Virginia Symphony Orchestra

2019-2020 Full Concert Schedule

Mahler & Mozart • 2/21-2/23

Friday, February 21, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, February 22, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, February 23, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Perfoming Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

“Danzmayr has what it takes,” wrote The Chicago Tribune of David Danzmayr’s performances leading the Illinois Symphony. Last year, Danzmayr was appointed chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic – part of an extensive European career of concerts in venues like Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. One of his shorter symphonies, Mahler’s fourth is that last of his so-called Wunderhorn symphonies, all based on songs from The Youth’s Magic Horn – and is one of his most popular and widely performed.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor David Danzmayr. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

David Danzmayr, conductor
Clara Rottsolk, soprano

Mozart: Divertimento KV 136
Mozart:
Voi avete un cor Fedele
Mahler
: Symphony No. 4

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Stravinsky Firebird • 3/6-3/8

Friday, March 06, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, March 07, 2020 | L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, March 08, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Chicago-born conductor Fawzi Haimor has established an extensive international career with some of the world’s great orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, and just last summer, the Grant Park Symphony in his native Chicago. He is currently music director of the Württembergische Philharmonie. For his VSO debut, Haimor celebrates the Centennial of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, along with a first Hampton Roads performance from Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara – his popular Cantus Arcticus, or Concerto for Birds and Orchestra featuring birdsong recorded at the Finnish Artic Circle.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor Fawzi Haimor. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

Fawzi Haimor, conductor
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

Joshua Cerdenia: Feuertrunken (Fire-Drunk)
Elgar: Concerto for cello
Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus, op. 61 “Concerto for Birds and Orchestra”
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919)

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Beethoven Symphony No. 6 • 3/13 & 3/14

Friday, March 13, 2020 | Regent University, Virginia Beach | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 14, 2020 | Jamestown High School, Williamsburg | 7:30PM

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talked hosted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (6:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Jacob Wilder, horn

Boyle: Symphony No. 1 “Glencree”
Strauss: Concerto for Horn No. 1
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale”

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The Streisand Songbook • 3/20 – 3/21

Friday, March 20, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, March 21, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

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 on My Parade”, and “Cry Me a River.” Callaway, who was named Broadwayworld.com 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!

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Open Doors: Music and Movement • 3/21

Saturday, March 21, 2020 | 3PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts – Miller Studio

Join us as we put melodies in motion! Familiar tunes will be performed by a VSO string quartet, while participants are led through fun and engaging movements including dancing, moving with scarves, and playing small handheld instruments. Board-certified music therapists from Tidewater Music Therapy will lead a fun, interactive, hour-long program for individuals of all ages and abilities. Mixed Abilities in Motion from TRDance Center will also lead a short, participatory demonstration.

Pre-concert, hands-on activities begin at 2PM!

 

Strauss Rosenkavalier Suite • 3/27-3/29

Friday, March 27, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, March 28, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, March 29, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

From the much-loved waltzes made famous in Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier, to Robert Schumann’s one and only piano concerto, JoAnn Falletta has chosen a wide-ranging program of classics to show off the orchestra and soloist next spring, including French pianist Prisca Benoit – known for a refined pianistic touch with a wide range of colors. Benoit continues the orchestra’s collaboration with Sentara Healthcare’s “Music and Medicine” Program. The Schumann concerto will be recorded for later release.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Prisca Benoit, piano

Bantock: The Witch of Atlas
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Strauss: Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite

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Old Dominion University Side by Side • 4/1

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 8PM

Students from the Old Dominion University Orchestra will gain hands-on, professional experience by playing alongside the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in this special performance! The VSO is thrilled to partner with the ODU Orchestra to provide this exciting opportunity for the next generation of musicians.

Video Games Live • 4/3

Friday, April 3, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM

Video Games Live™ is an immersive concert event featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Picture the energy and excitement of a rock concert mixed with the power and emotion of a symphony orchestra and brought together by the technology, interactivity, stunning visuals and fun that only video games can provide. Completely synchronized, cutting-edge videos, state-of-the-art lighting and special effects, stage show production and special on-stage interactive segments will dazzle crowds of all ages – gamers and non-gamers alike.

