Mentor and Protégé

Saturday, October 7, 2017 • 7:30 p.m.
First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave W)

advance tickets: Brown Paper Tickets or 1-800-838-3006

Orchestra Seattle
Seattle Chamber Singers
Brad Cawyer, conductor
Amanda Opuszynski, soprano


Robert Schumann (1810 –1856)
Missa Sacra, Op. 147

— intermission —

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

About the Concert

Our season-opening concert recalls an event that indelibly influenced the course of classical music: young Johannes Brahms meeting Robert and Clara Schumann in 1853. Robert Schumann had produced more than a third of his published works during the previous three years, including a Mass in C minor (never performed in complete form until after the composer’s death). When Brahms appeared on the Schumanns’ doorstep shortly thereafter, Robert Schumann anointed him as “the chosen one.” Thirty years later, the protégé had become a master, composing his third symphony while looking out across the same Rhine that both inspired and afflicted his beloved mentor.

Please join us prior to the concert at 6:30 p.m. for a free “Behind the Music” discussion!

About the Conductor


Brad Everett Cawyer is emerging as a passionate and solid conductor following extensive training in Europe. Deep-founded musicianship is evident in his clear and engaging style, and his affable approach to working with orchestras inspires an atmosphere uplifting to performers and audience alike.

In addition to his tenure as music director of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra in Texas, Mr. Cawyer has continued his collaborations with ensembles throughout the United States. The 2016 –2017 season saw Mr. Cawyer return to the podium for Dallas’ Avant Chamber Ballet as the company brought back to the stage its commission of Chase Dobson’s Alice in Wonderland. He also worked with Voices of Change, the southwest’s premiere contemporary music ensemble, conducting music of Augusta Read Thomas. In the spring of 2016, he made his performance debut in the Pacific Northwest, leading subscription concerts for Rainier Symphony. In recent seasons Mr. Cawyer was assistant conductor to Rossen Milanov for the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and Symphony in C, and to Hans Graf for the Houston Symphony Orchestra’s semi-staged production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. He began conducting in Asia in 2013, making his debut there with the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Mongolia.

A native of Dallas, Mr. Cawyer conducts opera and orchestra, premiering new works for ensemble and for chamber orchestra, collaborating with composers of many cultures. In 2010, he created the Contemporary East & West International Music Festival in St. Petersburg to foster transnational collaboration in that multicultural city. His debut at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic led to an invitation to be the conductor for the St. Petersburg–based new-music ensemble Soundways. Before moving to Russia, Mr. Cawyer established the Texas A&M University orchestra, directing the ensemble for three seasons.

Mr. Cawyer holds diplomas from the St. Petersburg State “Rimksy-Korsakov” Conservatory (studying under Alexander Alexeev) and from Texas A&M University, completing post-graduate work at the University of Houston. He has conducted orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia in workshops and masterclasses with Marin Alsop, JoAnn Falletta, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jorma Panula and Helmut Rilling.

About the Soloist


Soprano Amanda Opuszynski, hailed for her “luscious,” “powerful” voice and “dazzling technical facility,” returned to Seattle Opera during the 2016–2017 season as the Dew Fairy/Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and made her Arizona Opera debut as Bess Erne in the world-premiere production of Riders of the Purple Sage. Notable past engagements include Frasquita in Carmen (Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Atlanta Opera, Pacific Symphony), Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos (Seattle Opera, Virginia Opera), Musetta in La bohème (South Dakota Symphony), Micaëla in Carmen (St. Petersburg Opera), Johanna in Sweeney Todd (Virginia Opera), Oscar in Un ballo in maschera (Boston Youth Symphony) and Nannetta in Falstaff (Virginia Opera). Ms. Opuszynski has enjoyed apprenticeships with the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival and the Wolf Trap Opera Studio. She is the winner of a prestigious Career Development Award from the Sullivan Foundation and Santa Fe Opera’s Lilian Caroff Meyer Award, and is a two-time regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Learn more:, @SopranoAmanda

Program Notes