Soprano soloist to perform with Millbrook Orchestra

March 10, 1999

Millbrook OrchestraBy MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

While performing in a football stadium is exciting, soprano Kathryn Hearden prefers the more intimate setting of a recital or chamber orchestra concert.

Hearden, 37, considers her performance of the national anthem several years ago at a Green Bay Packers home game in her native Wisconsin to be the most unusual of her career. The crowd numbered 57,000.

[cont. from lifestyle]

"It wasn't scary, really. I loved being there," says Hearden from her home in Alexandria, Va. She had to concentrate so the cold air wouldn't put more vibrato in her voice than usual, she says.


Hearden will be featured in a smaller arena - Frank Creative Arts Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va. - with Millbrook Orchestra Saturday, March 13, at 8 p.m.

She will perform solos in "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" by Samuel Barber, based on a poem by James Agee, and in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate."

Hearden says she suggested the Barber piece to Leo Driehuys, conductor and musical director for Millbrook.

"I've not had an opportunity to perform it professionally. It's such a marvelous piece. The poetry is incredible," she says.

The third concert of Millbrook's 20th season also will feature Domenico Cimarosa's "El Matrimonio Secreto (The Secret Marriage) Overture."

The final piece is "Symphony No. 1 in C Major" by Carl Maria von Weber, "a symphony that practically nobody knows," Driehuys says. He and his wife heard it for the first time recently on the radio.

"It's a delightful work," Driehuys says.

Some of Hearden's family will be with her during her performance with Millbrook. Husband Marcio Botelho is principal cellist for the orchestra and she is carrying their second child. Their son Paul is 4.

Hearden and Botelho met while performing chamber music together and have shared the stage on many occasions, she says.

Hearden attended Saint Norbert College in Wisconsin and received her master's and doctoral degrees from Eastman School of Music. She performs frequently in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.

You call this retirement?

Driehuys has led Millbrook Orchestra since 1995. He moved to Shepherdstown in the winter of 1994, expecting to settle into retirement after a 17-year stint as conductor of Charlotte Symphony in Charlotte, N.C. It must not have been his time to set the baton down forever.

Of the Millbrook representatives, Driehuys, 67, says, "They found me literally on the street." Millbrook's conductor at the time, Shinik Hahm, announced he was leaving and the group needed a new leader.

Driehuys conducted one concert, then some guest conductors followed. He was asked to take the post permanently, an offer he accepted in 1995.

Driehuys was born in The Hague in the Netherlands. He studied piano and oboe at Royal Conservatory of Music and began his career with Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. He was principal oboe with Dutch Opera Orchestra for nine years, according to the Millbrook Web site.

In 1960, Driehuys made his conducting debut with Netherlands Opera. He went on to conduct Netherlands Dance Theater, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Radio Chamber and Radio (Opera) Orchestras and Gelders Orkest in Arnhem, according to the Web. In 1977, he was named music director of Charlotte Symphony.

Upon retiring from the Charlotte post, Driehuys considered moving back to the Netherlands, but because his children and grandchildren were in the United States, he decided to stay.

-- Millbrook Orchestra concert at a glance

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