Are you the ultimate gamer and want special access to the most popular video game concert in the world? How about a tour of what goes on behind the scenes by VGL Creator/Executive Producer/Host and video game legend Tommy Tallarico? Are you interested in NO WAITING special front of line access to the post-show meet & greet with the performers and special guests? How about a laminated backstage pass and V.I.P. package of exclusive merchandise? Then here’s your chance! Choose the “Ticket Plus VIP Experience” option at checkout!

Open Doors: Emotions in Music • 4/25

Saturday, April 25, 2020 | Salvation Army Kroc Center of Hampton Roads, Norfolk | 3PM

Explore the many ways music makes us feel and helps us understand our emotions during this one-hour chamber music performance. The musicians will speak about how each piece makes them feel or inspires them, while board-certified music therapists from Tidewater Music Therapy assist participants in activities to engage their own emotions and creativity.

Pre-concert, hands-on activities begin at 2PM!

Shostakovich Five • 5/8-5/10

Friday, May 8, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Saturday, May 09, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Sunday, May 10, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor Eric Jacobsen returns to the VSO in the new season to lead one of the 20th Century’s tour de force masterpieces – Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with his innovative and collaborative programming, and in addition to the Shostakovich, Jacobsen will conduct the beautiful Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, with violinist Alexi Kenney, a recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.”

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor Eric Jacobsen. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Alexi Kenney, violin

Anna Clyne: Masquerade
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

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Beethoven “Emperor” and Symphony No. 9 “Choral” • 5/15-5/17

Friday, May 15, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, May 16, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, May 17, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, VA Beach | 2:30PM

JoAnn Falletta finishes her final season as Music Director with 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

*Please note this concert is not available for exchanges or Flex Package purchases.*

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

Open Doors: Salute to America! • 5/23

Saturday, May 23, 2020 | 3PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts

Celebrate Memorial Day with the Virginia Symphony! This one-hour, full-orchestra concert will include patriotic favorites alongside recognizable American classics. The program will feature works from beloved composers including John Phillips Sousa, John Williams, Aaron Copland, and Harold Arlen (“Over the Rainbow”). Featuring baritone Larry Jay Giddens and a short dance performance by Mixed Abilities in Motion from TRDance Center.

Pre-concert, hands-on activities begin at 2PM!

Governor’s School for the Arts Orchestra Side by Side • 6/3

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach | 7:00PM

Students from the Governor’s School for the Arts Orchestra will gain hands-on, professional experience by playing alongside the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in this special performance! The VSO is thrilled to partner with the GSA Orchestra to provide this exciting opportunity for the next generation of musicians.

Jeff Phelps, conductor
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

The Music of Star Wars • 6/5

Friday, June 5, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM

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.

John Williams is a fifty-time Oscar nominee for his music, and is well-known for his vast musical film credits spanning from Jaws to E.T. and Harry Potter. His score to George Lucas’s two Star Wars trilogies are widely celebrated. Williams’s Star Wars score stands out especially among the strong showing of science-fiction cinema in 1977, the year Star Wars premiere. NPR notes that “[Williams’s] mastery of melody and deftness of tone make the Star Wars scores a signal achievement in the history of cinema.”

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CommUNITY Play-In and Sing-Along • 9/13

Sunday, September 13, 2020 | Scope Arena, Norfolk | 4PM

Pick up your instrument, bring your voice and join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of peace, inclusion and unity. This inspiring annual event embraces our community’s cultural richness and diversity, uniting people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds through participation in music, dance and spoken word.

Music will be available for any instrument and voice at any level, so come play and sing with us! Or just come as you are and enjoy the musical talents of your neighbors. All are welcome!

Registration will open closer to the event – check here for updates!

From the New World • 9/18 – 9/20

Friday, September 18, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, September 19, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, September 20, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 7:30PM

Suffolk native and Metropolitan Opera star Ryan Speedo Green comes home to join the VSO in the opening of our 100th Anniversary Season! 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 display with a variety of operatic showstoppers, Broadway standards and African American spirituals.
Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra and newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovenian RTV Orchestra in Ljubljana. 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 Native American melodies enrich this mix of European refinement and American earnestness.

