HAMPTON ROADS, VA [November 7, 2019] Popular conductor Benjamin Rous returns to Hampton Roads this month to lead the VSO in two exciting performances of music by Antonio Vivaldi and other masters of the Baroque era. On November 21, the Orchestra will perform at Regent University in Virginia Beach, repeating the program at Crosswalk Church in Williamsburg. Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.
The concerts will highlight the artistry of two prominent VSO musicians – principal cellist Michael Daniels and assistant principal cellist Rebecca Gilmore will be the featured soloists in Vivaldi’s electrifying Concerto for Two Cellos. Music of the Baroque era has enjoyed a major surge in popularity with the public and musical enthusiasts in recent years, and these performances will pay tribute to some of that era’s best composers, including Giovanni Pergolesi and Giuseppe Torelli, in addition to Vivaldi.
Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous served as the VSO’s Assistant Conductor beginning in 2010 and was named Resident Conductor in 2013. He became Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony in the fall of 2017, and simultaneously joined the UVA music faculty. Notable guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Long Beach Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony. In the summers he serves as faculty conductor of Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. An accomplished instrumentalist, Rous has concertized extensively on violin, viola, and keyboard instruments. He has served as guest principal 2nd violin with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he performed under the batons of Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding. He was a regular member of the Boston-area Arcturus Chamber Ensemble for a decade.
Michael Daniels began studying the cello at age 12 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and continued further studies at the Brevard Music Center, in Brevard, North Carolina. He later received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
While in Cincinnati, Mr. Daniels was a member of the Dayton Philharmonic and performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Pops. He has been a member of the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, a faculty member at the Brevard Music Center, and a participant in the Grand Teton Summer Music Festival. Daniels is also a founding member of the Adagio Trio (harp, flute, and cello), which has produced five seasonal CDs.
Rebecca Gilmore, native of North Carolina, joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1999. In 2010, Gilmore was broadcast live on NPR for a performance of Schubert’s Guitar Quartet with JoAnn Falletta.
In Hampton Roads, Gilmore has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Virginia Arts Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Consort.
Gilmore holds degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana and Rice Universities. Her teachers include Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Norman Fischer and Desmond Hoebig. As a teacher herself, Gilmore “carries the torch” by working with students throughout the Hampton Roads area through the VSO’s Community Engagement Program as well as maintaining a private cello studio.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit virginiasymphony.org or call 757-892-6366.
The Regent Classics Series is sponsored by Regent University. The Williamsburg Classics Series is supported in part by the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission.
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