Celebrating 100 Years in Hampton Roads!

One of Virginia’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organizations, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 100th Anniversary season beginning this fall. Innovation has been at the heart of the VSO’s narrative since its inception, and the VSO continues to challenge expectations and push the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be.

In 1991 the VSO made a very bold move and appointed 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 1.8 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 national 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, successfully expanding its programming beyond the traditional concert format. These include the innovative and thematic concerts like special “Sensory-friendly concerts” designed to accommodate the needs of audience members on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. Its health and wellness programs incorporate interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition to blockbuster concerts like “The Music of Star Wars” and “The Music of Harry Potter,” the orchestra also provides concert experiences that are transformative and relevant to contemporary society such as its annual tribute concert honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and its unique “CommUNITY Play-In and Sing-Along,” an annual inclusive event in which instrumentalists and singers of all ages and skill levels perform alongside members of the VSO.

This exciting centennial anniversary also brings with it new areas of opportunity as the VSO will announce a new artistic leader to follow Falletta, who is stepping down at the end of the current season in May after 29 successful years. As it conducts its new music director search, the VSO is looking for leadership that will embrace and propel it toward the vision to be in the forefront of authentic community service and citizen engagement while expanding its audiences. All in addition to providing live symphonic music of the highest quality as a driving force in the community for the next 100 years.

The orchestra organized in 1920 as the Norfolk Civic Symphony Orchestra and held its first concert on April 21, 1921 to over 2000 enthusiastic patrons. At the time it was the only American orchestra between Baltimore and Atlanta. In 1949, the Norfolk Civic Symphony merged with the Civic Chorus to become the Norfolk Symphony and Choral Association. In 1979, the organization merged again time with two other community orchestras, the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Beach Pops Symphony Orchestra, in a major regional accomplishment to operate as the Virginia Orchestra Group. The new organization performed under several names including the Virginia Philharmonic before finally adopting the Virginia Symphony Orchestra name in 1990. During the same year, the Virginia Symphony Chorus was formed under the direction of Don McCullough. 

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus now serve a metropolitan area consists of nine cities and seven counties in southeastern Virginia and is the only full-time professional symphony orchestra in the region. A member of ICSOM (International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, it employs 76 musicians over a 42-week season and benefits from a 100+ member volunteer chorus. It is also the foundation of the vibrant performing arts community of the region, regularly collaborating with other organizations to provide the professional musicians for partners including the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Arts Festival, and the Richmond Ballet. The region is home to one of the world’s largest natural harbors and the world’s largest Naval base attracting millions of tourists for its historical and cultural significance as well as the beaches of its coastline making it one of the largest geographical markets in the country served by a single professional orchestra.

The VSO is fortunate to perform its major classics concert series in three separate, excellent halls – the Ferguson Center for the Arts on the campus of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Chrysler Hall in downtown Norfolk, and the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in the vibrant Town Center area of Virginia Beach.

To celebrate this milestone birthday and to thank the Southeastern Virginia community for 100 years of support, the anniversary season will include a diverse collection of concerts and special activities. These include several celebration events that will provide essential fundraising opportunities for the VSO’s ongoing education and community programs that continue to foster a love of music for all.

We are celebrating our 100+ years of building community through music in Hampton Roads and we need YOUR help!

Help us commemorate our orchestra’s fascinating history by sharing your favorite VSO memory, moment or performance with photos, articles, letters and other mementos you may have. With your participation, we plan to create an online exhibit on our website: 100 Years of Memories, Moments and Music!

You can help by sharing your submissions in any of the following ways:

Fill out our online form

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Mail Us!

Although digital makes it easy we know it’s sometimes not possible to share your submissions online. You can ***mail us at:

VSO 100th Anniversary
150 Boush Street, #201, Norfolk, VA 23510


Use the hashtag #VASymphony100 next time you post about your favorite Virginia Symphony Orchestra memory.

Thank you and we look forward to celebrating with you!

**By sending your submissions, you are giving the Virginia Symphony Orchestra permission to publish on our social media and website.
***If you are mailing something to us, make sure you include your name and contact information, including telephone, email and mailing address in case we have a question.



A Brief History of the Virginia Symphony

In 1871, Irene Leache and Anna Cogswell Wood came to Norfolk to establish an all-girls school dedicated to educating the daughters of the city’s most prominent families – The Leache-Wood Seminary. The two quickly realized there was a void in the Norfolk Art’s Community and expanded their mission to bring cultural activities to the city. When Leache died in 1900, Wood established the Irene Leache Memorial Foundation to honor her friend.

