50th Anniversary Season Guest Artists

In 2014-15, Hawaii Youth Symphony will feature a number of very exciting guest artists with our youth orchestras. Please see below for further information.

MAKANA & FRIENDS with Youth Symphony I & Henry Miyamura
He Makana O Na Mele: The Gift of Music • Nov. 23, 2014, 4:30 pm
Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom

MakanaDescribed as “dazzling” by the New York Times, Makana is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, and composer who is widely known for lending his musical talent for social change. Hi sguitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film, The Descendants.

A protege of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar legends, including Bobby Moderow Jr. and the late master Uncle Sonny Chillingworth, Makana has dedicated his life to perpetuating as well as evolving the traditional Hawaiian art form.

From this tradition, Makana has evolved his own dynamic, high-octane style, coined “Slack Rock”: slack key infused with elements of bluegrass, rock, blues and raga. Makana’s playing has garnered praise from guitar luminaries as Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and Pepe Romero (Spanish Flamenco Master). Makana is considered one of the “greatest living players” (Esquire Magazine) whose “instrumental brilliance bears comparison with the work of such groundbreaking acoustic guitarists as John Fahey and Michael Hedges” (Maui News).

The focus of Makana’s art is to celebrate the beauty of tradition while exploring new, relevant perceptions, sounds and themes. In hi music he often honors his forebears, the vintage Hawaiian music legends as well as the rock poet idols of the 60s, paying homage to the kupuna (leaders) who carry within their Beings the cultural wisdom passed down through generations.

Winners from the Aloha International Piano Festival & Competition
KERI HUI & Youth Symphony II;
SHIORI KUWAHARA & Youth Symphony I
Winter Concert • December 7, 2014, 4:00 pm • Blaisdell Concert Hall

(Bios & pictures coming soon)

with Youth Symphony I & Henry Miyamura
Spring Community Concert • April 12, 2015, 4:00 pm • Blaisdell Concert Hall

Ignace JangAn active soloist as well as chamber and orchestral musician, Ignace Jang serves as concertmaster of the Hawaii Symphony. His playing has received praise in the United States, Europe and Asia for its excellent sense of style, impressive musicianship, and uniquely beautiful timbre.

Born to Korean parents in Grenoble France, Mr. Jang began violin studies at the age of five. After receiving training, first from Flora Elphege and then from Gerard Poulet at the Paris Conservatory, he received a Premier Prix in 1985 and was the youngest laureate that year. His education continued under Franco Gulli at Indiana University. After receiving his Artist Diploma he was invited to be a visiting scholar there. Grand Prize winner of the 1989 Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition in Italy and with other prizes to his credit, Mr. Jang’s performing experience includes such venues as the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris and the Seoul Arts Center. He has also made solo appearances with the Colorado Symphony, the Versailles Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre Provence Alpes. Since 1991 he has been part of a violin/harp duo called Equinox. As a chamber musician he has also participated in the Modern Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado, and the Berlioz, Trieves and Chirens Festivals in France.

Conrad TaoConrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Conrad was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

During the 2014-2015 season, Conrad serves as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence, performing solo recitals, chamber music, and concertos. He continues his formidable globe-trotting career as a pianist with performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia, the San Diego Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony, among others. He also collaborates with the young musicians of the New York Youth Symphony, whose season he inaugurates in Carnegie Hall, and the Hawai’i Youth Symphony. In Europe, he will be returning to perform with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, and the Bern Symphony in Switzerland. He also performs recitals in Europe and throughout the United States with repertoire ranging from Bach to Toru Takemitsu to Julia Wolfe.

Conrad was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1994. He currently attends the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program and studies piano with Professors Yoheved Kaplinsky and Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard. He studies composition with Christopher Theofanidis.

THE BROTHERS CAZIMERO with Hawaii Youth Symphony
Aloha Concert Luncheon • May 17, 2015, 11:30 am
Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom

Brothers CazimeroThe Brothers Cazimero are consummate performers who have made their indelible imprint on the face of contemporary Hawaiian music. Their talent, longevity and sales success have placed them in a league of their own, untouched by any other performer in the history of Hawaiian music. The early 1970s were a remarkable time as the Hawaiian culture and music began an amazing resurgence in Hawai‘i. Leading the way down this amazing new path were The Brothers Cazimero, carrying a torch that sparked a new interest in music performed in the Hawaiian language with a contemporary sound that has never been duplicated. They are masters of their craft – their musicianship and stylish vocals blend to produce a style that is now part of the fabric of Hawaiian history. Their contribution to Hawaiian music and dance has continued to show outsiders to these islands as well as indigenous people how important these components are to the past, present and future of Hawai‘i.

The components of the past play an enormous role in all aspects of The Brothers Cazimero performances. Their presentation of the chants, dances and songs of their ancestors serve to honor those musicians, composers, teachers and elders who paved the way for what they are able to accomplish in Hawaiian music today. As they honor the past, so do they continually look to explore new music and dance forms while remaining true to their heritage.” Remarkable entertainers on stage, The Brothers Cazimero achieve a full-bodied sound that emanates from two traditional instruments, the acoustic bass and a twelve-string guitar.

Their music has been celebrated around the world and has been licensed for use in film, television and commercial projects, and was most recently featured in the hit movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Not only do residents of Hawai‘i find that this music has magical qualities, but visitors to these islands will take home multiple copies to use for relaxation as they get back in everyday routines, give to friends and relatives and as living souvenirs of their vacation to this island paradise. The Brothers Cazimero have taken the beauty of Hawaiian music and dance for encore performances in Carnegie Hall in New York City (including a performance with the New York Pops), Wolftrap and Hollywood Bowl, as well the World Expo in Brisbane, Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo; and annual performances in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle to sell out crowds. They have been guest stars each Christmas in always-sold out holiday shows with the Honolulu Symphony. The Brothers Cazimero’s achievements are not limited to recording and stage. National television credits include the Today show, PM Magazine, Good Morning America, Real People, Jim Nabors Special from Hawai‘i, the Miss America Pageant and the Dolly Parton TV special from Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i TV has produced numerous specials about their career and they have been part of almost every musical showcase that has been broadcast from Hawai‘i. Their musical talent, incredible showmanship and infectious humor have bridged cultural gaps that naturally exist with ethnic music and dance. The aloha spirit that remains an integral part of their entertaining, whether live, on records or TV, is spreading throughout the global village and with it, a better world is possible.