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ASU Symphony Orchestra welcomes visionary conductor Jonathan Taylor Rush

Rush will guest conduct final concert at ASU Gammage on April 22

ASU Symphony Orchestra seated mid-concert.

ASU Symphony Orchestra. ASU photo

April 18, 2024

Guest conductor Jonathan Taylor Rush will join Arizona State University’s Jason Caslor, director of bands, to lead the ASU Symphony Orchestra in their final concert of the season, “Trailblazers,” on April 22 at ASU Gammage.

Rush will conduct Florence Price’s “Symphony No. 1” with the orchestra.

During Rush’s nearly weeklong residency, he will present masterclasses and workshops for undergraduate music students and graduate conducting students.

ASU Symphony Orchestra final concert

7:30–9 p.m. April 22,
ASU Gammage

Tickets: ASU Gammage box office or Ticketmaster.

“Not only is Rush a consummate professional, but he is also a renowned teacher,” said Caslor. “We are very fortunate that he could bring his incredible talent to ASU and share his thoughts about a career in the arts with our students during his residency.”

An accomplished conductor with a substantial career, Rush is an advocate for living and underrepresented composers and infuses his performances with soul and passion, breathing new life into classical masterworks. Rooted in his musical upbringing within the church, Rush's approach to conducting is imbued with elements of gospel and soul music.

Rush has served as associate conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestras. He has made captivating debuts with renowned ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Nairobi Philharmonic, and many more, including his opera debut with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center.

The orchestra will also be joined by ASU faculty artist Miki Aoki, assistant professor of collaborative piano, who opens the concert with Amy Beach’s dazzling “Piano Concerto.”

Aoki is widely recognized for her diverse abilities as a pianist and collaborative artist. 

“Miki is a world-class artist/teacher and a wonderful person,” said Caslor. “Her knowledge of the Amy Beach Piano Concerto is second to none. Rehearsals have been both inspirational and a lot of fun.”

Aoki is a frequent guest artist in prestigious concert series and festivals around the world.

She began playing the piano at age 4 and made her debut at age of 12 at the Royal Festival Hall in London's South Bank Centre as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra. Aoki has performed as soloist with the National Symphony, London Soloist Chamber Orchestra, Hamburg Camerata, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Washington Sinfonietta and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.

The ASU symphony orchestra frequently collaborates with faculty and guest artists on their concerts.

“I love collaborating with guest artists and my colleagues here at ASU,” said Caslor. “Even more, I love sharing those collaborations with our students so they have the opportunity to enjoy making music as a collective group of artists.”

General admission is $12 at the ASU Gammage box office or Ticketmaster.

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