Rossen Milanov, conductor
Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone

Adolphus Hailstork: An American Port of Call
Rossini: “La Calunnia” from IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
Bizet: “Votre toast” from CARMEN
Rodgers/Hammerstein: “This nearly was mine” from SOUTH PACIFIC
Wagner: “Abendlicht strahlt der sonne auge” from DAS RHEINGOLD
Traditional/ arr. Flody: Down by the river side
Dvorak: New World Symphony

Havana Nights with the Mambo Kings • 10/8 – 10/10

Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 10, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30 PM

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!

A Celebration of the 1920s • 10/23 – 10/25

Friday, October 23, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, October 24, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

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 founding in 1920. 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
Porter/Koechlin: Within the Quota
Ravel: Concerto in G
Ellington: Harlem
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Classic Marsalis! • 11/5 – 11/8

Thursday, November 5, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, November 8, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis makes his first appearance with the VSO! Joining his friend to conduct is Norfolk native and Hampton Roads’ favorite son Thomas Wilkins who returns to lead this exciting program featuring a recent saxophone concerto by American composer John Adams. The work is inspired by Adams’ early exposure to jazz greats John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Don’t miss this very special collaboration!

Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

John Adams: Saxophone Concerto

Classical Mystery Tour • 11/12 – 11/14

Thursday, November 12, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 14, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30 PM

Can you imagine the energy and sheer thrill of hearing The Beatles performing in concert with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra? Now you can find out for yourself when 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.” Many Beatles fans never had the opportunity to experience a live Beatles show. Now you can – with the full symphony orchestra!

Holiday POPS! • 12/11 – 12/13

Friday, December 11, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 12, 2020 | Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | 7:30 PM
Sunday, December 13, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 7:00 PM

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, the inspirational voices of Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, 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 2020 Holiday season together!

Hallelujah! • 12/18 – 12/19

Friday, December 18, 2020 | First Baptist Church, Warwick Blvd, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, December 19, 2020 | Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | 7:30PM 

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. Known worldwide for its “Hallelujah Chorus,” the oratorio will be accompanied by Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria. From its bright opening to its meditative melodies, the Gloria will bring inspiration to your holiday season!

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

Vivaldi: Gloria
Handel: Messiah Excerpts (Part I with Hallelujah Chorus)

Elliott Brothers Pla7 Brahms • 1/22/21 – 1/24/21

Friday, January 22, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, January 23, 2021 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, January 24, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Newport News natives Brendon and Sterling Elliott, each embarking on their own impressive solo careers, will make a rare joint appearance with full symphony orchestra in Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello. Popular former VSO Resident Conductor Benjamin Rous, now Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony and on faculty at the University of Virginia, returns to conduct this performance which concludes with Rachmaninoff’s final major composition, Symphonic Dances, popular for its colorful rhythms, gorgeous melodies and beautiful alto saxophone solo.

Benjamin Rous, conductor
Brendon Elliott, violin
Sterling Elliott, cello

Strauss, Jr.: Csardas from “Ritter Pasman”
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Cheek to Cheek: A Broadway Romance • 2/11/2021 – 2/12/2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30 PM
Friday, February 12, 2021 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30 PM

Broadway’s Michael McCorry Rose and Tiffany Haas present their show 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 when they were writing their most famous love songs. Michael and Tiffany present brand-new arrangements of cherished classics from landmark composers and exciting new songs by some of New York’s most talented up and coming musical theater writers. Come get Cheek to Cheek with one of Broadway’s most talented duos in this exciting new show featuring popular works by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Lowe, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, and more.

Kishi Bashi Meets the Symphony • 3/5/21 – 3/7/21

Friday, March 5, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 6, 2021 | Venue TBA, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, March 7, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

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. Bairos will conduct the VSO in this full orchestra premier of the work. The program will conclude with Shostakovich’s stirring Symphony No. 10.

Jacomo Bairos, conductor
Kishi Bashi, violin

Kishi Bashi: EO 9066 (Japanese Internment)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10