HAMPTON ROADS, VIRGINIA (January 25, 2019) – Virginia Symphony Orchestra announces today its 2019-2020 Classics Series which boasts eight incredible weekends of favorite classics, world-renowned soloists, guest conductors and JoAnn Falletta in her 29th and final season as Music Director.
The season will be hosted by the Honorable Ralph S. Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam and the First Lady will be on hand for the season announcement at the Ferguson Center on Friday, January 25.
In September, JoAnn Falletta conducts Rachmaninoff’s famous Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini with pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk (gah-vee-LOOK). Gavrylyuk has been hailed as a “true inspiration” and “easily, the most compelling pianist of his generation” – whether in performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, concerts in Europe or the Far East. To close the evening, a rare treat: excerpts from Ravel’s music for Daphnis et Chloe, originally produced by the Ballets Russes.
The legendary Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Michael Tilson Thomas calls conductor Edwin Outwater “one of the most innovative conductors on the scene today.” Known throughout the world for reinventing the concert experience with major orchestras, Outwater will collaborate for the VSO’s performances in October with violinist, singer, and composer Caroline Shaw – who at age 30, was the youngest-ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013, and who enjoys a large following both on recordings and YouTube. Equally adept at interpreting the great masterworks, Outwater concludes the evening leading Brahms’ perennial favorite Symphony No. 4.
The VSO is back in December with the ever-popular Messiah. As legend has it, divine inspiration may have played a hand in Handel’s 1741 composition of what has become his most famous work. Not only did he write the massive score in just over three weeks’ time – there is a long-held story that the popular “Hallelujah” chorus was itself inspired by a vision of heaven and its angels revealed to Handel as he wrote it.
Glasgow-born conductor Douglas Boyd will lead the VSO in January 2020. Boyd enjoyed a stellar career as a world-renowned oboist, before stepping away after 21 years to begin an international career as conductor. Currently, Boyd is Music Director of the L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris as well as Artistic Director of the summer opera festival, Garsington Opera, in Buckinghamshire, England. Boyd has conducted all the BBC Orchestras, as well as orchestras throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States. For his debut performances in Hampton Roads, Boyd conducts Hector Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique, a romantic symphonic portrayal of the gifted artist’s challenges with unrequited love.
In February the VSO welcomes David Danzmayr to the podium. “Danzmayr has what it takes,” wrote The Chicago Tribune of David Danzmayr’s performance leading the Illinois Symphony. Last year, Danzmayr was appointed chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic – part of an extensive European career of concerts in venues like Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. One of his shorter symphonies, Mahler’s fourth is that last of his so-called Wunderhorn symphonies, all based on songs from The Youth’s Magic Horn – and is one his most popular and widely performed.
Chicago-born conductor Fawzi Haimor has established an extensive international career with some of world’s great orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, and just last summer, the Grant Park Symphony in his native Chicago. He is currently music director of the Württembergische Philharmonie. For his VSO debut in March 2020, Haimor celebrates the Centennial of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, along a first Hampton Roads performance from Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavarra – his popular Cantus Articus, or Concerto for Birds and Orchestra featuring birdsong recorded at the Finnish Artic Circle.
From the much-loved waltzes made famous in Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier, to Robert Schumann’s one and only piano concerto, JoAnn Falletta has chosen a wide-ranging program of classics to show-off the orchestra and soloist in late March 2020, including French pianist Prisca Benoit – known for a refined pianistic touch with a wide range of countless colors. Benoit continues the Orchestra’s collaboration with Sentara Healthcare’s “Music and Medicine” Program. The Schumann concerto will be recorded for later release as a CD.
Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor Eric Jacobsen returns to the VSO in May of 2020 to lead one of the 20th century’s tour de force masterpieces – Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with his innovative and collaborative programming, and in addition to the Shostakovich, Jacobsen will conduct the beautiful Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, with violinist Alexi Kenney, a recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.”
JoAnn Falletta finishes her final season as Music Director with a history-making performance celebrating Beethoven’s 250th Year, in performances presented by the Virginia Arts Festival May 15-17, 2020. For these concerts, Falletta will be joined by renowned pianist Olga Kern, who will perform Beethoven’s well-known “Emperor” Concerto. Kern is the recently appointed Connie and Mark Jacobson Director of Chamber Music for the Arts Festival. Following intermission, Falletta will be joined by four soloists and full VSO Chorus for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the “Choral” Symphony.
