Russian Romantics

January 26th and 27th, 2019

Join guest conductor Tigran Arakelyan and the Juneau Symphony as we explore the great Russian Romantics. The program features Capriccio Espagnol, the work of master orchestrator Rimsky-Korasakov and Capriccio Italien a piece inspired by Tchaikovsky's visit to Rome. The Russian composers explore the rhythms and melodies of foreign lands through masterful use of the orchestra. Young and talented flutist Reece Bleakley will join the symphony in a performance of Boccherini's beautiful flute concerto. The program will conclude with Alexander Borodin's energetic and impassioned Second Symphony.

Tigran Arakelyan, Guest Conductor

Armenian-American conductor Tigran Arakelyan is the newly appointed Music Director of the Northwest Mahler Festival, a summer festival for professionals, students and community musicians performing large scale works. He is also the Music Director and Conductor of Port Townsend Community Orchestra, Federal Way Youth Symphony and the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras. Previously, he was the assistant conductor of Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Northridge Youth Philharmonic and the associate conductor of Rainier Symphony. For three seasons he was a Senior Conducting Fellow with California Philharmonic which is comprised of musicians from LA Chamber Orchestra, LA Opera and other professional orchestras. Arakelyan was named a finalist for The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming and is a Bronze Medal winner at the Global Music Awards. Seattle Weekly described his interpretation of Beethoven's Symphony Nr. 1 as "confident, convincing, lyrically phrased, and excellent tempo". The Armenian Mirror-Spectator called him a “Rising Star”. 

Arakelyan's recent conducting engagements were with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Pops Orchestra, Centum Youth Orchestra (S. Korea), Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, Inverted Space Ensemble, and innovative collaborations with the Olympic Performance Group, Evergreen Choir, and Olympic Girls' Choir. He toured South Korea twice (2014, 2017) with the Federal Way Youth Symphony conducting over a dozen concerts from Seoul to Busan. Arakelyan initiated the Bainbridge Island String Orchestra Festival (2017) with award winning violinist Andrew Joslyn and the Port Townsend Chamber Orchestra (2018).

Arakelyan was the Music Director of Whidbey Island Orchestra (WA), Lark Musical Society Youth Orchestra (CA) University of Washington Campus Philharmonia, UW Summer Orchestra and the Founder Conductor and Artistic Director of Cadence Chamber Orchestra (WA). He has been instrumental in initiating innovative collaborations with composers, soloists, visual artists, dancers, and choirs. Arakelyan helped in creating youth scholarship programs, festivals, young composer competitions, and led orchestral performances at unconventional venues.

He conducted the Pacific Northwest premiere of Paul Hindemith Kammermuzik Nr. 1. Arakelyan has also conducted the Yakima Symphony Chamber Orchestra, University of California Los Angeles Philharmonia, Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts, Korean Music Association Choir (WA), U.W. Symphony, California State University Northridge Symphony, CSU Northridge Discovery Players, and the Nimbus Ensemble (CA). A strong advocate of new music, he premiered works by Iosif Andriasov, Stepan Rostomyan, Eleanor Aversa, Felipe Rossi among others. Recently, he commissioned a work by international award winning composer Yiğit Kolat.

Arakelyan played alongside Sir James Galway during his induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is a three time recipient of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Performing Arts Fellowship, Edward Hosharian Award, and the Armenian Allied Arts Competition (1st place), among others.  Arakelyan participated in the Conductors Guild Workshop, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, Idyllwild Music Festival, Dilijan Chamber Music Series, Seasons Festival Academy, and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. He conducted in masterclasses with notable conductors David Loebel, Frank Battisti, Donald Thulean, Ennio Nicotra, David Effron, Neal Stulberg, and Michael Jinbo.

Arakelyan received a Doctorate in Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Washington. His primary conducting studies are with Ludovic Morlot, David Alexander Rahbee, John Roscigno and flute studies with John Barcellona, Paul Taub, and Laura Osborn. Arakelyan played in flute masterclasses with Stephen Preston and Shigenori Kudo.​ Outside of conducting, he is the founder and host of Off the Podium Music Podcast where his guests are renowned musicians and artists.

Reece Bleakley, Flute

Reece Bleakley first expressed an interest in music as a three year old, dancing and singing  to Tom Jones in the family room of her home. At four, while visiting a local music store, her eyes came to rest upon a flute which caused her to declare to her father, "I want one of those!" Unbeknownst to her or her parents, Reece was too young, too small and too weak to pick up the instrument so she began with general music and piano lessons, under the instruction of local flutist Moriah Unzicker. At seven, Reece was given a flute headjoint and was told when she was able to blow through it and produce sound, she could start to learn to play her chosen instrument. That Christmas Reece received her first flute and she has been playing ever since. Reece has continued with the piano and picked up the saxophone four years ago and the clarinet two years ago with the intention of pursuing an education and career in music performance. Reece has studied the flute under Moriah Unzicker, Sandy Fortier, Stevi Spinka and Inga White. During her summers Reece attended the Carolina Summer Conservatory at the Univesity of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina;  the Philadelphia International Music Festival at Bryn Mawr in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Interlochen Summer Music Academy in Traverse City, Michigan and Idyllwild Arts Summer Academy in Idyllwild, California. She played with the Juneau Student Symphony from 2013-2017 and has participated in the pit orchestras for the Juneau Lyric Opera's performances of Man of La Mancha, The Orpheus' Project production of West Side Story and Thunder Mountain High School's production of Beauty and the Beast. Reece won the Juneau Symphony's Youth Solo Competition, Junior Division, in 2015 playing Telemann's Air a l'Italien, movement 3. Reece auditioned for and was selected as First Chair Flute in 2016 and First Chair Saxophone in 2017 at Southeast Alaska Honors Music Festival. She auditioned and was selected for The Alaska All-State Band on flute in both 2016 and 2017 and she earned a Superior rating, playing DeBussey's Syrinx, at the 2017 Southeast Music Festival during her solo adjudication. 

Reece is currently a junior at Thunder Mountain High School, where she takes as many music classes as her full schedule of honors and AP classes allows and holds a 4.0 GPA. In addition, Reece participates on the TMHS Cross Country team where she qualified for and participated in the state meet in 2017 and earned the teams Most Improved Award; and she participates on TMHS Track and Field team also qualifying for and participating in the state meet in 2017 running the 100m and the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays, running the anchor leg and helping her team set a new school record. Reece will be performing with the Juneau Symphony as the 2018 Youth Solo Competition Winner.