April 5, 2023

Based on the Hawaiian creation chant and featuring vocalist Aaron Mahi, celebrating the ocean and calling for coral reef conservation


HONOLULU (March 17, 2017) — Artistic Advisor JoAnn Falletta returns in April to lead the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra (HSO) in “Ocean Dreams,” a concert showcasing the world premiere of Kumulipo Reflections, a symphonic tone poem celebrating the power of the ocean by Anders Paulsson and featuring vocalist Aaron D. Mahi, on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 2 at 4 p.m.

Paulsson’s evocative score, which captures the timelessness and beauty of the Hawai’ian landscape and seascape, is a symphonic reflection of the Hawai’ian creation chant Kumulipo, presented and uplifted with the HSO to a new audience. The HSO is also honored to spotlight acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho in performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in this concert that celebrates the power and beauty of the natural world.

“My intention as a composer is to create music that can inspire audiences to strengthen their commitment to environmental stewardship and also be symbols of understanding and reconciliation between cultures,” writes Paulsson. “When Narrissa Spies, a native Hawai’ian doctoral student at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, introduced me to Hawai’ian Oli and the poetic beauty of the Hawai’ian creation chant Kumulipo, it inspired me to conceive a tone poem as a symphonic reflection.”

Paulsson, who in addition to his work as an internationally-renowned composer is also a virtuoso soprano saxophonist and environmentalist, is graciously presenting Kumulipo Reflections as a goodwill donation to the Native Hawai’ian Community and the HSO. Kumulipo Reflections, which offers a rare fusion of music and environmentalism, is one of several works that Paulsson hopes will “inspire better Biosphere Stewardship globally and resonate with many other Creation legends throughout the World.”

During the creative process, Paulsson sought the mentorship of Mahi, former bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band, the HSO, and a cultural specialist. This fruitful collaboration evolved so that Mahi will perform the Kumulipo chant Ka Wa Akahi at the world premiere as the HSO reflects and embraces the creation epic from a Westerner’s perspective.

Jinjoo’s HSO debut offers concertgoers the opportunity to experience the energy, vitality and passion of one of music’s rising stars in performance of a masterwork celebrating life, nature and beauty, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. In its review of her recent performance in Montréal, the Times Argus writes, “Her playing had an undeniable charisma and depth … with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.” This praise is echoed the world over by critics and audiences alike, as they meet this dazzling newcomer for the first time in concert. Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of the Indianapolis, Jinjoo has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe, performing as a soloist with such prestigious orchestras as The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Argentina) among many others.

Tickets for “Ocean Dreams” range from $34 to $92 and are on sale now. For more information, call the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra Box Office (808) 94-MUSIC – (808) 946-8742 fromMonday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Support from the John Young Foundation has made this concert possible. Their generous funding comes from their efforts to support the arts in our community.

More About Jinjoo Cho
Critically acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho has established herself as one of the most vibrant, engaging and charismatic violinists of her generation. Jinjoo made her first appearance on the international music scene when she garnered the First Grand Prize and Radio Canada’s People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Montreal International Musical Competition at age 17. Since that time, she has been privileged to perform with renowned artists Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, James Gaffigan, Robert McDuffie, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping, and Anton Nel. She has appeared in international venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, the Herkulessaal of Munich, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Seoul Arts Center, Aspen Music Festival, Schwetzingen SWR Festipiele, Festival de Lanaudière, Cleveland Chamberfest, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Spring Chamber Music Festival, and Tongyeong International Music Festival. To learn more, visit jinjoocho.net.

More About Aaron D. Mahi
Aaron D. Mahi is Assistant Hawaiian Cultural Specialist for Partners In Development Foundation. He served in the position of bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band from 1981 to 2005, and associate conductor of the Honolulu Symphony from 1989 to 2009. In addition, he served as executive director for Waihona Mele No‘eau, a repository for the preservation of Hawaiian Music of the Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanākoa Foundation. Currently, Mahi also serves on the advisory board for the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame and judge of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i – Hawaiian Language for the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts, and the State of Hawai‘i Land Use Commission, a position he has held since 2014. Mahi maintains Hawai‘i’s choral music traditions as director of the Kamehameha Alumni Men Glee Club and is an active lecturer and arranger of Hawaiian Chorale music presenting lectures and arrangements for the: Kamehameha Schools Annual Song Contest, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs ‘Aha mele, Pan Pacific Choral Music Festival, Music Educators National Conference in chorale music held in Hawai‘i and the Association of O’ahu College and Community College Choral Festival.

More About Anders Paulsson
Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1992, Anders Paulsson has become widely recognized as one of the finest soprano saxophonists in the world. His musicianship has inspired a succession of more than 50 international composers to write solo concerti and chamber music for him. He has performed in major music centers such as Alice Tully Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Moscow International Performing Arts Centre and Kitakyushu Performing Arts Centre in Japan. In 2012, Paulsson was awarded the Royal Gold Medal Litteris et Artibus for his prominent artistic achievements as soprano saxophonist. As a composer, Paulsson was awarded “The Golden Clapperboard” for best original film music in 1994 together with Johan Söderqvist. From 2013 to 2014, Paulsson was Composer-in-Residence at the MIAGI Youth Symphony Orchestra in South Africa. In addition to his work as musician and composer, Paulsson is the co-founder of Coral Guardians, an organization that combines music and science to raise awareness about the world’s coral reefs and what is needed to safeguard them for future generations. To learn more, visit anderspaulsson.se.

Active-duty military ($20) and student rush ($13) discounts will be available for this concert beginning, Monday, March 27. Tickets must be purchased at either the Blaisdell Box Office or at the HSO Box Office in-person. Appropriate ID must be presented at the time of purchase. For more information, call the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra Box Office (808) 94-MUSIC – (808) 946-8742 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

About the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra

The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2011 and made its debut in 2012. The new HSO carries on the legacy of the Honolulu Symphony, which was founded in 1900 and performed for more than a century. The orchestra employs 84 professional musicians and presents classical masterworks, pops, educational and community programs.

The mission of the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra is to present the highest-quality performances of great music, bringing national and international distinction to the orchestra and its community; to delight and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and enhance the cultural vitality and quality of life in these Islands; and to operate in a financially sound manner.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.HawaiiSymphonyOrchestra.org. Share your Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra experience with the #HiSymphony hashtag on Twitter and Instagram @HawaiiSymphonyOrchestra and on Facebook: facebook.com/HawaiiSymphony.

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