CSO to perform for last time this season under Milanov’s baton

Maestro Rossen Milanov conducts the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 3 in the Amphitheater. The CSO has two more concerts this summer, but the performance at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amp will be Milanov’s last one for the 2023 season. HG Biggs/Staff Photographer

Sarah Russo
Staff writer

After 14 concerts, Music Director and Principal Symphonic Conductor Rossen Milanov is wrapping up another summer full of music at Chautauqua Institution. 

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will perform its final concert of the season under his baton at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater.  As with many of Milanov’s programs throughout the season, Saturday’s concert features strong programming themes and intersecting ideas. 

Representing some of the most original compositions created by composers from Latin America, the program begins with pieces by composers Alberto Ginastera and Arturo Marquez.

Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes features all the principal players of the symphony.

“Each instrument has a dedicated variation,” Milanov said. “For me, it is important to feature the individual players of our amazing orchestra on my last concert.” 

The final two works “represent the musical tradition of one of the most important musical centers: Vienna and the Viennese Waltz.” 

Regarding Johann Strauss’ “Tales from the Vienna Woods,” Milanov said that although the piece is overlooked and rarely performed, it is a “masterpiece full of enchanting melodies and rhythms.”   

Last, Richard Strauss’ The Suite from Der Rosenkavalier is a tribute to the waltz as the main soundtrack of Vienna in the last quarter of the 19th century. During one of his first visits to Chautauqua, Milanov performed the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier with the CSO.

“It is an uplifting finale of the concert,” Milanov said. “I hope that the audience would appreciate even more the quality, dedication and incredible musicianship of our Chautauqua Symphony. It is the most challenging program of the season, yet full of joy and celebration.” 

Reflecting on a season full of music from a wide range of styles and composers, Milanov said this season in particular has included “one of the richest, repertoire-wise” compared to years past.  

“I am so proud of all the performances,” Milanov said. “We are so fortunate to be here in Chautauqua and to have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of music together.”


The author Sarah Russo

Sarah Russo is a senior at Syracuse University studying broadcast and digital journalism. At Syracuse, she reports and hosts for CitrusTV and writes for The Daily Orange and Baked Magazine. Sarah also interned at the National Comedy Center last summer. When she’s not reporting, she enjoys being outside biking, swimming or reading. As a Chautauqua County native, Sarah is excited to work in a place close to home and her heart this summer. She will be covering the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Chautauqua Chamber Music Guest Artist Series.