Barry Araújo Kolman brings energy and enthusiasm to the podium, making music that people—young and old—want to hear. THE SHENANDOAH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, where he has been Music Director and Conductor for the last 25 years, sells out regularly and attracts top notch musicians from as far as 100 miles away.
While he strives for musical perfection, Kolman does not believe symphony music needs to be stuffy and boring. His goal is to play music that appeals to the whole community tapestry, not just to music aficionados.
“With extraordinary vigor, spirited temperament, absolute exactness of instructions, and conviction of interpretation, Barry Kolman persistently demanded from the orchestra the same precision which successfully resulted in magnificent and colorful sound. The orchestra not only played on a high professional level but also attained new heights of musical artistry . . . ” (E. Dobrikin, Pravda, Kherson, Ukraine)
Off-stage, Kolman shares his message and his musical approach as an author. His book, The Language of Music Revealed (Universal Publishers), teaches readers how to read and write music, and as a result to understand and appreciate music more. He is also a recording artist with five CDs, all critically well-received. More recently, he has applied his musical talents to multimedia works, including film scores, notably The Planets, which features images taken by NASA’s Hubble Telescope.
A conductor for 35 years, including stops at Madison Symphony Orchestra of Virginia, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra of Minnesota, and Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, Kolman has made frequent guest appearances all over the world. Notably, he was the first western conductor invited to conduct in Baku, Azerbaijan; and he spent two years exploring the life, times, and music of Anton Rubinstein, which culminated in a special performance of Rubinstein’s music with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, including Rubinstein’s lost Third Symphony, which Kolman rediscovered and wrote out for the orchestra.
Dr. Kolman believes symphonies will always hold an important place in the musical and cultural landscape. To that end, through his conducting here and abroad, his work as a recording artist, and through his writing, Kolman remains committed to making orchestral music more approachable and more accessible to audiences around the globe.
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