January 27 - 28, 2024

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Principal Guest Conductor Raymond Chobaz leads a breathtaking program featuring some of the most iconic works by Hungarian and Romanian composers. From Miklós Rózsa’s hauntingly beautiful Hungarian Nocturne, to Liszt’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 2 with internationally renowned pianist Andreas Klein, and the thrilling Dances of Galánta by Zoltán Kodály, this concert promises to be an unforgettable experience for all.

Matthew Wardell, Music Director | Raymond Chobaz, Guest Conductor

Join us for the Hungarian Pictures Add-On Dinner Experience before the concert on Saturday and after the concert on Sunday!


Sponsored by:







Andreas Klein

Andreas Klein


Featured in “Hungarian Pictures” in January.

German Pianist Andreas Klein has distinguished himself as a dynamic and compelling performer with his command of a wide range of tonal colors and imaginative interpretations. The New York Times declared him “A fascinating artist with all the indispensable qualities: temperament, taste, touch, tone, the four T’s of pianism” and “A pianist who makes silences sound like music”. Andreas Klein’s career as orchestra soloist and recitalist has taken him to the world’s most prestigious venues from London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, to Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center. In Europe as well as in the USA, Mexico, and the Middle East, he has gained critical acclaim for his performances in major cities such as Berlin, Rome, Milan, Bern, Leipzig, Dresden, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Damascus, and Mexico City.

His signature repertoire includes all Mozart and Beethoven Concerti. The Tagesspiegel in Berlin raved about his Mozart Piano Concerto KV 459 with the legendary Berlin Philharmonic: “humorous flamboyancy and impeccable technique, grace, melodious sound and plenty of brilliance Andreas Klein was invited to perform with other important orchestras in Germany, including the Berlin Symphony and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony, the later with which he was the first to premier and record Mendelssohn’s Concerto in A minor. MDR Radio’s broadcast of the Frank and Liszt Concerti with the Halle Orchestra received acclaim from listeners nationwide.

His CD releases have received praise by critics, conductors and presenters alike. Of his Beethoven and Berg album, the New York Times wrote: “Mr. Klein is an excellent pianist. In Berg’s Sonata the voluptuous haze was blown away: one followed the progress of every theme and motive as they steadily transformed themselves into a single architectural design”.

Andreas Klein is a graduate of the Juilliard School and complemented his studies with the legendary Claudio Arrau and Nikita Magaloff. Copies of his dissertation on the Chopin Etudes are in the libraries of the Chopin Society in Vienna and in Leipzig as well as downloadable form Rice University Library.

Represented by: Marianne Schmocker Artists International
marianneschmockerartists@gmail.com Tel/Fax: 631-470-0393 25 Madison St. , Huntington, NY 11743

Raymond Chobaz

Raymond Chobaz

Guest Conductor

Raymond Chobaz, Professor of Music and Conductor Laureate of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra

Raymond will conduct “Hungarian Pictures” in January.

Raymond Chobaz holds the Provost’s UF Term Professorship and is music director and conductor of the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra and conductor of Dance Alive National Ballet. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics summa cum laude, and a Master of Arts degree in music theory. As an International Rotary Scholar at the University of Utah, he received both a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting and a Ph.D. in music composition under Vladimir Ussachevsky. Post-doctoral studies allowed him to assist and work with Herbert Blomstedt in San Francisco, Kyrill Kondrashin in Amsterdam, Raphael Kubelik in Lucerne, Erich Leinsdorf in New York, Witold Rowicki in Vienna, Georg Tintner in Prague, and Pierre Boulez in Basel and Paris.

Chobaz is the recipient of numerous federal grants, scholarships, awards, and first prizes in both composition and conducting, which include the Leroy Robertson, Intercollegiate Bicentennial Composition Competition, Utah Composers Guild, Paul Sacher Stiftung, Martha Baird Rockefeller, Blomstedt International Conducting Award for Orchestral Performance and Symphonic Literature, the Beethoven Festival in Marienbad, and Czech National Opera and Radio Prague International Conducting Competition. As the top winner, he was invited to conduct all major symphony orchestras and opera companies in the Czech Republic and appointed conductor-in-residence of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the Marienbad International Music Festival with the West Bohemian National Orchestra, and the annual International Composition Workshop with the Olomouc Symphony Orchestra.

