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Beethoven's Eroica Opens HSO Season

How fitting that, on a weekend when 11 Connecticut residents become American citizens at a pre-concert naturalization ceremony, held at the Bushnell, HSO music director Carolyn Kuan — one of the 11 — conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 ("Eroica") and Egmont Overture, and "Revive," a concerto for shakuhachi (an end-blown flute) and koto (a traditional stringed instrument) by Japanese composer Yugo Kanno, with guest artists Kojiro Umezaki (pictured) and Masayo Ishigure.

The struggle to assimilate is often a heroic one; for years, Kuan, a Taiwan native, wondered if she'd arrive at this moment. Both Umezaki, a shakuhachi virtuoso who teaches in the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology program at the University of California, Irvine, and Ishigure, a master koto player and New York resident since 1992, transcend the highly localized origins of their respective instruments, recasting them into vehicles for universal expression. Somewhere above, Ludwig must be smiling.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Masterworks Series "Beethoven's Eroica" is at the Belding Theater at the Bushnell in Hartford on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 an 7, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. $35 and up. 860-987-5900 and hartfordsymphony.org

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