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What about the music?

An inside look with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Highlight: Brahms & Dvořák with Thomas Wilkins

Eric Jacobsen, Virginia Symphony Orchestra Music Director

The Performers

Thomas Wilkins

Thomas Wilkins

Principal Guest Conductor

Thomas Wilkins is currently principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he holds the Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting at Indiana University. He recently stepped down after 17 successful years leading the Omaha Symphony and his guest conducting credits include every major American orchestra.

Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Mr. Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. He is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences.  Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, Mr. Wilkins received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards, for his significant contribution to music in the state while in 2018 Thomas Wilkins received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society conferred by Boston’s Longy School of Music.

Mr. Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He and his wife Sheri-Lee are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.

The Creators

Johannes Brahms

Lyrics to Schicksalslied:

Ihr wandelt droben im Licht,
Auf weichem Boden, selige Genien!
Glänzende Götterlüfte
Rühren euch leicht,
Wie die Finger der Künstlerin
Heilige Saiten.
Ye move up yonder in light,
On airy ground, o blessed spirits!
Radiant winds ethereal
O’er you play light,
As the fingers inspired that wake
Heavenly lyre-chords.
Schicksallos, wie der schlafende
Säugling, atmen die Himmlischen;
Keusch bewahrt
In bescheidener Knospe
Blühet ewig
Ihnen der Geist,
Und die seligen Augen
Blicken in stiller,
Ewiger Klarheit.
Free from Fate, like the slumbering
Suckling, breathe the immortals.
Pure, unsullied,
In bud that enfolds
It blooms for aye,
The flower of their spirit.
And the eyes of the blessed
Gaze in tranquil
Brightness eternal.
Doch uns ist gegeben
Auf keiner Stätte zu ruhn;
Es schwinden, es fallen
Die leidenden Menschen
Blindlings von einer
Stunde zur andern,
Wie Wasser von Klippe
zu Klippe geworfen,
Jahrlang ins Ungewisse hinab.
But to us is it given
In no abiding place to dwell;
We vanish, we stumble,
We suffering, sorrowing mortals
Blindly from one
Brief hour to another,
Like water from boulder
To boulder flung downward,
Year by year to the dark Unknown below.

Johannes Brahms

 Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”)

Pronounced Bra-amz

Fast Facts:
  • Brahms started to compose at age 11, but as he got older, he became embarrassed of them and destroyed most of them.
  • Brahms met Hungarian refugee and violinist, Eduard Remenyi, in 1850, which introduced Brahms to a range of folk and gypsy music that inspire some of his works.
  • Brahms was a German composer and pianist who was one of the leading musicians of the Romanic period.
  • Brahms was an uncompromising perfectionist, leading to many of his works being destroyed or unpublished.
  • Brahms was extremely good friends with fellow composer Robert Schumann.
  • Brahms is noted as one of the “Three Bs” of music, which also includes Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Piece: Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”)

Schicksalslied is a choral work, noted as one of Brahms’s best choral works, set to a poem by Friedrich Holderlin. Brahms discovered the poem one summer while visiting a friend in Wilhelmshaven. He was drawn to the poem and the scenic seaside of Wilhelmshaven, leading to the creation of this piece. His first draft of the piece was actually written on shore by the sea.

The piece is written in three movements:

  • Adagio: Ihr wandelt droben im Licht, II.
  • Allegro: Doch un sist gegeben,
  • Adagio: Orchestral Postlude.

The 1st movement opens with an orchestral prelude, which Brahms reorchestrates in the 3rd movement rather than fully restating the first movement. After this orchestral prelude in the 1st movement, the altos begin the choral melody, which is reiterated by the sopranos with the rest of the chorus harmonizing on this melody. This movement is noted for its serenity and luminous character that is carried through the orchestra and chorus’s melodic lines.

Like the 1st movement, the 2nd movement starts with an orchestral introduction, followed by the chorus entering in unison. However, this movement is more active with running eight notes in the strings. This movement is defined by its insistent character, created by hemiolas between the strings and chorus, which created an effect of gasping for breath.

The final movement returns to the opening orchestral prelude, which Brahms develops with more intense instrumentation and transposition into C major. By doing this, Brahms creates a sense of conclusion by shedding a ray of light and ending the piece with a hopeful impression.

