Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra: “Isbin and Italian”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Location Amphitheater

Gate Pass or event ticket required.

Purchase Tickets

Rossen Milanov, conductor
Sharon Isbin, guitar



Gioachino Rossini: Overture to William Tell   [12’]

John Corigliano: Troubadours   [23’]


Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major, op. 90, “Italian”   [27’]

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is in his third season as Music Director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra following two seasons of enthusiastic acclaim. He is also the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Princeton Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain.

Mr. Milanov has previously appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the BBC, Baltimore, Mexico, Indianapolis, New Jersey, North Carolina, Seattle, Oregon, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. His recent season highlights include Tchaikovsky’s critically acclaimed Alexei Ratmansky revival of Swan Lake in Paris with La Scala Ballet and in Zurich with the Zurich Opera, appearances with the Toronto, Colorado, Detroit, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Fort Worth, Aalborg, and National Symphony Orchestras, and his Link Up education projects at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Mr. Milanov has had the privilege to collaborate with some of the world’s finest artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, and André Watts. During his eleven-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Milanov served as Associate Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestra’s summer home at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.  

Mr. Milanov studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Bulgarian National Academy of Music. In addition to his musical achievements, Mr. Milanov is a passionate chef and frequently dedicates his culinary talents to various charities.

Sharon Isbin, guitar

Acclaimed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time,” multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls. Winner of the Toronto, Madrid and Munich Competitions, Germany’s Echo Klassik and Guitar Player’s Best Classical Guitarist awards, she created festivals for Carnegie Hall and NPR, and has appeared on All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, CBS Sunday and the cover of over 45 magazines.  She performed in Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed, at Ground Zero for the first internationally televised 9/11 memorial, the White House by invitation of President Obama, and as the only classical artist in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. Recent PBS performances include Tavis Smiley, the Billy Joel Gershwin Prize with Josh Groban, and the acclaimed documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour seen by millions on over 200 PBS stations across the U.S., and abroad including Europe, Japan and Mexico. Winner of the 2015 ASCAP Television Broadcast Award, the film is available on DVD/Blu-ray. Other recent highlights include a work commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall for its 125th anniversary and by Chicago’s Harris Theater, a concerto Chris Brubeck wrote for her, a 21-city Guitar Passions tour with jazz greats Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo, collaborations with Sting, performances with the Detroit, National and Montreal Symphonies, and sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.

Sharon Isbin’s latest recording, Alma Española with Argentinian-American opera star Isabel Leonard, is the first Spanish art-song album of its kind in over 40 years, and includes twelve world premiere arrangements by Isbin. Other recent #1 bestsellers among her more than 25 recordings include Sharon Isbin: 5 Classic Albums and Guitar Passions with guests Steve Vai, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, among others.  Her 2010 GRAMMY-winning Journey to the New World with guests Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor spent 63 consecutive weeks on top Billboard charts, and her Latin GRAMMY nominated concerto disc with the New York Philharmonic is their only recording with guitar. Many of the worlds finest composers have written for her, including Corigliano, Tan Dun, Rouse, Foss, Kernis, Tower, Shore, Schwantner, Rorem, Danielpour and Brouwer.

Isbin began guitar at nine in Italy, later studying with Andrés Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia and Rosalyn Tureck with whom she collaborated on landmark editions/recordings of the Bach lute suites. She authored the Classical Guitar Answer Book, and directs guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School, which she created in 1989. Visit: