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Chopin & Shostakovich

Marcelo Lehninger, music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, joins your BPO for an homage to master composers across the ages. Beethoven’s powerful and dramatic Egmont Overture is a bombastic concert opener. Frédéric Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto is an expressive and technically mesmerizing poem for keyboard, performed by our guest conductor’s mother, the extraordinary Sônia Goulart. Finally, Shostakovich’s First Symphony is one of 15 he would compose over his long career, yet even in this early work, his characteristic sense of humor and intensity of expression shine.


Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Sônia Goulart, piano

BEETHOVEN  Egmont Overture
CHOPIN  Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor
SHOSTAKOVICH  Symphony No. 1 in F minor

About Sônia Goulart

Regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian artists, pianist Sônia Goulart has been awarded more than thirty national and international awards.

Born in Salvador, State of Bahia, Ms. Goulart moved with her family to Rio de Janeiro where began her musical studies at age of five.  Subsequently, she attended the National School of Music, where she studied piano under Elzira Amabile and graduated with Gold Medal.

Living in Europe for over eight years, Ms. Goulart studied with Bruno Seidhofer, Karl Engel and Stefan Askenase.  She has also taken classes with Carlo Zecchi at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where she was awarded the Summer Festival Best Pianist Prize, and with Yakov Sak at the Franz-Liszt Hochschule in Weimar.  Other mentors included Alicia de Larrocha and Mordehay Simoni.

Ms. Goulart performed at sold-out halls in many European countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Italy and Switzerland.  In Weimar, the newspaper Thuringer Landeszeitungpublished: “The palace hall was completely full; many could not get tickets.”

Appearing as soloist with major orchestras in Europe and South America, Ms. Goulart performed under the conductors Alexander Rumpf, Bernard Conz, Carlo Bagnoli, Felix Prohaska, Hubert Reichert, Jorge Sarmientos, Michael Spierman, Niclas Aeschbacher, Simon Blech, Stephan Gunzenhouser, Eleazar de Carvalho, Roberto Tibiriçá, Marcelo Lehninger, Yeruham Scharovsky and Isaac Karabtchevsky, among others.  She has released albums in Germany, France and Brazil, and has appeared on the cover of several European music magazines.

In Brazil Ms. Goulart keeps a very active performing career both as recitalist and chamber music player, and is frequently invited to appear as soloist with the country’s major orchestras. 

In the United States, in recent years, Ms. Goulart has performed in Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Grand Rapids and Keene.

Ms. Goulart holds a Doctor’s Degree from the Staatlich Hochschule für Musik und Theatre Hannover, Germany.  She has also been piano faculty at Germany’s Musikschule der stadt Marl and at the School of Music at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University.

About Marcelo Lehninger

Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger is in his seventh year as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony. In 2018, he brought the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, its first performance at the famed venue in thirteen years. He previously served as Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, for which the League of American Orchestras awarded him the Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Directors. For five years, Marcelo served as Assistant and then Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a tenure that included several concerts stepping in for James Levine in Boston and at Carnegie Hall.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Lehninger has led countless major orchestras in the United States including the Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh Symphonies, as well as the nearby Chautauqua Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic. He has appeared with numerous major Canadian orchestras including the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and Symphony Nova Scotia. European highlights include engagements with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre National de France, Lucerne Symphony, and a tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra assisting Mariss Jansons. He made his Australian debut with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies with his friend and mentor Nelson Freire as soloist.

Before dedicating his career to conducting, Mr. Lehninger studied violin and piano. He holds a Master’s degree from the Conductors Institute at New York’s Bard College, where he studied conducting under Harold Farberman and composition with Laurence Wallach. Other mentors include Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, and Roberto Tibiriçá. A dual citizen of Brazil and Germany, he is the son of pianist Sônia Goulart and violinist Erich Lehninger.


Friday, January 13, 2023
10:30 am
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Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States
(716) 885-5000

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