Music Director Carolyn Kuan was a featured guest on WNPR’s “Where We Live” with Catherine Shen. The interview is now available to stream online.

Throughout the conversation, Carolyn frequently returns to the compelling question of why we do what we do. She shares her personal journey, from her opportunity to come to the US to her initial interest in investment banking. She reflects on her inquisitive nature and how, unlike investment banking, music sparked a curiosity that led to more questions and a drive to make a difference.

Carolyn speaks candidly about her experiences and vision for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO). In Hartford, she found a supportive board and community that embraced her vision and values, particularly the importance of community engagement. She emphasizes the necessity of asking, “How do we serve our community?”—a question that has become increasingly challenging in a rapidly changing world.

She describes music as a counterweight to chaos, likening it to yoga or meditation—a way to step back and find balance. Carolyn highlights the HSO’s commitment to accessibility, from our welcoming culture where audiences can dress comfortably and clap freely, to our diverse range of concerts, including POPS, Harry Potter, classical performances, outdoor concerts, and even concerts with acrobats.
Carolyn also discusses the community engagement and conversations surrounding the upcoming “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” concert with Terrance Blanchard, showcasing our inclusive programming. She proudly mentions the HSO fellowship, an initiative to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in symphonic music.

Her hope is that artists strive for relevance and that the HSO continues to be a place where people can come together despite differences. This interview is a testament to her commitment to our mission to enrich lives and community through great music.
We encourage you all to listen to this inspiring interview and join us in celebrating Carolyn’s remarkable journey and dedication to the HSO.