgsky’s The Fair at Sorochyntsi. She has performed extensively in operas such as Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana, Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Mavra, Aleko, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the world premier of Matilde in Mexico. In 2023, Pavlova sang the lead role of the world premier Maria in the United States by living composer Josiah Garza. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently pursuing her Master of Music in opera performance at the Butler School of Music. Pavlova is considered to be among the most salient pupils of the internationally acclaimed Russian bass Nikita Storojev, a towering  and versatile opera figure.





Hank Landrum stands, holding his clarinet looking into camera

Hank Landrum

Hank Landrum serves as the Assistant Instructor of Clarinet at the Butler School of Music where he is also pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance. Previously, Hank has held fellowship positions with festivals such as Spoleto Festival USA, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Aspen Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, Sunflower Music Festival, Round Top Festival Institute, and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute. As a freelancer, Hank has performed with artists such as Kristen Chenoweth and Audra McDonald in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center. Hank frequently plays with the Colorado, Virginia, Omaha, Northwest Florida, Pensacola, and Temple Symphonies, the Dayton and Central Texas Philharmonics, and the Austin Opera. Hank made his solo debut with the Northwest Florida Symphony, performing Crusell’s Third Clarinet Concerto in May of 2017. His primary teachers have been Jonathan Gunn and Deborah Bish, although he also considers Joaquin Valdepeñas, Michael Rusinek, Laura Ardan, and Jonathan Holden some of his greatest mentors.



Portrait of Ke Yuan Hsin

Ke-Yuan Hsin

Ke-Yuan Hsin is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting at The University of Texas at Austin, studying under professor Farkhad Khudyev. He has served as teaching assistant and assistant instructor in the University of Texas Orchestra program since 2019, when he started his Master of Music degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Ke-Yuan has worked internationally as a conductor. He has worked with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, Lliria Symphony Orchestra, Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Orchestra Senzaspine, Williamson County Symphony Orchestra, University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, and National Chinese Orchestra of Taiwan, and received the Conducting Certificate at the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan Academy. Ke-Yuan participated in several international conducting masterclasses and studied with Daniele Gatti, Carl St. Clair, Luciano Acocella, Jerry Junkin, Larry Rachleff, Donald Schleicher, Rodney Winther, Yan Huichang, Paul Chiang, Apo Hsu, Annie Chung, and Tsung Yeh. Ke-Yuan has been the semi-finalists in both 17th Khachaturian International Conducting Competition and the 1st edition Lliria City of Music Conducting Competition.



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.


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Symphony Orchestra

Mei Liu, concertmaster 
Leah Streety 
Lamu Zhaxi 
Suhyun Lim 
Noah Briones 
Tina Zhao 
Jackie Shim 
Thomas Gougeon, principal 
Danielle Najarian 
Misa Stanton 
Oliver Fiorello 
Sui Shimokawa 
Chloe Yofan 
Jimmy Shim 
Yebeen Seo 
Emmanuel Aguilera, principal 
Dean Roberts 
Jingyi Song 
Gwanji Lee 
Christine Le 

Je-Shiuan Hsu, principal 
Javy Liu 
Katsuaki Arakawa   
Melody Lihou 
Madison Garrett 
Johnathan Brodie 
Nicole Parker 
Aili Kangasniemi 

JUSTIN McLaughlin, principal 
Tony Sanfilippo 
Xingchang Ye 
Gonzalo Kochi Kikuchi  
Patricio López-Castro 
Lucas Scott 
Sori Walker 
Mirabai Weatherford 

Jill Benway 1 
Elizabeth Ornduff  
Diego Arias 2
Ariana Chan 
Caroline Ferguson 1,2  
Thomas Almendra  
Gabriel Vaca 2 
Katelyne Nguyen 
Matthew Rockwell 1 
Gabriel Vaca  
Isabella Perez 
Joseph Nutt 1,2 
Thomas Klink  
Tom Klink

Chia-Ling Chiang   
Emily Quinn 1,2
Garrett Cooksey 
Madelaine Artman  
Guillem Torró Senent  
Jackson Wolf 
William Paladino 1,2  

Jace Byrd  
Josh Stout 1,2 
Eric Garcia  
Ben McWilliams  
Ethan Hall 2 
Margaret Parker  
Ruben Acuna-Gonzalez   
Sean Simpson 1 
Karamihan, Kirsten 
Yaping (Chloe) Lo
Jeanne Hourez 

Ke-Yuan Hsin 
Gabriela Mora-Fallas 
Zongheng Zhang 

1 Charoensri
2 Verdi
3 Copland
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Upcoming Events



An abstract geometric image for Austin Chamber Music Festival


28th Annual
Austin Chamber Music Festival

June 7 – July 14, 2024
Bates Recital Hall


Emerson String Quartet’s Philip Setzer with Sandy Yamamoto
Kronos Quartet’s Jeffrey Zeigler performing The Sound of Science
American String Quartet with Anton Nel
Peter Bay & Festival Chamber Orchestra
Takács Quartet with Michelle Schumann


Concerts take place at the Butler School of Music in Bates Recital Hall. 
$12 Student Rush tickets available for students of any age with a valid student ID.

details and tickets available at

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Event Status

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.

If you are a patron with ADA needs, please email and we will reserve ADA seating for you.

Event Types
Orchestra Streamed Online Strings

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