Violinist, Yevgeny Kutik, Makes Debut with EPSO

Violinist Yevgeny Kutik
Makes Debut with El Paso Symphony Orchestra
Performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

El Paso, TX — On Friday, October 18, 2019 and Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:30pm, Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), makes his debut with El Paso Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.  Led by Music Director Bohuslav Rattay, the program also features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad Symphony.” Both performances begin at 7:30pm at The Plaza Theatre.

“Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is one of the crown jewels in our repertoire for good reason,” says Kutik. “The melding of Russian sound, soul, folk music and virtuosity into one epic work is unparalleled, and I’m thrilled to make my debut with El Paso Symphony Orchestra to perform it.”

This concert will also feature a special collaboration with the Tom Lea Institute to present a unique multimedia experience incorporating Tom Lea’s iconic WWII paintings, sketches and photos of his time as the first embedded artist correspondent for WWII. These elements will be synched with the powerful last movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad Symphony.”

Concert ticket prices are $46, $41, $35, $22 and $16 plus fees.  Student tickets for $9 and $12 plus fees are available.  Tickets may be purchase at,

or by calling the EPSO office at (915) 532-3776.

The October 18 & 19 EPSO concerts are generously sponsored by the Helen of Troy.  Yevgeny Kutik is underwritten by Judy & Kirk Robison.

ABOUT THE SOLOIST: Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart. The album garnered critical acclaim and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times.

In 2019, Kutik launched a new commissioning and recording project titled Meditations on Family via Marquis Classics. He commissioned eight composers to translate a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble, envisioning the project as a living archive of new works inspired by memories, home, and belonging. Each track was released digitally weekly, and the full EP CD, produced by four-time Grammy winner Jesse Lewis, was released on March 22, 2019. Strings Magazine featured Kutik and Meditations on Family as its cover story for the March/April issue. Kutik’s other recordings include his debut album, Sounds of Defiance (Marquis 2012), and Words Fail (Marquis 2016), both released to critical acclaim.

Yevgeny Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella. For more information, please visit

THE TOM LEA INSTITUTE presents a unique multimedia experience incorporating Tom Lea’s iconic World War II paintings, sketches and photos of his time as the first embedded artist correspondent for WWII.  Using state-of-the-art editing techniques, special effects, and animation, Tom Lea’s art will be portrayed as never before. Synched with the powerful last movement of Shostakovich’s Leningrad symphony, viewers travel with Lea over 100,000 miles as an eyewitness to WWII.  Tom Lea provided insight into his approach as an artist correspondent, “I went out to the war as a reporter.  I absolutely was not going to do anything that I didn’t see and know-because I was there to record it, not as I thought it should be or not as an object of art.”  His painting “The Price” hung in the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon for many years, as a reminder of the cost of the decisions made.

For Lea, it all began early in March 1941.  Life’s Dan Longwell, then the magazine’s executive editor, who had been impressed by Lea’s illustrations for J. Frank Dobie’s “The Longhorns,” decided to see what Lea could do for a story the magazine was planning to run on the 1st Cavalry Division. As Lea describes it: “ World War II came riding a horse right up in front of my studio door, dismounted, and put a foreshadowing finger on my easel in the spring of 1941, ten months before Pearl Harbor.  The March winds were blowing through the Pass, howling across the boondocks, rattling sand in grainy blasts against my studio window the day a totally unexpected telegram came from New York.  It was signed by a stranger, with an identifying tagline “Editorial Staff Life Magazine.”  It was a query.  It asked if I would take a commission to make a drawing of a typical cavalry trooper and his mount, to fit a story feature Life was doing with the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Bliss.”

Tom Lea went on to become the most prolific and published artist correspondent for Life Magazine during WWII.

ARTFUL PRELUDES: Yevgeny Kutik will join EPSO Music Director Bohulav Rattay at the El Paso Museum of Art for a discussion and sampling of the El Paso Symphony October concerts on Thursday, October 17, 12pm.  Artful Preludes is presented in collaboration with the El Paso Museum of Art is free and open to the public.  Attendees are welcomed to tour the museum prior to or after the program.

LEARN MORE:  Join EPSO prior to each performance at Opening Notes, 6:30pm in the Philanthropy Theatre, to get insights on the program, composers and artist.

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Artful Preludes: Thursday, October 17, 12pm, El Paso Museum of Art (Free)
Opening Notes:
Friday, October 18 & Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6:30pm Philanthropy Theatre (Free)
“Four Guitars”

Friday, October 18 & Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:30pm Plaza Theatre

El Paso Symphony Orchestra
Bohuslav Rattay, Conductor
Yevgeny Kutik, Violin
Tchaikovsky Concerto for Violin, op. 35 in D major
Shostakovich Symphony No. 7, op. 60 in C major “Leningrad Symphony”

Tickets: $46, $41, $35, $22, $16 and $9 and $12 for students plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchase at, or by calling the EPSO office at (915) 532-3776.