Antonin Dvořák

Symphony No. 7

Pronounced De-VOR-zhak

Fast Facts:
  • Dvorak studied organ, violin, piano, and viola. He played viola in the Bohemian Provisional Theatre Orchestra but resigned eventually to concentrate on composing.
  • Like Brahms, Dvorak was extremely self-conscious of his early works as they received no public performance or acknowledgement. He then burned some of his early works.
  • Johannes Brahms and critic Eduard Hanslick were the first people to champion Dvorak for his works. Thanks to them, Dvorak’s compositions started to take flight and gain the acclaim they have today.
  • Dvorak was born in a small village in Prague, often visiting the Bohemian countryside of Czechia. These countryside visits inspired many of his works as he incorporated many of the dances and celebrations from the area into his works.
  • In 1892, Dvorak visited the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. His time in the US inspired many of his most famous works including his 9th Symphony “From the New World,” his Cello Concerto, and his 12th String quartet, nicknamed “the American Quartet.”
The Piece: Symphony No.7 in D minor, Op. 70

During the composition of this symphony, Dvorak wrote to a friend that his “new symphony must be such as to make a stir in the world.” Dvorak accomplished this in his 7th Symphony due to its drama and austerity compared to his other symphonies. Dvorak, while commissioned to write this symphony by the Royal Philharmonic Society for whom the piece is dedicated to, gained inspiration from his trips to Prague’s busy railway where he saw troops arriving there for a special concert to support the struggle for a Czech homeland in 1884. Dvorak’s patriotism from this image inspired the drama and stirring nature of this symphony. Yet even with all the drama of this symphony, Dvorak can maintain a lyrical Bohemian spirit, which he is known for.

This Symphony has four movements:

  1. Allegro Maestro
  2. Poco Adagio
  3. Scherzo (Vivace)
  4. Finale (Allegro)

Tone Poem

What is a tone poem?

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other source.

Symphony

What is a symphony?

Symphony has two meanings.

A symphony is a piece of music written for orchestra that typically has four movements.  After each movement, there is a pause.  Do you clap between movements?  The common practice is that the audience refrains from clapping until all four movements are played.  However, if you are moved after a particular movement and you need to express your enthusiasm, go ahead and clap.  When in doubt, wait for the masses to start clapping.

The word symphony is also used for the group performing on stage – it is short for “symphony orchestra”.  Symphony Orchestras employ instrumentalists who play woodwinds, brass, percussion and string instruments.

ViolaViola

What is a viola?

A viola is a stringed instrument with four strings that is bigger and lower than a violin.  The strings of a violin are E A D G from high to low.   The strings of the viola are A D G C from high to low.  In the picture, violin is on the left and viola is on the right.

Concerto

What is a concerto?

A Concerto is an orchestral piece that is written to feature an instrumentalist performing in front of the orchestra as a solo.

How do you pronounce "Concerto"?

“Con – chair – toe” With the “chair” getting the emphasis.

Is the soloist part of the orchestra?

Soloists are typically hired to play for the week.  Since they are amazing at their instruments and have an uncanny ability to memorize many pieces, this is their job.  Soloists perform many concerts per year throughout the country or world (depending on their popularity).  The piece that they play is in their “repertoire” which means that they have performed it many times with many orchestras.

How do you choose the music/soloist?

The Music Director identifies a soloist that they want and with the soloist, they choose the music to be performed.  Or the Music Director may want to perform a particular concerto on a concert.  They would then find a soloist who is known for performing that piece.

Zacherie SmallZacherie Small

After migrating from his native island of Barbados, Zacherie Small began his Double Bass studies the age of 19 with Jonathan Dadurka at Miami-Dade College where he graduated with a Associate of Arts in Music. Afterwards, he went on to study with Luis Gomez-Imbert at Florida International University where he now holds a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance; Cum Laude, and a Masters of Music in Double Bass Performance. Also, recently graduated with his second Masters from Temple University studying with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra such as Nathaniel West, Joseph Conyers, and Robert Kesselman.

Small has performed with various orchestras. He is a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Eduardo Marturet. He was also the Principal Double Bass of the Miami Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jorge Vazquez. Small periodically performs with the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra.
Small has attended the Miami Summer Music Festival at Barry University for 3 years. During the festival, he has performed in many concerts with various conductors like Michael Rossi, Yuriy Bekker, Joel Smirnoff, David Efron, Stephanie Rhodes, and Steve Gruman. Also, participated in the Philadelphia International Music Festival to study with Nathaniel West and under the baton of Kensho Watanabe.

As well as being a performer, Small is the secondary music director South-Dade Middle School and does masterclasses at various schools in Miami, FL. He is also a teacher for the Artist of the Miami Music Project where he guides children in troubled neighborhoods to bring about social change, cultivate lessons, and run ensembles.

Small has also studied with various teachers, such as Eugene Levinson, Jeffrey Bradetich, Julius Darvas, Alexander Berti, Brian Powell, James Goode, etc.

Small plays on a 2006 Heinrich Gill; Maggini Model, double bass named Odin and a 1920 Eugen Roth bow named Brunhilde.

