Virginia Symphony Orchestra

2020-2021 Full Concert Schedule

Opening Celebration: The Centennial Season

Student Showcase:
Soundscapes is a nonprofit organization based in Newport News that teaches critical life skills to students through music education. Soundscapes provides free, high-quality music instruction, free instruments, and frequent performance opportunities to students. At the heart of the organization’s success is the strong belief in the power of music to change lives, and the understanding that all children have valuable contributions to make both musically and to our community.
Click here to view Soundscapes’ video!

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra opens its 100th Anniversary season with the orchestral premiere of Adagio by Eminent Scholar and professor emeritus of music at Old Dominion University Adolphus Hailstork. Celebrating his 80th birthday in 2021, he is considered by many to be the dean of living African-American composers. The beautiful, slow-paced Adagio opens our season on a somber note as we commemorate those who have lost their lives during the pandemic.

As we look back on the century of music making we recognize the VSO musicians as the cornerstone of our orchestra. Richard Strauss’s joyous Concerto for Horn No. 1 brings our own Principal Horn, Jacob Wilder, front and center as the first soloist of our centennial season.

Our final work is one of Mendelssohn’s true masterpieces, his Symphony No. 4 “Italian”. It is filled with echoes of his joy at visiting Italy for the first time- a journey which inspired him to explore new ideas and different paths just as the VSO begins a voyage of discovery looking forward to its next 100 years.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Jacob Wilder, horn

Hailstork: Adagio for Strings
Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 “Italian”


Eric Jacobsen & Elliott Brothers

The VSO welcomes guest conductor Eric Jacobsen, who has carved out a reputation as one of classical music’s most exciting and innovative young conductors. With him will be brothers and Newport News natives Brendon and Sterling Elliott, making a rare joint appearance to perform the magical La muse et le poete from French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The program will conclude with Franz Schubert’s animated Symphony No. 3 in D Major, written when he was only eighteen years old.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Brendon Elliott, violin
Sterling Elliott, cello

Anna Clyne: Restless Oceans
Saint Saens: La muse et le poète (The Muse and the Poet)
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
Schubert: Symphony No. 3 in D Major

Serpentine Fire: The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire – 3/19-3/20

Friday, March 19, 2021 | 7:30PM | Ferguson Center
Saturday, March 20, 2021 | 7:30PM | Chrysler Hall

Serpentine Fire is comprised of Las Vegas’ best instrumental & vocal talents. Their show is a dynamic and fast paced journey through the 70’s and 80’s hits of Earth, Wind & Fire. Led by Tyriq Johnson, with arrangements from Mariano Longo, “Serpentine Fire” has united this uplifting and funky music with sophisticated orchestration to present an irresistible, crowd pleasing show!
Subscriber concert only. In-person tickets not available to the general public.
*This performance will be streamed LIVE on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 7:30pm for subscribers.

Brandenburg Concertos • 3/26/21 – 3/28/21

Student Showcase

In lieu of a Student Showcase in the lobby of the hall, our friends at The Governor’s School for the Arts recorded a performance for you.

The Instrumental Music Department of the Governor’s School for the Arts offers professional training in performance, while encouraging each student’s personal development and artistic expression. The primary focus of the program is classical and jazz repertoire. Students perform in ensembles, large and small. Chamber music and jazz combos are central to the program. Classical musicians perform in orchestras, both chamber and full, and perform for opera, dance, and other collaborative performances. Jazz students also perform in the GSA Big Band. Students receive private lessons on their primary instrument from the area’s finest instructors. Comprehensive classes in music theory, music literature, technique, and performance form the backbone of the academic curriculum. Composition, audio engineering, accompaniment, movement, and improvisation are some examples of supplemental courses also available. For the career-minded instrumentalist, the program is designed to prepare for auditions to prestigious colleges and conservatories. For more information, visit

Click Here to View the Student Showcase!

Friday, March 26, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Sunday, March 28, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 2:30PM

Written in 1721, these musical jewels showcase a range of individual instruments spotlighting the superlative musicians of the VSO, led by world-famous guest conductor and violinist Cho-Liang (Jimmy) Lin. Known for his acclaimed violin and conducting appearances throughout the world, the VSO is honored to welcome Lin back to the region.

