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West Side Story Symphonic Dances

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Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Michael Daniels, cello
Hurrah Players

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote
Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Maurice Ravel: La Valse

This program celebrates two treasured works for orchestra inspired by great literature. Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, takes the music that accompanied Jerome Robbins’ brilliant choreography for the 1957 musical and turns it into a thrilling concerto for orchestra. Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel Don Quixote inspires the fantastical tone poem by Richard Strauss with solo cello playing the role of the title character as he imagines battles with giants (windmills), sorcerers (friars), and an approaching army (sheep). We’ll welcome The Hurrah Players to present a short presentation of the story of Don Quixote to kick off the program!

Eric Jacobsen serves as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s twelfth Music Director, a position he’s held since 2021. He is also artistic director and co-founder of The Knights, the uniquely adventurous NYC-based chamber orchestra, and Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic. In addition to conducting, Eric is a dedicated chamber musician (cello) and is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

The Hurrah Players, Inc., Virginia’s Leading Family Theatre Company, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1984 with a commitment to unite and advance communities through accessible, quality, family-friendly performances and education.

Michael Daniels has been the Elise Nusbaum Hofheimer Principal Cellist of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 1990. 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. He is also a founding member of the Adagio Trio (harp, flute, and cello).

Leonard Bernstein was an American conductor, composer, pianist, and music educator whose compositions spanned a wide range of genres including music for orchestra, ballet, film, musicals, opera, choral works, and more. Bernstein was also notable for being the first American-born conductor to achieve international acclaim. He was Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958-1969, and had close relationships with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra to name a few.