As the grand finale to the season, Robert Franz, Music Director of the Windsor Symphony and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Artistic Advisor of the Boise Baroque Orchestra, leads music by Ravel and Brahms. Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, a Nevada Chamber Music Festival favorite, makes his first appearance with the Orchestra in Franck’s Symphonic Variations, and joins forces with the University of Nevada, Reno Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers in Beethoven’s great Choral Fantasy.
This last concert of the season also marks the first concert of a series of six, each featuring a conductor finalist. Since the Spring of 2018, the Reno Chamber Orchestra has been engaged in a search process to find a new music director/conductor, only the third in its 45-year history. Out of over 150 applicants from around the globe, six finalists were chosen. Each finalist will conduct one concert beginning this month with Maestro Franz, and continuing into the 2019-2020 season. Audience members and musicians of the orchestra will be given a survey after each performance to share their feedback on the featured conductor. Who will lead the Orchestra for the 2020 season and beyond? The orchestra plans to make its decision and public announcement in the Spring of 2020. Read about the other finalists here…

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR

Robert Franz, guest conductor and music director finalist
Steven Vanhauwaert, piano
UNR Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers (Dr. Paul Torkelson, director)

Beethoven: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Franck: Symphonic Variations
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80



Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Singers led from the piano by Leif Ove Andsnes (from the BBC Proms 2015).


Robert Franz photo
Robert Franz

Robert Franz, a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator, is acclaimed by critics and composers alike. Current posts include Music Director of the Windsor Symphony and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Artistic Advisor of the Boise Baroque Orchestra. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, Franz’s recent appearances include the Cleveland Orchestra, the Baltimore, St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Victoria Symphonies, and Italy’s Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina. Recognized for his expertise on music’s impact, this season Franz gave a TedX Talk titled Active Listening and Our Perception of Time. 

As Windsor Symphony’s Music Director, Franz was recently presented by The Windsor Endowment for the Arts with its Arts Leadership Award. The WSO celebrated its 70th season last year and enjoyed its best year which included a record seven sold-out performances. Recent collaborations include the Windsor International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Windsor, and the Canadian Historical Aviation Association. This season showcases Franz’s programming versatility with concerts that include the Canadian premiere of Heather Schmidt’s Lunar Reflections, collaboration with the Toronto based, Kamancello, an ensemble dedicated to building bridges between western classical music and middle eastern music, along with the world premiere of Jordan Pal’s Scylla, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. 

Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Franz was honored with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership. It was presented in recognition of his immense success in advancing the organization’s educational and community engagement activities. Franz is also Founder and Music Director of the Idaho Orchestra Institute, an intensive experience designed for college and advanced high school musicians. 


Steven Vanhauwaert photo
Steven Vanhauwaert
Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his ‘impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique’, Steven Vanhauwaert has garnered a wide array of accolades, amongst which the First Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. Mr. Vanhauwaert has made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles performing the world premiere of Fratello, by Magnus Lindberg, and he was featured again in the Piano Spheres series at Disney Hall with a daring program consisting exclusively of 20th and 21st century etudes for piano, including special commissions by Veronika Krausas and Eric Tanguy. He also appeared as a soloist at the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, and the National Philharmonic of Ukraine in Kiev, amongst others.

His discography features Schubert, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Stravinsky, Ravel, Schumann, and Debussy, as well as a wide range of lesser-known composers. His albums Joseph Woelfl: The Paris Years (Sonarti Records) and Pensées Intimes (Hortus Records) were included in the Top 10 award on the Belgian radio and received 5 diapasons in France. His album Dispersion (Hortus Records) featuring works by Hindemith, Vierne, Casella, Schulhoff and a world premiere recording by Belgian composer Raymond Moulaert, received rave reviews in Germany, France, Holland, the UK and the US. Mr. Vanhauwaert is a Steinway Artist. Visit Steve’s website: