GR Symphony Music Director to conduct his pianist mother in “Chopin & Brahms”

Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, Marcelo Lehninger, is used to being in charge of shaping and guiding the music heard in DeVos Performance Hall. However this weekend he'll be conducting someone who shaped and guided his own life, his mother pianist Sonia Goulart, who's making her Michigan debut under the direction of her son.

Grand Rapids Symphony ends its 2018-19 season with “Chopin & Brahms” with Lehninger conducting his mother in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor.

Brazilian pianist Sonia Goulart, one of South America’s most prominent concert pianists, is Marcelo Lehninger’s mother. She’s been more active in Europe and South America than in the United States.

The Chopin piano concerto is one of Sonia’s signature works. In fact, it was the last piece she performed, when she was eight months pregnant, before Marcelo’s birth in October 1979.

Mother and son performed the concerto in April 2014 with the New West Symphony in Los Angeles. They recently performed it in 2017 in Brazil.


The performance with the Grand Rapids Symphony will be May 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Individual tickets start at $18, and $5 for students.

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