Subscriber concert only. In-person tickets not available to the general public.

Cho-Liang Lin, conductor/violin
Members of the VSO

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1-4

*This performance will be streamed LIVE on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 2:30pm for subscribers. An on-demand version of the concert will be available for streaming for 30 days after the performance.

Cheek to Cheek: A Broadway Romance • 4/2/21 – 4/3/21

Friday, April 2, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Saturday, April 3, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30PM

Broadway’s Michael McCorry Rose and Tiffany Haas present Cheek to Cheek: A Broadway Romance, a fun and flirty musical exploration of love in the American Songbook. Soaring ballads and swinging up-tempos come to life through rarely before heard stories about what was happening in the romantic lives of composers like George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Lorenz Hart. Michael and Tiffany present new arrangements of classics and exciting new songs by some of New York’s talented musical theater writers.

Tiffany Haas, vocalist
Michael McCorry Rose, vocalist

100th Anniversary Tribute • 4/9/21 & 4/11/21

Friday, April 9, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Sunday, April 11, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 2:30PM

Former VSO Assistant Conductor Matt Kraemer, known for his versatility and musical sensitivity, returns to lead a program that includes three pieces from our inaugural concert in 1921! The superb young cellist Nick Canellakis makes his first appearance with our orchestra performing the virtuosic cello piece by Schumann that was composed in just a short two week period.

Matthew Kraemer, conductor
Nicholas Canellakis, cello

Haydn: Symphony No. 100 in G Major “Military”
Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1

Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone • 4/17

Saturday, April 17, 2021 | 7:30pm | Chrysler Hall

The story of Ryan Speedo Green’s journey from a bleak childhood that included a stint in juvenile detention to an internationally acclaimed opera career reads like a fascinating book–and in fact it has become one, with Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family getting features on “CBS This Morning” and public radio’s “Fresh Air” and making the recommended lists of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Raised in a housing project in Suffolk, Green’s life was changed forever when he went on a field trip to the Metropolitan Opera with The Governor’s School for the Arts. Today he is a headline-making voice at the Met, along with being an ensemble member of the legendary Vienna State Opera. Hear this powerful singer perform opera favorites with young singers on the rise from the Virginia Opera Emerging Artists Program, backed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adam Turner, the Artistic Director of Virginia Opera. A soaring evening of song you won’t soon forget!

Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone
Singers from the Virginia Opera Emerging Artists Program
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Adam Turner, conductor

Piano Master Class with Andrew von Oeyen • 4/24

Saturday, April 24, 2021 | 3:30pm | via Zoom (link to follow)

FREE admission, open to the public – check back soon to register for attending the master class!

STUDENTS: Those interested in performing as a student in the master class can submit an application by filling out the form here. Please submit your $10 application fee by clicking here.

Applications are due April 20, 2021. Participants will be notified by April 22nd.

For more info, please email

Tchaikovsky Spectacular • 4/23/21 – 4/24/21

Friday, April 23, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Saturday, April 24, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30PM

Former VSO Assistant Conductor “Z” Kuwahara returns from his post at Russia’s famed Marinsky Theatre to lead the orchestra.

Shizuo Kuwahara, conductor
Andrew von Oeyen, piano

Shostakovich: Concerto No. 1
: Serenade
Stravinsky: Concerto in E-flat

Mozart and Adams • 4/30/21 – 5/2/21

Friday, April 30, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Sunday, May 2, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 2:30PM

Benjamin Rous, conductor

John Adams: Shaker Loops
Mozart: Symphony No. 36

John Williams and The Music of Hollywood • 5/1/21

Saturday, May 1, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30PM

As film fans know, Williams’ music has the ability to transport audiences to new worlds through heart-pounding, awe-inspiring musical adventures. He has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in the history of cinema, including Lincoln, Schindler’s List, Harry Potter, and most notably Star Wars, which was selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest American film score of all time.