89 Years and Going Strong!

EPSO celebrates its 89th Anniversary

The longest continuously running symphony in the state of Texas!

 Opens season with The Music of ABBA “Dancing Queen”

 El Paso, Tex - As the oldest performing arts organization in El Paso and the longest continuously running symphony orchestra in Texas, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra (EPSO) has spearheaded cultural activities in El Paso for 89 years. To celebrate this significant milestone, EPSO will open the season dancing to ABBA’s greatest hits at its 89th Anniversary Gala on Friday, August 23, 2019, 6pm at the El Paso Country Club, followed by a concert on Saturday, August 24th at the Plaza Theatre, 8pm, featuring The Music of ABBA performed by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, full rock band and vocalists.

Tickets for the gala and concert are on sale now at, or call (915) 532-3776. In addition, tickets for the Saturday concert can be purchased at

EPSO’s rich history traces from a performance in December 1893. There were at least eight other attempts to bring symphonic music to El Paso before an orchestra was officially established in 1931. In the initial performance on January 26, 1931, H. Arthur Brown conducted his first concert with the El Paso Symphony at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. Brown remained as conductor until 1951.

Since then, EPSO has been under the baton of six conductors. In 1951, young Italian violinist and conductor Orlando Barera took over the podium for the next 20 seasons. The 41st consecutive season of the El Paso Symphony opened in October 1972 with William Kirschke leading for the next three seasons. On March 24, 1975, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra Association appointed native son Abraham Chavez, Jr. as the new Music Director and Conductor. Gürer Aykal succeeded Maestro Chavez in 1992.  Sarah Ioannides became EPSO’s first female Conductor in 2005. Following a 2-year search, Bohuslav Rattay was named EPSO’s Music Director starting with the 2013-2014 Season.

Since its inception, EPSO has made downtown El Paso its home, performing at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, Liberty Hall, Abraham Chavez Theatre and currently in the historic Plaza Theatre.

Today, EPSO is the largest arts nonprofit in the region, employing over 200 people per performance. It attracts 90,000 annually to its programs, which extend beyond the stage. It has presented and performed with renowned artists Yo-Yo-Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, Tony Bennett, Juan Gabriel and the Bolshoi Ballet to name a few.

EPSO acknowledges the rich diversity in our community and seeks to include people from every part of our community through varied concerts and events like the annual Pop Goes the Fort concert, with an audience of over 20,000; and sold-out performances of pops concerts with a rock twist, like the “Classical Mystery Tour” and “The Music of Queen.”

With a strong commitment to education and outreach, EPSO reaches over 40,000 children and students in the region every year. The longest-running EPSO education program, the El Paso Electric Young People’s Concerts, entering their 80th year this season, have introduced more than 750,000 5th grade students to live classical music in a fun, energetic and interactive environment. EPSO’s Brass in Class and Strings in Schools programs have been a presence in the classroom for over 40 years.

EPSO’s principal education program, the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras (EPSYOs), is celebrating its 14th anniversary. EPSYOs serves over 300 students annually and is open to all orchestral musicians ages 7 -23. EPSYOs continues to grow and serves its members’ diverse musical interests with programs like the Concerto Competition, the Chamber Music Program and a week-long Summer Camp. Students rehearse on weekends throughout the school year, with four schedule performances. In addition, EPSYO musicians participate in performances at the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, Alamo Drafthouse and with artists such as The Piano Guys and Lindsey Stirling.

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Tocando Music Project is an after-school program that currently provides music learning and performance opportunities to students in elementary through middle school. Students enjoy weekly classes, bi-monthly visits to the El Paso Museum of Art, UTEP Career Days, out-of-town overnight trips to week-long Summer Music Camps, and tickets to each EPSO Classical Concert for themselves and their families.  Students perform concerts at their home schools as well as various venues throughout the community and city including the Plaza and Chavez Theaters.

Tocando Music Project launched in September 2013 at Hart Elementary in downtown El Paso. In 2017, the Feeder School Initiative, Tocando has expanded to Guillen Middle School. Tocando now has students from 3 schools in Bowie High School’s feeder pattern: Hart and Aoy Elementary and Guillen Middle School. Tocando is supported through the PlayUSA initiative of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.

With a strong belief and commitment from EPSO’s Board of Trustees, conductor, musicians, staff and our community, EPSO will continue to flourish and create beautiful music in our culturally rich city,

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.