Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Classics Concert Series

Carmina Burana PLUS a Michael Daugherty World Premiere! • 4/6-4/8

Friday, April 6, 2018 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
Saturday, April 7, 2018 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sunday, April 8, 2018 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach

The VSO’s Classics season closes with one of the most recognizable works of all time – Carmina Burana.  Based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana, this 20th-century choral masterpiece has been heard countless times in film, television and even at professional sporting events. Also on this dynamic program is a World Premiere of Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty’s Night Owl for Orchestra, commissioned by Susan and David Goode and inspired by the nocturnal steam locomotive photography of O. Winston Link.  Our partners for this production include the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, chorusmaster
Virginia Children’s Chorus
ODU Concert Choir
F. Ludwig Diehn Chorale

Michael Daugherty: Night Owl for Orchestra (World Premiere)
Orff: Carmina Burana

April 6 concert sponsor:

Norfolk Classics Series Sponsor:

Pictures at an Exhibition • 9/21 – 9/23

Friday, September 21, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, September 22, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, September 23, 2018 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Saunter into a new season with Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky’s most famous composition, written in just twenty days, is a suite of 10 pieces depicting his tour of a memorial exhibition for his late friend, the painter and architect Victor Hartmann. JoAnn Falletta and the VSO will perform Ravel’s orchestration of this picturesque masterpiece. Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture makes for a triumphant opening to this program before world-class violinist Sandy Cameron takes the stage to perform acclaimed film composer Danny Elfman’s Violin Concerto, recently premiered in June 2017 with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. 

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Sandy Cameron, violin

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Elfman: Violin Concerto
Mussorgsky/arr. Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition

Boléro • 10/19 – 10/21

Friday, October 19, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, October 20, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Sunday, October 21, 2018 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Building on the momentum of our opening night, JoAnn Falletta and the VSO return for Ravel’s most famous work, Boléro. This melodic, whimsical work – originally composed as a ballet – is a perfect example of Ravel’s preoccupation with restyling and reinventing dance movements. The program begins with the Fourth Piano Concerto by Canadian composer André Mathieu, performed by guest artist Alain Lefèvre, who worked with conductor and composer Gilles Bellemare to reconstruct the composition that was lost for 70 years. At the height of the concert is Poulenc’s most celebrated work, Gloria.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Alain Lefèvre, piano
Anna Feucht, soprano
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, chorus master

Tailleferre: Overture
Mathieu: Piano Concerto No. 4
Poulenc: Gloria
Ravel: Boléro

Winter Dreams • 11/30 & 12/2

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Sunday, December 2, 2018 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

“Winter is coming….” Usher in the season with the VSO in a program featuring an homage to winter featuring Glazunov’s picturesque Winter from The Seasons. Celebrated cellist Julian Schwarz returns with Tchaikovsky’s delightful Rococo Variations. The VSO then takes a trip north to Finland for Sibelius’ evocative Fifth Symphony. We close with a rare treat on the concert stage, the climactic Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Julian Schwarz, cello

Glazunov: Winter from The Seasons, Op. 67
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
Tchaikovsky: Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker

Handel’s Messiah • 12/14 & 12/15

Friday, December 14, 2018 | First Baptist Church, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | 8PM

Join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and VSO Chorus for the time-honored Christmas tradition of George Frideric Handel’s revered oratorio, Messiah. Get in the spirit of the season with this distinguished performance of Handel’s sacred masterpiece that presents the austere and dramatic narrative of the Messiah. From Isaiah’s prophecies to the Hallelujah Chorus, you will be brought to your feet in the Messiah performance of the season.

Handel: Messiah

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 • 1/25 – 1/27

Friday, January 25, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, January 26, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Sunday, January 27, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Composed during a health retreat in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice, in today’s Czech Republic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 is one the composer considered to be among his best works. It gained instant popularity for its second movement, Allegretto, which was encored at the premiere in which Beethoven conducted. To open our program, the VSO is joined by soloist Sirena Huang for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, the largest orchestral work by the composer.

Thom Wilkins, conductor
Sirena Huang, violin

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Grieg Piano Concerto • 3/9 & 3/10

Saturday, March 9, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Sunday, March 10, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Guest artist Jeffrey Biegel joins the VSO for one of the most-loved concertos of all time, Grieg’s Piano Concerto. This concerto is among Grieg’s earliest important works and the only concerto the composer completed. Written in just a month in the summer of 1944, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 was intended to be “a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit.” This triumphant and electrifying composition has remained one of his most popular works.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Bantock: Kishmul’s Galley
Grieg: Piano Concerto
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5

A Mozart Celebration • 3/21 – 3/24

Thursday, March 21, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, March 23, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Sunday, March 24, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Guest conductor Scott Yoo, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mexico City Philharmonic, takes the helm of this magnificent Mozart program.  Symphony No. 39 is the first of a set of three symphonies, the last set he composed. Its opening is “so majestic that it so surprised even the coldest, most insensitive listener.” The program opens with the Overture to The Magic Flute before Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, a work that blends symphony with concerto in this small-ensemble masterpiece. With its rich harmonies and incandescent themes, the work has inspired arrangers and composers for centuries. This beautiful piece, the only surviving complete concerto for this combination of instruments, features principal musicians of the VSO.

