Thursday, March 26, 2009
the AUGUSTA SYMPHONY's newest conductor. Shizuo Kuwahara (what a cool last name) is the third conductor in the organization's history. his friends (which includes everyone in augusta) call him Z. he is an internationally recognized talent, winning first place at the Solti Competition this November. he also happens to be a truly nice guy. he was obviously Sandra Self's (the executive director of the symphony) first choice of the four candidates. during the day, which included a press conference, impromptu shoot, and reception, i was struck by his relaxed demeanor and rapport with his musicians. he seems to have a honest desire for them to have fun. he repeatedly ask that we take fun and creative shots - not the standard stoic poses so often associated with orchestral pics. another thing i found impressive was that he rarely wanted to be shot without the musicians. it gave me the sense that he valued them as integral parts of the team and not just "employees." i believe we will see a renewed sense of pride and ownership from every individual involved with the SYMPHONY under his leadership. BTW, he conducts (and talks) with his hands and NO baton. truth is - if he conducts music with the same passion that he talks about it - the SYMPHONY will be a powerful experience.
Z is pretty cool -