Omari Imhotep AbdulOmari Imhotep Abdul-Alim

Omari Imhotep Abdul-Alim is a classically trained violinist from the Seattle area currently offering music lessons and freelance performances around San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, having finished his masters degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in violin performance in spring 2020. As an instructor, Omari uses his experience in classical music to build a fun and enriching curriculum for his students. Aside from his passion for education, Omari is a dedicated performer. He is resident violinist at First Lutheran Church of San Diego and in the last year has appeared as a guest artist with the Martin Luther King Choir, the Old Globe Theater, Synergy, NeoTuesdays and more.

Omari’s love for sharing music shines through all of his practices. Thus, he is deeply honored to be able to deliver moving performances to listeners like you.

Emmanuel Tolu LosaEmmanuel Losa

Born in 1998, Emmanuel Losa grew up in Marietta, Georgia to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother. Starting his cello studies at the age of 12, he began to have an affinity for the orchestral world and later studying with the esteemed cellists of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, his primary instructor was Joel Dallow; in addition, studying with Dona Vellek (Assistant Principal Cello Emeritus) and Karen Freer (Assistant Principal Cello).

Emmanuel heavily enjoys studying various pieces of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, spending his summers at various festivals such as Bowdoin International Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few.

A student of Alan Stepansky at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Emmanuel is pursuing an undergraduate cello performance degree in orchestral performance. He continues his studies with a focus on winning a position with a major orchestra.

Avery RobinsonAvery Robinson

Avery Robinson grew up in Western Massachusetts where he was influenced by his parents’ love for jazz music. At the age of 10 he started playing piano and began learning bass when he was 12 years old. As a young musician, Avery’s passion for jazz persisted however, as he became exposed to the wonderful sounds of the symphony, his musical passion grew to include a second genre: classical music. After joining his high school orchestra, his career path was set.

Avery has studied at many top music schools such as the Eastman School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has graduated with honors. His teachers include Rachel Calin, Albert Laszlo, and Robert Black. Avery has been a member of the Kentucky Symphony, and most recently, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked as a substitute for the Amarillo Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. In addition to his orchestral career, Avery is also an accomplished recitalist, having performed many solo and chamber recitals at various venues such as the Chautauqua Institution and at the “Classical Revolution” Series in Cincinnati. His love for performing with others shows in his expressive and sometimes fervent style of playing.

Avery has other passions in addition to music. Firstly, he is a huge art and history buff and loves to frequent museums and galleries whenever he can. He is also a lover of sports and an avid golfer.

Simone Paulwell

Soprano, Simone Paulwell has garnered international attention for her innate ability to capture audiences with her strikingly powerful and agile voice. A Washington D.C. native, she made her national debut as a soloist with The President's Own: United States Marine Band in 2007. Ms Paulwell has performed for audiences of all ages and cultures and has graced such prestigious stages as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall, in New York City, the Reichold Center for the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Washington National Opera Company and The San Francisco Opera Company. Ms. Paulwell recently completed her first summer at The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. Ms. Paulwell received critical acclaim under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg, Russia performing Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in 2004. She also debuted as a soloist with Paul Freeman and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic in 2006. In 2015 Ms. Paulwell made her European debut as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Rai Centre in Amsterdam and at Theatre Odyssud in Blagnac, France.

As a lifelong student of music, Ms. Paulwell has studied voice with Betty Ridgeway at Morgan State University, in Baltimore, MD, and Jeremy Winston at Wilberforce University, in Wilberforce, OH, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Her educational ambitions have afforded her success in several vocal competitions including 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, and 1st place winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Regional Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Womens' Club.

In addition to her musical accomplishments and affiliations, Ms. Paulwell is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Eric Jacobsen

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming. He is the newly-named Music Director of the Virginia Symphony, becoming the 12th music director in the orchestra’s 100-year history, and will assume that post on July 1.

Jacobsen is Artistic Director and conductor of The Knights, and serves as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Jacobsen founded the adventurous orchestra The Knights with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage. As conductor, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; at major summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Ojai; and on tour nationally and internationally, including at the Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus, Vienna Musikverein, National Gallery of Dublin, and the Dresden Musikfestspiele. Recent collaborators include violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, singers Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, and Nicholas Phan, and pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has led the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, the New World, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and the Tonkunstler Orchestra, with whom Jacobsen appeared at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.

In the coming season, Eric Jacobsen returns to the Detroit Symphony for the world premiere of James Lee III’s “Amer’ican,” a contemporary response to Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony which also features on the program. He also makes his La Jolla Summerfest debut, conducting three concerts featuring Summerfest Artistic Director Inon Barnaton and other artists. He appears twice with the Virginia Symphony, with guest artist Branford Marsalis and also performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and travels to Bilkent, Turkey, to appear with the orchestra there. With The Knights, he returns to the Tanglewood and Caramoor Festivals and to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, and appears at Wolf Trap in a new piece by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. In the spring, Jacobsen and The Knights close their season with a multi-city US tour featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.

