Reno Chamber Orchestra—Martin Majkut, Conductor, and Bella Hristova, Violin

~By Norm Robins~

The Reno Chamber Orchestra’s third finalist for Music Director is Maestro Martin Majkut.

Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), Majkut graduated from the State Conservatory and served as Assistant Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic while earning his Ph.D. in conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts. While studying, he worked with the Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic and Slovak Sinfonietta.

Majkut came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar in 2003 and earned a D.M.A., his second doctorate, in 2008, at the University of Arizona. He also studied with Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy and Salvador Mas Conde at the Wiener Meisterkurse in Vienna, Austria.

Maestro Majkut is in his 3rdseason as Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra in New York. Performing in a variety of ethnically diverse communities, the orchestra has expanded its season and is quickly gaining popularity in the dynamic borough of 2.35 million people.

Majkut has been serving as Music Director of the Rogue Valley Symphony (RVS) in Ashland, Oregon since 2010. The RVS has experienced a remarkable growth under his leadership. The 50th season of the orchestra, with five world premieres and a star-studded line-up of soloists.

Majkut’s first piece is the very short (2.5 min.), “Overture from Il Maestro de Cappella (the Master of the Chapel) by Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801). It is a melodic, lively piece. It is a good way to get a concert going.

His second piece is Alberto Ginastera’s “Variciones Concertantes”. It is a little bit longer at 22 minutes. Ginestera (1916-1983) was an Argentinian composer. He excelled at putting a modern spin on music of Argentinian folklore. The piece is vigorous and compelling.

Ilja Zeljenka’s “Musica Slovaca” is Majkut’s third piece. It is only 5 – 6 minutes but it is haunting, melodic, and beautiful. Like Majkut himself Zeljenka (1932-2007) was a native of Bratislava in what is now Slovakia.

He will conclude the concert with Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto” with a solo performance by acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova.

The Reno Chamber Orchestra will perform under the baton of Maestro Majkut Saturday, November 23rd, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, November 24th, at 2:00 PM at Nightengale Hall on the UNR campus. There will be pre-concert talks 45 minutes before each performance. Ticket information can be obtained at

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