Making his presence known

Gerard Schwarz conducts the Frost Symphony Orchestra in his Frost School premiere. Photo by Mitchell Zachs
By UM News

Gerard Schwarz conducts the Frost Symphony Orchestra in his Frost School premiere. Photo by Mitchell Zachs

Making his presence known

By UM News
Internationally acclaimed conductor Gerard Schwarz makes his Frost School debut to rave reviews.

The Frost School of Music and the South Florida arts community ushered in a new era this past Saturday when world-renowned maestro Gerard Schwarz made his debut conducting the Frost Symphony Orchestra as a member of the Frost School faculty.

Schwarz kicked off his Frost School career with a sold-out concert at the Gusman Concert Hall that began with Alberto Ginastera’s “Dances from Estancia” and, according to the South Florida Classical Review, made his presence felt “from the first notes.”

“With just three weeks of rehearsal (interrupted by campus closure due to Hurricane Dorian), Gerard Schwarz achieved exceptional ensemble playing beyond the student level,” the Review said. “The future of the orchestral program at UM looks very bright indeed.”

The enthusiastic concert patrons in the audience agreed, cheering their appreciation for the bright, rhythmic, and skilled opening they experienced under Schwarz’s baton. His premiere also featured Frost faculty artist Aaron Tindall, who played Samuel Jones’ Tuba Concerto with such rich expression and technical prowess that the Review said he made his instrument “sing as well as growl, capturing both the melodies and comedic verve of Jones’ tour de force.”

Concluding with Brahms’ masterful Symphony No. 2, the Review said Schwarz brought the student performers to a new level, with the strings playing “with a richness and depth previously unheard in a UM student ensemble.”

Calling Schwarz "a master musician and teacher," Frost School Dean Shelly Berg said, "the talented students of the Frost Symphony Orchestra are finding new depth in their own music-making under his leadership. As one of the most highly-acclaimed U.S. music schools, the Frost School of Music is poised for greater accomplishments with the addition of Maestro Schwarz."

In addition to UM President Julio Frenk and Dr. Felicia Knaul, UM Trustee Phillip Frost and his wife, Patricia, and UM Trustee Allan Herbert and his wife, Patti, the audience included some of South Florida’s leading civic leaders and music directors. Among them: Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and his wife, Susana; Mark Trowbridge, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce; Marta Perez, Miami-Dade County school board member; Sebrina Alfonso, conductor of the South Florida Symphony and symphony CEO Jacqueline Lorber; Huifang Chen, a Frost School alumna and conductor of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony; and David McClymont, CEO of the Palm Beach Symphony, where Schwarz will serve as music director.  

A champion of new music who is internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming, and extensive catalog of recordings, Schwarz joined the Frost School as professor of practice in the Department of Instrumental Performance this semester. The conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony and conductor emeritus of New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, he has recorded over 350 albums and received six Emmy awards, 14 Grammy nominations, eight ASCAP Awards, and numerous other accolades.  

For a complete listing of upcoming Frost Music Live concerts, including four more performances of Gerard Schwarz conducting  the Frost Symphony Orchestra, visit www.FrostMusicLive.com.