Season tickets are available in packages of eight concerts at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Chrysler Hall in Norfolk and the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach and range in price from $180 to $790. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale in July. Season tickets are available by calling VSO Patron Services at 757.892.6366 or visiting virginiasymphony.org/subscriptions.
As the region’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organization, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to challenge expectations and push the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be – even as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2020.
At the heart of the VSO’s narrative is innovation. In 1991 the VSO made a very bold move in appointing the gifted young American conductor JoAnn Falletta as its music director. Since then, the orchestra has received national attention for its unique mission serving a home area of 1.7 million across the diverse communities of southeastern Virginia. Through appearances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and commitment to adventurous programming, the VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.
As the largest arts performing organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events to educate, enlighten and entertain more than 100,000 residents and visitors each year. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. As it approaches its Centennial year, the Orchestra and its legions of fans look forward with anticipation as the VSO conducts a worldwide search for its next music director.
2019-2020 Virginia Symphony Orchestra Classics Season at a Glance
Programs, artists, dates and venues are subject to change
Opening Night! Rachmaninoff and Ravel
Friday, September 13, 2019 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, September 14, 2019 |8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
JoAnn Faletta, conductor
Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe Suites 1 and 2
Brahms + Pulitzer Price Winning Composer
Thursday, October 24, 2019 | 7:30PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, October 26, 2019 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, October 27, 2019 |2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
Edwin Outwater, conductor
Caroline Shaw, composer/voice/violin
Beethoven: King Stephen Overture
Caroline Shaw: Other Song
Caroline Shaw: Red, Red Rose
Caroline Shaw: “Lo” (Violin solo)
Brahms: Symphony No.
Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 7:30PM | Regent University, Virginia Beach
Friday, December 20, 2019 | 8PM | First Baptist Church Newport News
Saturday, December 21, 2019 | 8PM | Harrison Opera House
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Friday, January 24, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, January 25, 2020 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, January 26, 2020 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
Douglas Boyd, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Mahler Symphony No. 4
Friday, February 21, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, February 22, 2020 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, February 23, 2020 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
David Danzmayr, conductor
Maureen McKay, soprano
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Friday, March 6, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 8PM | L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center, Norfolk
Sunday, March 8, 2020 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
Fawzi Haimor, conductor
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello
Joshua Cerdenia: Feuertrunken (Fire-Drunk)
Elgar: Concerto for cello
Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus, op. 61 “Concerto for Birds and Orchestra”
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919)
Stauss Rosenkavalier Suite
Friday, March 27, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, March 29, 2020 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Prisca Benoit, piano
Bantock: The Witch of Atlas
Schumann: Piano concerto
Strauss: Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome
Strauss: Rosenkavalier Suite
Friday, May 8, 2020 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Saturday, May 9, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Sunday, May 10, 2020 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Alexi Kenney, violin
Anna Clyne: Masquerade
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
Beethoven “Emperor” and Symphony No. 9 “Choral”
Friday, May 15, 2020 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, May 16, 2020 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, May 17, 2020 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach
Olga Kern, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Beethoven: Emperor Concerto
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January 25, 2019
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Thursday, August 29, 2019 | Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, Williamsburg | 7PMSaturday, August 31, 2019 | Yorktown Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown | 7:30PMSunday, September 1, 2019 | Chesapeake City Park, Chesapeake | 7:30PM Grab your picnic baskets and lawn chairs and settle...
Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 31st Street Park, Virginia Beach | 7:30PM Neptune Festival's Symphony by the Sea Concert Series, presented by The Breeden Company, is back for its 9th year, and is better than ever! Located in 31st Street Park at the Virginia Beach...
Sunday, September 8, 2019 | Scope Arena, Norfolk | 4:30PM Join the VSO in a celebration of brotherhood, unity, and peace in remembrance of 9-11. Created in 2017 in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, this annual event embraces our community’s cultural...
Friday, September 13, 2019 | Ferguson Center For the Arts, Newport News | 8PMSaturday, September 14, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PMSunday, September 15, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM To launch her final season as Music Director,...