Scott Yoo, conductor
Sherie Aguirre, oboe
Michael Byerly, clarinet
Laura Leisring, bassoon
Jacob Wilder, horn

Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 297b
Mozart: Symphony No. 39

A Night at the Movies • 4/5 – 4/7

Friday, April 5, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, April 6, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Sunday, April 7, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Join the VSO for a Night at the Movies! From the composer of the score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto features a first for local audiences. The pipa is a traditional Chinese four-stringed instrument, and soloist Wu Man is one of the world’s leading performers, having worked with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. John Williams’ hauntingly beautiful music from Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be one of the many film scores featured.

Wu Man, pipa

Tan Dun: Pipa Concerto
Rózsa: Hitchcock’s Spellbound
John Williams: Close Encounters

Mahler Symphony No. 2 • 4/19 & 4/20

Friday, April 19, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, April 20, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

The 2018-19 Classics Season comes to a close with one of the greatest symphonies of all time. Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, among his most popular and successful works during his lifetime, demonstrates his vision of beauty in the afterlife and in resurrection. Characteristic of Mahler, the symphony is written for a huge orchestra and runs the gamut of emotions in the contemplation of life and death.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, chorus master

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Joanne Falletta, Music Director, Conductor - Virginia Symphony OrchestraJoAnn Falletta

Music Director

JoAnn Falletta is internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music, an inspiring artistic leader, and a champion of American symphonic music. An effervescent and exuberant figure on the podium, she has been praised by The Washington Post as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.” Acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation”, she serves as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and music advisor to the Hawaii Symphony.

Ms. Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras. Recent guest conducting highlights include debuts in Belgrade, Gothenburg, Lima, Bogotá, Helsingborg, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, a European tour with the Stuttgart Orchestra, return engagements with the Warsaw, Detroit, Phoenix, and Krakow Symphony Orchestras and a 13 city US tour with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with James Galway.

She has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Her North America guest conducting appearances have included the orchestras of Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Diego, Montreal, Toronto and the National Symphony and international appearances have included the London Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Korean Broadcast Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, China National Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester BBC Philharmonic, Scottish BBC orchestra, Orchestra National de Lyon and Mannheim Orchestra among others. Ms. Falletta’s summer activities have taken her to numerous music festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, the Hollywood Bowl, Wolf Trap, Mann Center, Meadow Brook, OK Mozart Festival, Grand Teton, Eastern, Peninsula and Brevard Festival.

Falletta is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, the coveted Stokowski Competition, and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards for conducting, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra League’s prestigious John S. Edwards Award. She is an ardent champion of music of our time, introducing over 500 works by American composers, including more than 110 world premieres. Hailing her as a “leading force for the music of our time”, she has been honored with twelve ASCAP awards. Ms. Falletta served as a Member of the National Council on the Arts during both the George W Bush and Obama administrations.

Under Falletta’s direction, the VSO has risen to celebrated artistic heights. The VSO, which made critically acclaimed debuts at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall under Falletta and entered into their first multinational recording agreement with Naxos, performs classics, pops and family concert series in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg.

In addition to her current posts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, Brevard Music Center and Hawaii Symphony, Ms. Falletta has held the positions of principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York and her master’s and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School.

JoAnn Falletta on NPR | The Innovative Mosaic Of American Symphonies

Bob Shoup, Chorusmaster, Staff Conductor - Virginia Symphony OrchestraRobert Shoup

Chorusmaster/Staff Conductor

This is Robert Shoup’s 20th season as Chorus Master and Staff Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. His national and international conducting credits include the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, ensembles from the Prague Radio Orchestra and Czech State Philharmonic, and numerous choral ensembles. He served as the Music Director of the all professional Virginia Chorale from 1997-2007.

Robert Shoup’s choruses have been described by critics as “totally enthralling” and “completely mesmerizing,” and he has spearheaded numerous collaborations that have included music, dance and visual arts. His ensembles have been featured on numerous recordings, including two discs with the VSO for the Naxos label (Hailstork and Stravinsky). He served as Assistant Music Director for the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Arts Festival’s highly acclaimed production of the Leonard Bernstein “Mass” and coordinated the collaborating choruses for 2012 performances and recording of Mahler’s Eighth symphony known as the “Symphony of a Thousand.”

His achievements include the creation and coordination of “American Voices”, a two-week-long festival of American choral music with the Virginia Chorale and the VSO. The project earned one of seven major National Endowment for the Arts “American Masterpieces: Choral Music” grants. Shoup also prepared a nationally recruited choir of over 1,800 singers for the 400th Anniversary celebration of Jamestown.

Mr. Shoup is also a singer whom the Pittsburgh Post Gazette called Shoup “an especially fine tenor.” His vocal performances have included the role of John Adams in the world premiere performance of Adolphus Hailstork’s Crispus Attucks, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Fort Collins (CO) Symphony. Mr. Shoup is the founding Artistic Director of CREATOrS, Inc., for which he is composing the score for a major theatrical project related to a true story in sub-Saharan Africa.

Shoup holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (voice) from Duquesne University, and a Master’s degree in Conducting in the studio of Grammy-winning conductor Robert Page at Carnegie Mellon University.