Gershwin & Tao: A Dazzling 2016/17 LexPhil Season Finale

The Lexington Philharmonic closes the 2016/17 Season Series with Gershwin & Tao, an ambitious program featuring modern masterpieces on Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 7:30 PM at Singletary Center for the ArtsConrad Tao, this season’s Garbulinska Initiative artist joins the Lexington Philharmonic for George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.

“What a terrific way to close out this memorable season--with three works, highlighting the parallels of these three composers/pianists of Conrad Tao, Gershwin and Bartok. Conrad Tao is a wonderful artist, but we also get to see the brilliance of his composing as well, with the opening work titled Pángǔ. The Concerto in F is a tour de force for any pianist, and we can watch with amazement as Conrad thrills us with his mastery and insights. And last but not least, the Concerto for Orchestra of Bartok, a showpiece for any ensemble and a testament to the virtuosity and artistic growth of the Lexington Philharmonic. It will be a thrilling way to cap of this wonderful season.” – Scott Terrell, Music Director and Conductor

Making his return to Lexington, Conrad Tao will travel to Lexington as both a guest artist and composer. Conrad first performed with LexPhil when he was 14 in a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in c minor, Op. 35 during LexPhil’s 2008/09 Season. Opening the evening on May 12th, Tao’s vivid tone poem for orchestra, Pángǔ, will introduce his compositional dexterity. The composer was 18 when he wrote Pángǔ, a seven-minute work inspired by an ancient Chinese creation myth. It is rich, vivid music, effectively scored that sounds thoroughly American to the ear. Tao will treat audiences to his dazzling virtuosity in a performance of George GershwinPiano Concerto in F before intermission. As a staple in the orchestral repertoire, nothing is more American or more New York than Gershwin, whose Piano Concerto continues to be programmed around the world every year. As a work, it is not only thrillingly rhythmical, but extraordinarily sensitive in lyrical passages without being sentimental—a demanding work for the consummate musician. Closing the evening, the unmatched exuberance of Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra will finish off the 2016/17 Season Finale.

This program is made possible by the generous support of UK HealthCare and the Saykaly-Garbulinska Foundation.  The Saykaly Garbulinska Foundation funds the Saykaly Garbulinska Performer-In-Residence program whereby an artist is chosen annually in partnership between the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Healthcare’s “Arts-in-Healthcare” program and the Saykaly-Garbulinska Foundation to provide music programs and student education for UK and other healthcare environments. Further support for this year’s selection is provided by the Garbulinska Initiative, an endowment established in memory of Teresa Garbulinska, celebrated Lexington Pianist, to fulfill her passion for encouraging young artists by enabling the Lexington Philharmonic to engage and promote promising emerging artists of great talent.

“UK HealthCare has enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with the Lexington Philharmonic that has been very helpful in growing our own UK Arts in HealthCare Program, as well as in shaping a culturally rich community that helps us attract physician scientists, educators and researchers.” - Michael Karpf, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Kentucky / UK HealthCare®

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York. His accolades and awards include being a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a Young Arts gold medal-winner in music, a Gilmore Young Artist, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winner. Tao's career as composer has garnered eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI. In 2013, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra premiered Tao’s orchestral composition The world is very different now, commissioned in observance of the 50th anniversary JFK’s assassination and described by the New York Times as “shapely and powerful.” In September 2015, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia premiered his piano concerto An Adjustment, with Tao at the piano. The Philadelphia Inquirer declared the piece abundant in “compositional magic,” a “most imaginative [integration of] spiritual post-Romanticism and ‘90s club music.” A Warner Classics recording artist, Tao’s first two albums Voyages and Pictures have been praised by NPR, The New York TimesThe New Yorker’s Alex Ross, and many more.

Prior to each Season Series concert, guests have the opportunity to participate in an insightful discussion of the night’s events with Maestro Terrell during LexPhil’s Inside the Score. Each Inside the Score starts at 6:45 PM and is held in the President’s Room for concerts at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

Valet parking is available for $10 per car at the Rose Street entrance to the Singletary Center. Capacity for valet parking has been increased. Free parking is available in any E Parking Lot on the UK campus unless otherwise noted, as well as Parking Structure 5 located at 409 S. Limestone, with entrances on S. Limestone and S. Upper Street. A shuttle will run from Parking Structure 5 before concerts beginning at 5:30 PM and after concerts until 9:30 PM to return patrons to the parking garage. In consideration of UK Athletic events, please allow for extra time to locate parking before Gershwin & Tao.

Tickets to Gershwin & Tao range from $35-85 with $11 student tickets just before curtain, as available. Tickets will be sold at the best available advertised price until May 1st, 2017.

Prior to Gershwin & Tao, a pre-concert happy hour and dinner will be available for LexPhil patrons at the Boone Center on University of Kentucky’s campus with happy hour beginning at 5:00 PM and dinner seating beginning at 5:30 PM.  Dinner pricing is $28 per person with complimentary parking available. To make a reservation, please call The Boone Center at 859.257.1133.

For more information or to purchase tickets to Gershwin & Tao please contact the Lexington Philharmonic Box Office at 859.233.4226, or visit online at

The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audiences and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing. Through LexPhil’s four core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility, LexPhil will continue to move forward, artistically and purposefully, providing world-class musical experiences and impactful educational opportunities for the Bluegrass Region and beyond. 

Music Director of the Lexington Philharmonic since 2009, conductor Scott Terrell has transformed the orchestra with his imaginative programs, engaging presence, and determined passion for artistic excellence and viability.  An ardent champion of new music and diversity of repertoire, he is a visionary leader with a keen intellect for bringing context to the concert hall.   Adept in a broad range of repertoire from masterworks of orchestral canon, new commissions, opera, and works beyond the mainstream, this American conductor can, as critics have noted, “program works that entertain and educate, innovate with new works and revitalize the old.”


All Lexington Philharmonic programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. In 2016/17, the Lexington Philharmonic will receive a total of $170,000 in unrestricted support.         

LexPhil’s 2016/17 Season is presented by the Dupree Initiative for Innovation, funded by the tremendous generosity of Thomas and Ann Todd Dupree.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Philharmonic with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Saykaly Garbulinska Foundation, funder of the Garbulinska Initiative, generously brings innovative pianist Conrad Tao to LexPhil for its Arts-In-Healthcare partnership with UK Healthcare during the 2016/17 season.

Special thanks to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for its continued partnership in ensuring a flourishing future for the arts in Lexington and central Kentucky.