HAMPTON ROADS, VA [May 17, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has turned their popular Young People’s Concert into a virtual experience this year, available through the end of June, to 12 public school divisions.


The program, which began in the late 1960s, traditionally serves 25,000 students in 12 school divisions throughout the Hampton Roads region. The recording is available to these school divisions: Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Southampton, Franklin, Williamsburg/James City County, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Gloucester. Conducted by Helen Martell, Music Director and Symphony Orchestra Conductor for the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, the concert features jazz pianist James Collins, as well as Virginia Beach local and GSA alum vocalist, Bridget Cooper.


The VSO partners with Carnegie Hall to provide schools with teacher guides, student activities, and classroom materials. Throughout the year, students learn to sing and play an instrument in their virtual classrooms, and then play and sing along with the Young People’s Concert recording. For most students, this is their first time seeing a symphony orchestra, and the opportunity to play along with the orchestra is an experience that leaves a lasting impact.


Kelly Dee, Hampton City Schools fine arts teacher specialist for music education, stated, “The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has shined brightly as a valued community partner, helping our music educators to overcome some of the challenges they faced during this pandemic school year. Our shared educational mission and work have provided many enriching opportunities that our students would not have experienced without their unwavering dedication to Hampton City Schools.”


“We were so glad to be able to continue our partnership with Hampton Roads teachers and students this year given all of the challenges presented by the pandemic. The VSO remained adaptable, and our musicians were flexible to ensure we could still effectively deliver our programs virtually. Music teachers have been incredibly innovative, and I look forward to incorporating the lessons learned and methods developed during this time to our future partnerships so that we can continue to provide valuable programs for students,” said Rebekah Geiselman, Education and Community Engagement Manager.


This year’s Young People’s Concert is generously funded by the following organizations: City of Norfolk, Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission, Southeast Virginia Community Foundation, Rouse-Bottom Foundation, Newport News Arts Commission, Portsmouth Museum and Fine Arts Commission, Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, Tidewater Children’s Foundation, Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, Williamsburg Community Foundation, Camp Foundation, VCA, and BCAS.


To view supplementary information provided by Carnegie Hall, visit




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 as it celebrates its 100th anniversary season in 2021.


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, prior to the pandemic the VSO and VSO Chorus presented 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 celebrates its Centennial year, the Orchestra and its legions of fans look forward with anticipation as the VSO concludes a worldwide search for its next music director.

For Immediate Release

May 17, 2021
Contact: Kristen Bennington,
Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411| email:

Twitter: @VASymphony

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.