Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra: “Sensational Strauss”

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Location Amphitheater

$45, Gate pass or event ticket required

$45 General Admission
(Included with a valid Chautauqua Institution gate pass)

Rossen Milanov, conductor
Michelle Johnson, soprano


Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs
Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, op. 30

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is in his fifth 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.

Michelle Johnson, soprano

Soprano Michelle Johnson has been praised for her “extraordinary breath control and flawless articulation. Her voice is velvety and pliant – a dulcet dream.” In upcoming seasons, Johnsomakes a debut with Opera ColumbusKnoxville Opera and Opera Idaho singing the title role of Aida, Madison Opera singing Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana and International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia singing Alice Ford in Falstaff.

Johnson returned to Lyric Fest for “I Hear America Singing,” Sarasota Opera for Madame LidoineDialogues des Carmélites, Boston Landmark Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and made a debut with Columbus Symphony as soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem which all lead to rave reviews.

Past seasons included Leonora inIl trovatore, Hawaii Opera Theatre,Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Kentucky Opera, Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlosand title role Aida, Sarasota Opera, title role Manon Lescaut and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni,Opera Philadelphia, Mimi in La bohème, Annapolis Opera and PortOpera,Aida, Glimmerglass Music Festival and Opera Santa Barbara, Leonora in Il trovatore and Alice Ford in FalstaffOpera in the Heights, soprano soloist Verdi’s Requiemand Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9,Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9Boston Philharmonic, an all French Opera concert with Maestro Michel Plasson, Montpellier, France,soprano soloist in Vaughan WilliamsDona nobis pacem with Juneau Symphony, and anall Verdi concert with The Princeton Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Rossen Milanov.  She also performed the title role in the rarely performed Sakuntalawith Teatro Grattacielo, to very favorable reviews.  

A graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, she was seen as the title role in Suor Angelica, Leonora in Oberto, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the Countess in Capriccio, and Alice Ford in Falstaff.  Winner of numerous competitions, most notably Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Giulio Gari Foundation.