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Brian Smith | Staff PhotographerGuest conductor Jamie Laredo congratulates cellist (and wife) Sharon Robinson for her performance on the world premiere of Michael Colina’s “Three Dances for Cello and Orchestra” with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Tuesday evening in the Amphitheater. The performance was the CSO’s last of 2013.

‘A Life-affirming way to say goodbye’: CSO premieres Colina’s ‘Three Dances’ in season’s final performance

Bestor Plaza had a melancholy air on the evening of the final concert of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s 2013 Season. Just a few children were playing, and quietly. There were good-byes to compose and memories to secure before the leave taking could start.

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Katie McLean | Staff PhotographerGuest conductor Markand Thakar leads the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra through its performance Saturday evening in the Amphitheater.

Thakar expertly guides CSO, Reagin through mix of outgoing, contemplative pieces

Saturday night, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra presented an exceptional lineup when they paired an introverted canonic jewel with two extroverted works from the 20th century. Audience members were treated to a well-designed program that gave the CSO an opportunity to display their stylistic expertise in both Manuel de Falla’s and Dmitri Kabalevsky’s boisterous works and Schumann’s gentle symphony.

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Roxana Pop | Staff PhotographerSolo pianist Roberto Plano performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Op 31 in C Minor, with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Thursday evening in the Amphitheater. Guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger guided the performance.

REVIEW: ‘Moments of beauty and delicacy’ mark Plano’s guest spot with CSO

Beethoven enthusiasts know that his compositions can be broken into three categories based on the mood they accomplish. Though Chautauquans heard two works Thursday night from his middle, or “heroic” period, the two Beethoven works spanned a wide range, credited to varying interpretation between conductor and soloist.

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Roxana Pop | Staff PhotographerA Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra violinist performs at a concert earlier this season in the Amphitheater.

‘An element of joy’: Conductor Thakar joins Concertmaster Reagin in transcendent Saturday CSO set

Markand Thakar transcends his sense of self when he conducts a piece of music.

“The process of making music, for me personally, actually transcends the emotion [of the music],” Thakar said. “It’s not about joy — there’s something that goes even further. I absorb the sounds, if they come to me in the right way and I’m open to them. … They wash over me. I take them in [and] I lose myself in the sounds — I lose that sense of distinction between me and the sounds. In that conscious act, I become the sounds.”

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Benjamin Hoste | Staff PhotographerThe Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performs Tuesday evening in the Amphitheater.

Plano on Piano: Soloist joins CSO, Lehninger tonight for Beethoven’s third concerto

Pianist Roberto Plano looks for something beyond perfection when he plays music.

He believes that every musician must strive to balance technical mastery with musical expression. A musician who is technically perfect but doesn’t have an artistic message is less musical than a musician who can play with emotion and vitality despite his or her mistakes, he said.

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Red-carpet treatment: Hollywood comes to Chautauqua with film-score favorites at tonight’s CSO pops concert

When people tell Richard Kaufman they want to be a film composer, he wants to know their favorite film score. Then he wants to know their favorite film score from the 1930s and 1940s, “the era of the greatest film composers who ever lived.”

Kaufman said the early years of film scoring was an era of the greats. Understanding where film scores come from and what they can do is vital for anyone hoping to write their own score.

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