Benjamin Rous, conductor

Trouble in Tahiti • 5/7-5/8

May 7, 2021 | 6pm | VAF Bank Street Stage
May 7, 2021 | 8:30pm | VAF Bank Street Stage
May 8, 2021 | 4pm | VAF Bank Street Stage
May 8, 2021 | 7pm | VAF Bank Street Stage

in collaboration with the Virginia Arts Festival and the VA Opera

Havana Nights with the Mambo Kings • 5/28/21 – 5/29/21

Friday, May 28, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM
Saturday, May 29, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30PM

Join us for this evening of hot Latin jazz and mambo with New York’s foremost Latin jazz ensemble, in concert with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra! The Mambo Kings will bring their “explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and improvisation” to classical favorites, pop hits, and jazz standards. Together, we’ll take you on a Latin jazz club tour that will have you up and dancing all night!

Adam Turner, conductor

The Streisand Songbook • 6/2/21-6/3/21

Wed., June 2, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Thurs., June 3, 2021 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM

Join the Virginia Symphony as we celebrate the music of one of America’s most powerful and enduring musical artists. Singing timeless classics from five decades of Barbra Streisand’s multi-faceted career, Platinum Award Winning singer-songwriter, Ann Hampton Callaway, will show off her gorgeous voice with iconic hits like “The Way We Were,” “Don’t Rain of My Parade” and “Cry Me A River.” Callaway, who was named Performer of the Year, is a master of Streisand’s style and of the American songbook. Don’t miss her stellar first performance with the VSO!

Symphony Under the Stars • 6/5/21

Saturday, June 5th at 8pm

Main Street on the lawn of Walter Reed Way, Gloucester

The concert will be held on Main Street on the lawn of Walter Reed Way.  The concert is free to the public. The public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Dine on Main Street before or after the concert.  Participating restaurants will be offering a 10% discount. Picnics are welcome too and you can also dine on site with a food truck and Boy Scout Troop 111.

Road closures will be in effect on Main Street between Belroi Rd. (at Church of the St. Therese) and Newington Baptist Church to facilitate the concert. Road closure will begin at 6:30PM and end approximately 10PM. General parking will be available along Main Street, in the back lots of Newington Baptist Church and in Gloucester County Government parking lots. Special needs parking will be available at Newington Baptist Church & Church of the St. Therese by permit only.

In the event of forecasted rain, the concert will be held at The LightHouse on Route 17.

Classical Mystery Tour • 6/15/21 – 6/16/21

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM

Imagine the energy and sheer thrill of hearing The Beatles performing in concert with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Classical Mystery Tour, the premier Beatles tribute band, joins the VSO in a show The Los Angeles Times called “More than just an incredible simulation – a live performance with a high goose-bump quotient.” The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like John, Paul, George and Ringo as they perform fifty years of timeless Beatles hits from “Meet the Beatles” all the way to “Abbey Road.”

Erin Freeman, conductor

Mozart and Beethoven • 6/23/21 – 6/25/21

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 7:30PM
Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Chrysler Hall | 7:30 PM
Friday, June 25, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM

The VSO’s principal clarinet Michael Byerly takes center stage to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto – one of the most popular pieces of classical repertoire – to delight our audiences in this 100th anniversary season. Experience the multi-talented Daniel Matsukawa, former member of the VSO and current principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, whose 2016 appearance with the VSO received rave reviews. Matsukawa returns to conduct a program which continues the VSO’s celebration of Beethoven’s greatest symphonies.

Daniel Matsukawa, conductor
Michael Byerly, clarinet

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Beethoven “Emperor” and Symphony No. 9 “Choral” • June 2021

Dates TBD

JoAnn Falletta brings a history-making performance celebrating Beethoven’s 250th Year, in performances presented by the Virginia Arts Festival. For these concerts, Falletta will be joined by renowned pianist Olga Kern, who will perform Beethoven’s well-known “Emperor” Concerto. Kern is the recently appointed Connie and Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music for the Virginia Arts Festival. Following intermission, Falletta will be joined by four soloists and full VSO Chorus for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the “Choral” Symphony.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

Beethoven: Emperor Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

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.