RELEASE: Ankush Kumar Bahl takes the helm of the Omaha Symphony as music director for the first time with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7

American pianist Aaron Diehl to be featured as guest artist performing Gershwin, Still

OMAHA, Neb., September 9, 2021—Officially kicking off his inaugural season as music director of the Omaha Symphony, Maestro Ankush Kumar Bahl takes the podium at the Holland Performing Arts Center’s Peter Kiewit Concert Hall to share a program of quintessential American symphonic masterpieces and one of Beethoven’s most beloved contributions to the canon, his Symphony No. 7 in A Major. He is joined by the masterful Aaron Diehl, a specialist in American piano works, as the featured guest artist. Bahl is the 13th music director of the Omaha Symphony, succeeding Music Director Laureate Thomas Wilkins after Wilkins’ 16-season tenure.

“I couldn’t be more excited to begin my time in Omaha with this fantastic program,” said Maestro Bahl. “It includes both a nod to our artform’s rich history with Beethoven’s towering 7th symphony and our exciting future by featuring America’s foremost living composer, John Adams, with “The Chairman Dances” from his opera Nixon in China. It is an honor to follow the legacy of Maestro Thomas Wilkins as I begin my tenure as the music director of the incredible Omaha Symphony. I look forward to many years of connection with the audience and innovation of the concert experience as the Omaha Symphony steps into a new era, continuing to lead the way as one of this country’s finest orchestras. We can’t wait to share this beautiful music, and we hope to see you there!”

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 26 at the Holland Performing Arts Center Peter Kiewit Concert Hall.

Performance Details:

Friday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 26 at 2 p.m.

Holland Performing Arts Center Peter Kiewit Concert Hall

Ankush Kumar Bahl, conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano

ADAMS: “The Chairman Dances” from Nixon in China
GERSHWIN: Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra
STILL: Out of the Silence for Piano and Strings
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

About Aaron Diehl

Pianist and composer Aaron Diehl transforms the piano into an orchestral vessel in the spirit of beloved predecessors Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner and Jelly Roll Morton. Following three critically-acclaimed leader albums on Mack Avenue Records—and appearances at such historic venues as Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Village Vanguard and New York Philharmonic—the American Pianist Association’s 2011 Cole Porter fellow now focuses his attention on his forthcoming solo album and ongoing curation of Black American composers programming with emphasis on William Grant Still. A Juilliard graduate, Aaron has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Philip Glass and GRAMMY award-winning artist Cecile McLorin Salvant. He recently appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra as featured soloist.

About Ankush Kumar Bahl

Ankush Kumar Bahl is currently the 13th Music Director in the Omaha Symphony's 100-year history. He is recognized today by orchestras and audiences alike for his impressive conducting technique, thoughtful interpretations, and engaging podium presence. In concert, he has left The Washington Post “wanting to hear more” and has been praised by The New York Times for his “clear authority and enthusiasm” and ability to “inspire.” His recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orchestre National de France, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) Summer festival engagements include the Copenhagen Philharmonic at Tivoli, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, and at Wolf Trap with the NSO.

A protégé of former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur, Bahl served as his assistant conductor at the Orchestre National de France from 2008-2011. From 2011-2015, he served as the assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In addition to Maestro Masur, Bahl is fortunate to count Jaap van Zweden, Zdenek Macal, Christoph Eschenbach, David Zinman and Gianandrea Noseda among his mentors.

Ticketing Information

Tickets for Bahl Conducts Beethoven 7 start at $20. Tickets can be purchased by visiting, through the Ticket Omaha app, or by calling Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606. Student rush tickets are $10 and can be purchased one hour before the performance. Performance dates are subject to change. In the event of performance changes or cancellations, the Omaha Symphony will email ticket holders to inform them of new dates and ticketing options. Patrons with questions may email The Omaha Symphony also regularly posts performance updates at, along with the Omaha Symphony’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Patrons can sign up for the latest updates at

Public Health Information

The safety of our patrons, musicians, staff, and community is the Omaha Symphony’s priority. The Omaha Symphony continues to work closely with the Douglas County Department of Health and our partners at Omaha Performing Arts and UNMC to ensure the safety of all involved in the Omaha Symphony’s return to live performances. All patrons will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to accessing their mobile tickets via the Ticket Omaha app. Masks are required at indoor Omaha Symphony performances. The following changes have been implemented within the venue:

  • Enhanced Cleaning & Sanitation - Electrostatic technology disinfecting large common areas, enhanced sanitizing of high touch surfaces with hospital grade disinfectant and hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue
  • Heating and Cooling System – Upgrades to air handling units includes bipolar ionization filtering out viruses through ventilation
  • Staff and Patron Precautions – Staff, volunteers and patrons are required to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status.
  • Touchless Experience – Tickets are accessible via the Ticket Omaha app. Tickets can also be printed at Will Call by request. Program notes will be delivered digitally.

Find the most up to date public health information at

This performance is sponsored by Omaha Steaks.

The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to Masterworks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education and community engagement programs touch the lives of more than 40,000 people each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402-345-0606 or visit Programs, artists, dates, times, prices, and availability are subject to change.