In recognition of his national and international accomplishments, Chobaz has received grants for Advanced Research in Music Performance from the International Research and Exchanges Board in Washington, D.C., US Department of Education, US Information Agency, US Department of State, US Army, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and International Symphonic Workshops, Canada. Additionally, he has received various grants from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, which included the official representation of the State of Florida with Dance Alive National Ballet at the International Ballet Festival in Havana, Cuba, Florida Sea Grant, a special Research Leave by the Office of the Provost to work with Prof. Richard Ernst, Nobel Prize Laureate, at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, and most recently, both a Distinguished Alumnus and Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Utah. This past fall, Dr. Chobaz has also been asked to take over the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra in Orlando.

During his tenure at the University of Florida, Chobaz has founded the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra and provided many new experiences for his students with internationally known artists, first-time ballet and opera productions, television and radio broadcasts, children’s and pops concerts, multi-media and interdisciplinary collaborations with painters, poets, writers, dancers, and ethnic ensembles, commissions and first performances that earned the orchestra an ASCAP Nissim Award for innovative programing.

Matthew Wardell, DMA

Matthew Wardell, DMA

Music Director

MATTHEW WARDELL (b. 1983)  is a conductor and teacher known for his quick wit, endearing presence in both pops and classical settings, and his incredible ability to bring joy and presence to any audience. His professional career as Music Director and Conductor of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra began in 2009. When Matthew was appointed Music Director of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra the Ocala Star Banner declared that, “Wardell brings an impressive resume of musical and conducting training … Maybe more important than his musical credentials is Wardell’s youthful enthusiasm and unabashed zest … Wardell is not only a daring and dynamic choice as the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s new conductor, but a smart one.” On the stage, he has publicly performed nearly 400 works in over 250 live performances including core orchestral works from all periods, concerti for voice and nearly every instrument, extensive pops offerings, film and multi-media works, and the purposeful inclusion of underrepresented composers and pieces. From the pit, Maestro Wardell has led 16 staged productions of large-scale opera, musical theatre, and ballet works including La Boheme, Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin, Cosi fan tutte, Sunday in the Park with George, Carmina Burana, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd. Matthew once conducted 2 performances of Puccini’s Tosca with only one day’s notice. The performances were hailed as “first-rate” and “inspiring.” His ability to step in at the last moment was described as a “magnificent feat … when the stakes were high, Mr. Wardell came through brilliantly and proved his mettle.”

In addition to his success on the podium and in the orchestra pit, Matthew has been responsible for more than $7 million in private fundraising, over $3 million in grant acquisitions from the local to national level, and the creation and successive expansion of the Reilly Arts Center, a 30,000 square foot Ocala, FL performing arts facility that houses a 700-seat mainstage theatre, the NOMA black box, and the Ocala Symphony Community Music Conservatory.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Wardell received his Bachelor of Music cum laude (2007) at the University of North Florida working under Charlotte Mabrey. Wardell continued his education by earning Masters of Music (2010) and Doctor of Musical Arts (2022) degrees at the University of Florida under his mentor, Dr. Raymond Chobaz. Matthew spent five summers at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock, Maine studying with renowned conducting teacher Michael Jinbo. Wardell has been fortunate to have been recognized as both an Osher and Quimby Family Foundation scholar. He is very proud to be part of the school’s long heritage of forming clear and dutiful conductors and considers Hancock a second home. In addition, Matthew has attended and participated in master classes with Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and BBC Orchestra, Thomas Cockrell of the University of Arizona, and studied with conductor and composer Peter WesenAuer in Salzburg, Austria.

Matthew is a champion of all kinds of orchestral music. He enjoys programming and conducting core repertoire arm and arm with pops and new music believing that good music is just that – good music. He is a member of the College Orchestra Directors Association and the American Symphony Orchestra League. He serves or has served on the boards of the Arts in Health Ocala / Marion, the Ocala Municipal Arts Commission (OMAC), and Young Professionals of Ocala (YPO). In addition to his musical pursuits, Wardell is passionate about being involved in the communities he makes music in. In 2015 was elected to Ocala’s City Council – a position he proudly held for 6 years. Wardell currently serves as the Interim Director of Orchestral Activities at Mount Holyoke College. He enjoys traveling, the good company of friends, and attending Jacksonville Jaguars’ games. Matthew and his wife, Pamela Calero, have one dog, Buckley, who is probably up to no good at this very moment.