In the Loop
General News : Feb 1, 2018

Dr. Raymond Chobaz revisits Switzerland in “Kiss of the Swiss Muse”

By Marissa Secades

This past January, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra presented Kiss of the Swiss Muse featuring the School of Music’s Dr. Raymond Chobaz as the orchestra conductor and Yefim Romanov (B. Mus. ‘11) as the guest soloist.

Chobaz was invited to conduct this concert by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s director and School of Music alumnus Matthew Wardell (M.M. ‘10). The concert featured music inspired by Switzerland, where Chobaz is originally from.

“All three composers featured on the program, Richard Wagner, Peter Ily’ich Tchaikovsky and Randall Thompson, wrote their compositions in Switzerland,” Chobaz said.

The program included Richard Wagner’s Entry of the Gods into Valhalla and the exciting Symphony No. 2 by Randall Thompson, a rhythmically extremely challenging piece, according to Chobaz.

Chobaz spoke with great pride about Romanov’s performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, which is believed to be inspired by the Swiss Alps.

“The audience, as was I, was completely taken by the virtuosity, stamina, professionalism and musicianship of our former UF student,” Chobaz said. “He had a thunderous standing ovation after every single movement at both concerts, something I have hardly ever experienced!”

Maestro Wardell, another former student of Chobaz’s, will lead the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s next concert, Youth, Nationalism, and A Hero’s Song, on Feb. 17 and 18.