The 21-22 Orlando Philharmonic season sees the return of the “Resonate” festival, a unique blend of old and new orchestral and chamber works, performed in standard and more intimate concert formats. This season’s edition features Artist-in-Residence Stewart Goodyear performing the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven as well as orchestral repertoire. The Orlando season will close with a semi-staged production of Orff’s “Carmina burana,” with staging by Alison Moritz and choreography by John Heginbotham.

In recent seasons, Eric Jacobsen and The Knights performed a fully-staged centennial production of Bernstein’s Candide directed by Alison Moritz at the Ravinia Festival, and toured Florida with Gil Shaham. With mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, Jacobsen and The Knights undertook a 15-concert European tour, including performances at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein. In New York, Jacobsen and The Knights performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; with groundbreaking countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at National Sawdust in music of Handel and Philip Glass; and at the Park Avenue Armory, where they helped create the music for William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load. With the Bridgeport Symphony, Jacobsen performed with his brother Colin, with whom he recorded a video of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending that was featured on London’s Classic FM and The Violin Channel.

At the close of a successful sixth season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen has continued to pioneer the orchestra’s programming and community engagement in new and exciting directions. During the 20-21 season, the Orlando Philharmonic was one of the few orchestras internationally that was able to perform live concerts, including with renowned pianist Yuja Wang, and they closed their season with “America, Come,” an Orlando Philharmonic commission from Aoife O’Donovan honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Previous seasons included Inside the Score, in which Jacobsen led the audience on a guided exploration of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; appearances by multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón as composer-in-residence; and guest appearances by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens and internationally acclaimed cello virtuoso Jan Vogler.

Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have developed an extensive recording collection, which includes the critically acclaimed albums Azul, with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Prokofiev Concerto in the Grammy-nominated Gil Shaham album 1930s Violin Concertos. Their most recent release, featuring Gil Shaham in performances of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in Spring 2020. The Knights issued three albums for Sony Classical including Jan Vogler and The Knights Experience: Live from New York; New Worlds, and an all-Beethoven album, as well as the “smartly programmed” (National Public Radio) A Second in Silence on the Ancalagon label. Jacobsen’s first release on Warner Classics was the ground beneath our feet. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by Thirteen/WNET, premiered in September 2011.

In December 2012, Jacobsen and his brother Colin were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship. Eric splits his time between New York and Orlando with his wife, singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and their daughter.

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Ali EwoldtAli Ewoldt has appeared as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Cosette in Les Miserables (Broadway, National Tour), The King and I (Broadway, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Maria in West Side Story (National Tour, International Tour). Ali’s concert work includes: Alice Tully Hall, NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, Houston Symphony, Kaohsiung Symphony and The Boston Pops. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina-American. @aliewoldt

Teri HansenSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS SHOW BOAT, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

Teri Hansen has received International recognition for her crossover abilities as a singing actress from Opera to Broadway and concert stages around the world. Miss Hansen made her Broadway debut in The Boys From Syracuse and starred in London’s West End as ‘Magnolia’ in Hal Prince’s Tony award winning production of Show Boat. Most recently she starred in the National Tours of The Sound Of Music (Elsa) and the Tony Award winning An American In Paris. Miss Hansen starred in tours of The Music Man as ‘Marian Paroo’, ‘Guenevere’ in Camelot and as ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat. Internationally recognized as an interpreter of Weill, Miss Hansen starred as “Rose” in the film version of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Miss Hansen also toured for years with Marvin Hamlisch, appeared at the Lincoln Center singing Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as regular appearances there as a part of the prestigious “Meet the Artist” series. Her solo CD “Into Your Arms…Love Songs of Richard Rodger’s” is available worldwide.

@teridhalinks

Sean MacLaughlinSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, THE WOMAN IN WHITE and BOMBAY DREAMS

Sean MacLaughlin recently garnered critical acclaim across the country performing the role of Juan Peron in the Broadway National Tour of Evita. He has sung with countless symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada singing the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Rodgers. Broadway credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Elton John’s Lestat, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White and Bombay Dreams. Other credits include Transport Groups Productions of The Audience, Requiem for William, and Baby: in Concert; South Pacific: In Concert at Carnegie Hall; Grand Hotel, Follies and More at Signature Theatre in DC; The Sondheim Celebration: Merrily We Roll Along and Chess at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Frank Wildhorn’s Excalibur and Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Film includes HBO’s Something the Lord Made and Walking Shadows.

@theatremutt

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

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.