Virginia Symphony Orchestra

2020-2021 Full Concert Schedule

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

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

Tickets with seating locations will be sent via email prior to your performance.

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

Tickets with seating locations will be sent via email prior to your performance. Please note: tickets must be purchased in advance of performance.  Tickets will not be available for purchase at the box office at the venue prior to the performance.  

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue • 9/24-9/26

Fri. September 24, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. September 25, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. September 26, 2021 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center 

It’s the roaring ‘20s! Gershwin wrote his signature piece Rhapsody in Blue about the same time Maurice Ravel was in Paris writing his Concerto in G, which was heavily influenced by American jazz. Hear both pieces as audience favorite pianist Natasha Paremski returns to the VSO in a program that harkens back to the decade of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra’s first performance in 1921. Leading the VSO will be Akiko Fujimoto, who is quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most dynamic and nuanced young conductors.

Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano

Hindemith: Ragtime
Ravel: Concerto in G
Ellington: Harlem
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles • 10/15-10/16

Fri. October 15, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. October 16, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

For more than three decades, Hotel California has blown away fans all over the world, by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy Award-winning sounds of super-group The Eagles. Marvel at their spirited blend of originality and excellence – which has taken them to an unprecedented level of international recognition. This dynamic, highly acclaimed performance will show off the Eagles’ world-renowned vocal harmonies, authentic instrumentation, and all their specialty instruments in a stage spectacle that will have you waving your arms and dancing in the aisles to “Hotel California,” “Take It Easy,” “Life In The Fast Lane” and more of your favorite megahits!

Marsalis New Work + “New World” • 10/22-10/24

Fri. October 22, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. October 23, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. October 24, 2021 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center

Be one of the first ever to hear Wynton Marsalis’ new concerto for tuba and orchestra commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra for tubist Carol Jantsch in this special preview performance! Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony reflects on the bountiful and optimistic United States that welcomed the composer with open arms. Spirituals learned from the grandson of a freed slave and transcriptions of the Native American melodies enrich this mix of European refinement and American earnestness.

Steven Jarvi, conductor
Carol Jantsch, tuba

Wynton Marsalis: Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Music: The Final Frontier, A Sci-Fi Spectacular! • 10/30

Sat. October 30, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

These are the voyages of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Our continuing mission: to explore the strange, new and iconic themes of your favorite sci-fi films. To boldly go where no orchestra has gone before. Beam me up, Scotty!

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 • 11/12

Fri. November 12, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Sandler Center

Join the VSO’s Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate JoAnn Falletta as she returns to the stage for this one-night-only special performance. Featuring the musicians of the VSO side-by-side with Old Dominion University’s Symphony Orchestra

JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Hailstork: Amazing Grace Fanfare
Bizet: Selections from Carmen Suite
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Holiday POPS! • 12/10-12/12

Fri. December 10, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. December 11, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Harrison Opera House
Sun. December 12, 2021 | 7:00 PM | Sandler Center

Join us for the must-see holiday tradition of the season – Holiday POPS! There’s no better way to lift your spirits than with seasonal songs and traditional carols delivered in full sound and spectacle by the Virginia Symphony and special guests. Holiday POPS will have all the magical elements you’ve come to expect and more — high energy, familiar carols, and lots of holiday warmth! And we’ll even throw in a surprise or two! We can’t wait to celebrate the 2021 Holiday season together!

Eric Jacobsen + Branford Marsalis • 12/2-12/5

Thurs. December 2, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Fri. December 3, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. December 5, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Sandler Center

Join us to welcome new Music Director Eric Jacobsen with Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis for an evening of musical celebration.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

Program includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2

Holiday Brass • 12/15

Wed. December 15, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Williamsburg

The bold sounds of the Virginia Symphony brass section ring in the holidays with a blast! Experience the festive sounds of the season in a concert filled with wit, virtuosity, and the glorious music of the holidays—featuring the VSO brass and percussion sections in an all-new program. You’ll enjoy music from a variety of styles that have made this concert a new holiday tradition!

HALLELUJAH! Handel’s Messiah • 12/16-12/18

Thurs. December 16, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Virginia Beach
Fri. December 17, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Newport News
Sat. December 18, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Harrison Opera House

We welcome back Virginia Symphony’s founding chorusmaster Don McCullough for the holidays!

After his departure from Virginia, he led the Kennedy Center’s Master Chorale and is currently director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus (FL). McCullough will conduct the VSO Chorus in excerpts from the Messiah, the perennial holiday favorite that continues to bring hope and joy to listeners nearly 300 years after it was written.

