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Masterworks 5: Holly Rachs!

Masterworks 5: Holly Rachs!



January 20
January 21
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The Fox
1001 W Sprague Ave
Spokane, WA 99210 United States
View Venue Website

Holly Hyun Choe, conductor
Charlie Albright, piano

We welcome rising star Holly Hyun Choe to the podium as she leads the orchestra through works of drama and warmth with her unstoppable energy and charisma.

Britta Byrström
A Drama in the Air
*US Premiere*
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18
Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op.90



Holly Hyun Choe, born in South Korea and raised in Los Angeles, impresses with presence and radiance on the podium. From September 2020, she served for two seasons as assistant conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra under the direction of Paavo Järvi. During this time, she has already conducted the Orchestre de Paris, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, and the Festival Orchestra of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

In the 2023/24 season, the up-and-coming conductor continues the series of exciting debuts, appearing with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Musikalische Akademie Mannheim, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre national de Cannes. Furthermore, she will work as an Artiste Associée with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève for three years from the beginning of the season.

Holly Hyun Choe also has a close collaboration with the chamber orchestra Ensemble Reflektor, which has appointed her Principal Conductor in 2022 and sees itself as an ambassador of a borderless musical culture. In addition to their joint debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn in 2023, they will again give guest performances at the Elbphilharmonie as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and at the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

As part of her commitment to promoting women composers, Holly Hyun Choe regularly programs works by Clarice Assad, Grazyna Bacewicz, Lili Boulanger, Britta Byström, Louise Farrenc, Fanny Hensel, Jennifer Higdon, Jessie Montgomery, Emilie Mayer, Caroline Shaw, Ethel Smyth, Dobrinka Tabakova, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Galina Ustvolskaya.

Holly Hyun Choe recently completed her studies with Prof. Johannes Schlaefli at the Zurich University of the Arts. She began her musical journey self-taught: she learned to play the clarinet as a 13-year-old; she did not receive her first music lessons until she was 19. In 2015, she took a master’s degree with Prof. Charles Peltz at the New England Conservatory. She has attended master classes with Bernhard Haitink, Jorma Panula, Fabio Luisi (Concertgebouw Orkest), Peter Eötvös, Sylvia Caduff, and Jaap van Zweden, and has assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen (Orchestre de Paris), Leonard Slatkin (Orchestre national de Lyon), Simone Young (Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Opernhaus Zürich), François-Xavier Roth, and Karina Canellakis (Gürzenich-Orchester Köln).

In 2018, she was accepted into the German Music Council’s Forum Conducting grant; she has also been supported by a Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award, a Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, and as a participant in the Peter Eötvös Foundation Mentoring Program.


Hailed as “among the most gifted musicians of his generation” with a “dazzling natural keyboard affinity” who “made quite an impression” by the Washington Post, American pianist/composer/improviser Charlie Albright has been praised for his “jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality” by The New York Times, and his “extravagance that had showmanship but never felt cheap” with his “ease and smoothness that refuses to airbrush the music, but animates it from within” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and Gilmore Young Artist Award, Albright won the Ruhr Klavier Festival Young Artist Award presented by Marc-André Hamelin (Germany) and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In addition to performing, Albright is sought after as a speaker, masterclass instructor, teacher, and competition judge. His debut commercial recording, Vivace, has sold thousands of copies worldwide and the first two parts of a 3-part Schubert Series of live, all-Schubert recordings was released in 2017 and 2020. Charlie Albright breaks the “classical” rules of music by connecting with audiences like no other. Through his music, speaking, and unique improvisations that bring music to life, he crosses all genres…and makes it fun.

Albright regularly appears at major concert halls, festivals, and with artists of all genres worldwide. He is a frequently returning guest artist with such orchestras as the BBC Concert Orchestra (14-concert tour with Maestro Keith Lockhart, chosen as one of the “Best of the BBC 2015”); the Alabama, American, Baltimore, Bergen (Norway), Boston Pops, Buffalo, California, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Edmonton (Canada), Des Moines, Fort Smith, Houston, Kymi Sinfonietta (Finland), Lansing, Mobile, National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing, China), Omaha, Philly Pops, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, Victoria (Canada), and West Michigan Symphony Orchestras. He has performed worldwide, including at the Isaac Stern Auditorium main stage of Carnegie Hall (New York City); the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.); Symphony Hall (Boston); the Salle Cortot (Paris, France); the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Miami); the Kumho Art Hall (Seoul, South Korea); the National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing); and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center New York). In June 2023, Albright performed a Peace Concert with conductor Gum Nanse and the Korean Seongnam Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War’s Armistice Agreement.

Albright regularly shares the stage with artists from all genres, including vocalist/conductor Bobby McFerrin, violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Emanuel Ax, and Broadway vocalists Mandy Gonzalez, Scarlett Strallen, and Hugh Panaro. He has performed five times with revered cellist Yo-Yo Ma: at the honorary degree ceremony at Harvard University for Senator Ted Kennedy; at a 10th anniversary remembrance of 9/11; at the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison; at the Aspen Institute’s Citizen Artistry conference in New York; and with the Silk Road Project.

Albright’s compositions and improvisations have been likened to “the great Romantic-era composer-pianists” by Classical Source and have been praised as “thrilling” by the DC Metro Theatre Arts. The Philadelphia Inquirer raved that he “brought the art of classical-music improvisation to a new level.”

A firm believer in education, Albright founded the Charlie Albright Scholarship and Charlie Albright Piano in collaboration with the Centralia College Foundation in his hometown. The Scholarship provides financial aid to music students, and money was raised to purchase and maintain a new 9-foot Steinway Piano for the college’s Corbet Hall.

Winner of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts and named one of the “15 Most Interesting Seniors,” Albright was also named Artist-in-Residence for Harvard University’s Leverett House, a position last filled by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Albright’s numerous awards include First Prize in both Solo and Ensemble categories at the 2006 New York National Piano Competition; First Prize and all other awards offered at the 2006 Eastman International Piano Competition; Third Prize at the 2007 Hilton Head International Piano Competition; Semi-Finalist Award and Best Performance of a Work by Liszt in Stage I at the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition; and the Vendome Virtuoso Prize and the Elizabeth Leonskaya Special Award at the 2009 Vendome Prize International Piano Competition.

Born in Centralia, Washington, Albright began piano lessons at the age of 3. He studied with Nancy Adsit and earned an Associate of Science degree at Centralia College while still in high school. He was the first classical pianist in the Harvard College/New England Conservatory 5-Year AB/MM Joint Program, completing a Bachelor’s Degree as an Economics major and Pre-Med student at Harvard, and a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance at NEC, having studied with Wha-Kyung Byun. He graduated with the prestigious Artist Diploma (A.D.) from The Juilliard School, having studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky. Albright is an official Steinway Artist. For the latest information, please visit CharlieAlbright.com, Youtube.com/CharlieAlbrightPianist, Facebook.com/CharlieAlbrightPianist, and Instagram (@CharlieAlbrightPianist).

Ticket Information:

Tickets On Sale: Monday, August 14, 2023
Single Ticket Prices: $19 – $68
Phone: 509-624-1200
Box Office: Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 West Sprague Avenue

Health & Safety

As of today’s date, due to state mandate, the following safety protocols will be observed:

Proof of Vaccination or Proof of Negative Covid Test (within 72 hours): Not Required
Face Mask: Not Required
Policies are subject to change

Bag Policy

All bags (with the exception of clutches 6 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches) are subject to visual inspection by venue security.
Large bags are not allowed in The Fox, and must be checked in our Coat Check (located in the North Gallery) for the duration of the event.

Programs are subject to change