Hawaii Concert Society unveils new season

  • Courtesy photo Pianist Rachel Cheung is one of the performers during the Hawaii Concert Society’s 2019-20 season.
  • Courtesy photo The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is one of the presentations in the Hawaii Concert Society’s 2019-20 season.

Some of the world’s finest performers of classical music and dance have East Hawaii in their travel plans. They will be part of the Hawaii Concert Society’s 2019-20 season, its 58th, which begins in early October and runs through May 2020.

The season will consist of eight public performances, each beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center. As usual, the international artists who will perform range from many who already are acknowledged as among the world’s greatest, to gifted young artists who are just now achieving world recognition.


The season opens Oct. 2 with the piano duo of Soyeon Lee and Ran Dank, both Naumburg Award-winners, performing a concert of solo and four-hands music. The latter will include Schubert’s extraordinary “Fantasie,” which many would cite as the finest four-hand work ever written.

On Oct. 17, Trio con Brio Copenhagen will make its fourth Hilo appearance in the last dozen seasons. A highlight of the concert is sure to be the piano trio written during World War II by Dimitri Shostakovich. Much of his music was denounced by the Russian government and he lived in constant fear of imprisonment or worse, and yet he could not suppress his need to express musically his experience of the grotesque happening both in the world and in his country.

Two more chamber concerts follow. On Nov. 1, is the Baltimore Consort, perhaps the best balancing act in the baroque community of period authenticity, instrumental precision, and sheer fun will be performing early instrumental and vocal music of Scotland.

Later, following the New Year on Jan. 15, musicians of the distinguished Camerata Ensemble from Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will perform a concert of trios and quintets by Brahms and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

On Feb. 11, a Hilo audience will hear pianist Rachel Cheung, a finalist in the 2017 Van Cliburn Competition, who caught the hearts of music fans, winning the Audience Award, voted on by more than 20,000 attendees.

And then on March 11 the “superb” (New York Times) Calder Quartet from Los Angeles will perform, easily among the top tier of string quartets in the world.

The season concludes on May 12 with the Brasil Guitar Duo, praised for its gorgeous tone, rock-solid rhythm, and beautiful phrasing, and whose innovative programming seamlessly blends traditional works and music of the Duo’s native country.

For its dance concert on Jan. 21, the Concert Society and the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Department will jointly present, after a 14-year absence, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. This young and exceptional company now possesses a strong national and international reputation. Its repertoire continues to resonate with energy and eclecticism.

A season brochure providing additional information, as well as a ticket order form is now available. As in the past, season tickets may be ordered using the form in the brochure, or by using the order form at www.hawaiiconcertsociety.com.

Full season tickets are $168 for general admission, $136 for seniors (60+), and $72 for students; each is a 20% savings off box office and ticket outlet prices. Ticket orders for any custom-designed, mini-series of at least four concerts also may be specified on the form, and also are available at reduced prices.

The brochure and ticket order form, which have been mailed to past and present Society members, previous season ticket holders, and a large number of Hilo residents and businesses, are also available at www.hawaiiconcertsociety.com, or by phoning 990-2903.


To obtain tickets by return mail before the first concert, orders should be received on or before Sept. 20. Otherwise they may be picked up at the box office on the evening of the first concert on Oct. 2.

The Hawaii Concert Society thanks it members, Society Sponsors, and The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts for helping to make the 2019-2020 season possible.

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