Don McCullough, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster

Handel: Messiah Excerpts (Part I with Hallelujah)

Spirituals + Operatic Showstoppers • 1/14-1/15

Fri. January 14, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. January 15, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

Versatility and innovation are the hallmarks of American conductor Kellen Gray, newly-named Assistant Conductor of the 125-year-old Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Celebrate Suffolk native and Metropolitan Opera star Ryan Speedo Green as he comes home to join the VSO to kick off 2022! Green’s inspiring personal story and incredible talent (nurtured at the Governor’s School for the Arts) has been featured in numerous media outlets. For this special appearance, Green’s incredible range will be on full display. Alongside will be the highly acclaimed Norfolk State University Chorus.

Kellen Gray, conductor
Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone
Norfolk State University Concert Choir
Harlan Zackery, Jr., Director of Choral Activities

Golden Age of Broadway • 1/21-1/22

Fri. January 21, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. January 22, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

Classic Broadway shines with hit after hit from the Golden Age of the 1940s and 1950s. Composers featured include Bernstein, Berlin, Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loewe. You’ll be ‘So In Love’ with this show that you won’t want the evening to end! Favorites from Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady and more!

The Music of the Bee Gees • 2/3-2/4

Thurs. February 3, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Fri. February 4, 2022 |7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

Among the best-selling musical artists of all time, the Bee Gees’ distinctive sound comes alive again with the Virginia Symphony! From the Gibb brothers’ early days which featured Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals, to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack which won five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, the band will live forever in the hearts of fans around the world. This show offers all of the band’s 70’s disco hits from “Stayin’ Alive” to “Night Fever” while embracing many of their early works.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 • 2/18-2/20

Fri. February 18, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. February 19, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. February 20, 2022 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center

Norfolk native and Hampton Roads’ favorite son Thomas Wilkins returns to lead Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, featuring some of the most explosive brass and wind moments you’ll ever hear.

Thomas Wilkins, conductor

Program includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4

Uptown Nights • 2/25-2/26

Fri. February 25, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. February 26, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall

Byron Stripling is heralded as a “powerhouse trumpeter gifted with a soulful voice and a charismatic onstage swagger.” He’ll explore a magical world of song and dance popularized in the clubs of the ’40s and ’50s. Inspired by Harlem’s famed musical hot spots like The Cotton Club and The Savoy, this swingin’ night of musical sensations focuses on Harlem’s heyday — a time when Duke Ellington’s orchestra was the house band, and Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ethel Waters showcased the classics! Thrill to the vocals of Carmen Bradford and the fancy footwork of tapdancer Leo Manzari.

Byron Stripling, conductor and trumpet
Carmen Bradford, vocalist
Leo Manzari, tap

Beethoven’s Ninth! • 4/1-4/3

Fri. April 1, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. April 2, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. April 3, 2022 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center

Few — if any — works of the orchestral repertoire inspire such fervor, but then, Beethoven’s  Ninth Symphony is no ordinary piece of music. It was revolutionary when it premiered, as it was the first symphony that included a chorus and vocal soloists, performing a slightly altered version of Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.”

And it endures because in this work Beethoven was grappling with some of the most fundamental aspects of humanity, with music that can evoke myriad ideas and emotions — tenderness to terror, sympathy to scorn, delight to despair, calm to chaos — culminating in an anthemic hymn to the possibility of universal brotherhood.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster

Kishi Bashi Meets the Symphony • 3/3-3/6

Thurs. March 3, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. March 5, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. March 6, 2022 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center

From South by Southwest to Austin City Limits, the internationally celebrated singer, multi instrumentalist and songwriter Kishi Bashi has been pushing musical boundaries since growing up in Norfolk. Written in honor of the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, his multimedia presentation combines elements of film as well as recorded and improvised music. The work was premiered by Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble in 2018 with co-founder and artistic director Jacomo Bairos on the podium.

Jacomo Bairos, conductor
Kishi Bashi, violin

Kishi Bashi: Improvisations on EO 9066

The Sound of Music • 5/13-5/15

Fri. May 13, 2022 | 8:00 PM | Harrison Opera House
Sat. May 14, 2022 | 8:00 PM | Harrison Opera House
Sun. Mary 15, 2022 | 8:00 PM | Harrison Opera House

A new, full production of the classic musical The Sound of Music in May 2022 will be co-produced by Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Opera at the Harrison Opera House. With acclaimed Broadway music director Rob Fisher (Chicago, the Encores! series) conducting the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and cast, and star director Mary Birnbaum (La Boheme, Santa Fe Opera) envisioning the new staging, the production is sure to be among the most eagerly anticipated
musical events of the season.

Rob Fisher, conductor
Mary Birnbaum, director
Virginia Symphony Orchestra

THE SOUND OF MUSIC is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The
Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. www. concordtheatricals.com

This concert cannot be exchanged as part of your VSO package.

Music by RICHARD RODGERS
Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
Book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp
Co-produced by Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Opera

The Music of Star Wars • 6/10

Fri. June 10, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center

Back by popular demand, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform music from the iconic film franchise Star Wars. Experience the entire saga through the films’ scores written by the legendary John Williams, including music from Rogue One and Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

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.