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When the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra opens its 1990 season Saturday evening at 8:15 in the Amphitheater, it will also mark the debut of the orchestra's new music director, Uriel Segal. The maestro is 46 and a native of Jerusalem. He has developed a distinguished career in Europe, including an 18-year association with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and several extended tours with the Philharmonia Hungarica. Truly an international artist, Segal is establishing a new orchestra in Osaka, Japan. His soloist at Chautauqua in Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto will be pianist Rudolf Firkusny, who made history in May by returning to his native Czechoslovakia to perform there for the first time in 44 years. The Prague concert, played for new President Vaclav Havel and a cheering throng, ended the voluntary exile through which he had been protesting the Soviet occupation of his homeland. Now 78, Firkusny is in the very front rank of international pianists, not only for his superb insights into the standard repertoire but also for his advocacy of the music of 20th century Czech composers Leos Janacek and Bohuslav Martinu. Maestro Segal will open Saturday's concert with William Schuman's "American Festival Overture" and will conclude his first concert as music director with Brahms' Symphony No. 4. -- Herman Trotter
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