This organization became the catalyst for what is now the Chrysler Museum of Art by encouraging an appreciation of fine arts and literature and working to gather enough works to establish a museum. Wood enlisted the support of the  seminary alumnae before returned to Florence to begin sending artworks back to Norfolk. In 1917, the Norfolk Society of Arts (NSA) was born from the Irene Leache Foundation and was solely focused on bringing the arts to Norfolk. Its main goal was to stimulate and further the interest in art in Norfolk and to establish an art museum.

Concurrently, as art was being collected for a Norfolk Art Museum, there was another move towards cultural enrichment. Three musicians, two with some professional background and the other a music enthusiast and amateur musician, shared a vision for an orchestra.

Walter Edward Howe was the organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Marian Carpenter Miles was a performing violinist who had moved to Norfolk with her husband John B. Miles where he retired after World War I. Combining their professional backgrounds with the passion and added zeal of music enthusiast Dr. Robert C. Whitehead, a leading physician of the city, the determined trio set out to establish an orchestra. It was the spring of 1920 and they assembled a group of other interested musicians and began rehearsing in the Monroe Building in Norfolk. With avowed purpose, they focused on acquiring a music library, obtaining instruments, finding a place to play and even put together a financial plan. After months of planning and practice, the group, by this time called The Norfolk Civic Symphony Orchestra, made its debut with a public concert on April 21, 1921. At its debut performance, there were 43 musicians with Mr. Howe conducting and Mrs. Miles as concertmaster. Dr. Whitehead, also the orchestra’s business manager, played the viola. An enthusiastic crowd of nearly 2,000 people attended the concert.

This first concert left its concertgoers enthusiastic and supporting. So much that they prepared and performed a second season in 1921-1922. At the time, this was the only symphony orchestra between Baltimore and Atlanta and one of the very few in the south, filling a huge void. According to Grace Shepherd Ferebee in her book, A Song in Their Hearts about the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra 1920 – 1960, “The seed was planted and had taken root.”

And for almost 100 years that seed has grown exponentially evolving from its early days as an ambitious small-town orchestra with part time and volunteer musicians to the largest full-time professional orchestra in Virginia. Today’s VSO employs 77 professional musicians and performs more than 160 concerts a year across the entire Hampton Roads community as a vital and vibrant part of the Hampton Roads Community.

Reflecting the extraordinary growth of our region, the Virginia Symphony is the result of the 1979 merger of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Beach Pops Orchestra. In the ensuing 40 years, the strength of this extraordinary example of regional cooperation has continued to grow and develop not only in artistic vision but also in community engagement.

The foundation for the rich performing arts culture of this region, the VSO and its musicians have been a catalyst for the growth of other arts organizations, inspiring and collaborating with the Virginia Arts Festival, the Virginia Opera, the Richmond Ballet, the Virginia Children’s Chorus and the Virginia Stage Company, among others. Much revered as a local cultural treasure, the VSO has also brought its unique artistry to enthusiastic audiences across the Commonwealth and beyond including performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Holiday POPS! - The Virginia Symphony Orchestra
The Best of Wagner's Ring Cycle - The Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Today, in addition to delighting audiences year-round with concerts ranging from Beethoven and Philip Glass to the music of Harry Potter and Star Wars, the VSO’s community engagement is enormous. Each season the orchestra performs Young People’s Concerts for more than 25,000 elementary school students in all 11 school districts. VSO professional musicians also coach music educators and individual students across the region, adding value to under-resourced public-school programs.  As well, the VSO’s health and wellness programs provide interactive musical activities for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, while the annual CommUNITY Play & Sing-Along brings together people from all walks of life to join in building community through music.  We are proud of our unique partnership with Old Dominion University to enhance the student learning experience through side-by-side orchestral and vocal performance opportunities with our professional musicians.

As the largest employer among the arts organizations in a region of over 1.7 million people, the VSO generates $16 million for the local economy annually by engaging residents and drawing visitors to our local venues. Because of its exceptional national reputation, the VSO attracts highly trained and educated employees to live, work and serve the people of this region. The VSO Chorus, founded in 1991, expands the orchestra’s repertoire and provides a unique volunteer experience for nearly 100 members of our community.

As we look to the future, we invite you to participate with us. While today we cannot see the Virginia Symphony Orchestra of the next 100 years, we do know it will be one we make together.  With continued innovation in our programming, our talented, professional musicians and most importantly the ideas and support of the many people and organizations we serve, we look forward to the next century of building community through music!  

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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 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.



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.



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.



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.


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.