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In our last Q & A session with our auditioning conductors, we are proud to introduce you to Rei Hotoda, Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Hotoda will conduct our season finale on Saturday, May 6th.

In collaboration with the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative, The San Luis Obispo Symphony has been invited to participate in a test performance of the new edition of George Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Already scheduled as a highlight of the Symphony’s Classics in the Cohan season finale on Saturday, May 6th, the new edition will be played by virtuoso pianist and rising star Ji (known widely for his recent Android commercial), accompanied by the Symphony and conducted by Maestro Rei Hotoda. The orchestra will play from a freshly printed score and parts edited by Timothy Freeze (bio available) and completed and tested by the U-M Gershwin Initiative. Tickets for the performance are available at

Lansdowne comes from the Abilene Philharmonic where she oversaw restructuring and growth of the organization. The San Luis Obispo Symphony welcomes Catherine Lansdowne as its new Executive Director starting April 3, 2017. 


John Astaire earned his Doctor of Music in Percussion Performance from Indiana University. He has performed with several ensembles across the country, including the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Kylix Contemporary Music Ensemble Aguava New Music Studio, Felix de los Ingenios Early Music Ensemble, and Keith Brion's New Sousa Band. He has also been a frequent member of the Mozart Festival and Festival Mozaic orchestras. As an educator, John teaches Percussion at Cal Poly State University, and coaches young percussionists with the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony. Originally from California, his primary teachers have included timpanist Gerald Carlyss and percussionist Kenneth Watson, under whom he also studied Hungarian cimbalom. 


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