Virginia Symphony Orchestra

POPS! Concert Series

Gershwin’s Rhapsody and More! • 3/28 & 3/29

Thursday, March 28, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Friday, March 29, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Hailed “America’s Pianist,” Kevin Cole joins the VSO to pay homage to great American jazz giant George Gershwin! Chicago Tribune raves “When Cole sits down at the piano, you would swear Gershwin himself was at work… Cole stands as the best Gershwin pianist in America today.”  Don’t miss this grand finale to an incredible POPS season featuring “Rhapsody in Blue” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”.

Gonzalo Farias , conductor
Kevin Cole, piano 

 

 

Concert Sponsor

Queens of Soul • 9/20 – 9/21

Friday, September 20, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that’s what the “Queens of Soul” have earned selling millions of albums and countless chart-topping hits. Rock out with the full power of a symphony orchestra and vocalists on the tunes of the strongest women in musical history — including Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and Adele. Bring your girlfriends and sing out loud and proud!

Shayna Steele, vocalist

Music of Neil Diamond • 11/7 – 11/9

Thursday, November 7, 2019  |  Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

One of the best-selling singer/songwriters of all time, Neil Diamond, gave us unforgettable Top Ten hits like “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” “America” and “Desiree.” The VSO has invited Jay White, who has performed more than 2,000 Neil Diamond Las Vegas casino shows, to perform with us in a tribute show for true lovers of the Neil Diamond mystique. Jay captures Diamond’s essence and charismatic stage presence, along with an uncanny vocal and physical likeness. Backed up by the full Virginia Symphony, this is an unparalleled tribute to the man himself! The quality and depth of this show will thrill current Diamond fans and is sure to make new ones.

Holiday Pops! • 12/13 – 12/15

Friday, December 13, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Harrison Opera House Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, December 15, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 7PM

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 —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

Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, chorusmaster

Sponsored By

Dancing & Romancing • 2/13 – 2/14

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Friday, February 14, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

You’ll be transported back to a place and time when dancing and romancing were king, with magical songs such as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Singing in the Rain,” “All That Jazz,” “In the Mood,” “That Old Black Magic,” and many more romantic, dance-filled favorites. Broadway and Hollywood combine for a romantic and entertaining evening of song and dance with two veterans of the Broadway stage. Inspired by the likes of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly, this evening will put a song in your heart and have you dancing in the aisles!

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!

An engaging orchestral conductor, award-winning pianist and passionate educator, Gonzalo Farias, has been recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Virginia Symphony. Under the guidance of JoAnn Falleta, Mr. Farias’ ambition is to establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust, and cooperation among all people in the community.

He is the Associate Conductor of the Occasional Symphony in Baltimore and was the recipient of the prestigious Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellowship in 2016 and 2017. Mentored by Marin Alsop, he assisted conductors Robert Spano, Bernard Labadie, Markus Stenz, Christoph König, Johannes Debus, Lahav Shani, among others; he has worked with instrumentalists like Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Gluzman, Johannes Moser, André Watts, and composers Christopher Theofinidis, Anna Clyne, Jonathan Leshnoff, Christopher Rouse, among many others.

As Music Director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra Farias transformed the city of Joliet embracing the Hispanic residents of the greater Chicago area with pre-concert lectures, free tickets, Latin-based repertoire, and a unique side-by-side Spanish/English narration of Bizet’s Carmen.

During the summer, Mr. Farias has worked closely with Jaap Van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli in the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland as well as with Neeme and Paavo Järvi at the Pärnu Music Festival. In the United States, he was the recipient of the prestigious Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship twice at the Cabrillo Music Festival and named “Emergent Conductor” by Victor Yampolsky at the Peninsula Music Festival. He attended also the Pierre Monteux Festival where he received the Bernard Osher Scholar Prize.

Out of 566 applicants and 78 countries, he was recently chosen one of 24 finalists in the prestigious 2018 Malko Conducting Competition with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Hailed by the Gramophone magazine critics, Mr. Farias offered one the “most fluent, honest, open hearted and pointed performances.”. He has conducting experience with orchestras including Charlotte Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, National Symphony of Chile, among others.

Mr. Farias was born in Santiago de Chile, where he began his piano studies at age five. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the P.C. University of Chile, and then continued his graduate studies at the New England Conservatory as a full-scholarship student of Wha-Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman. He has won first prize at the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition and prizes at the Maria Canals and Luis Sigall Piano Competitions. As a conductor, Mr. Farias attended the University of Illinois working with Donald Schleicher and the Peabody Conservatory with Marin Alsop.

Besides having a fond love for piano, chamber, and contemporary music, Mr. Farias is passionate reader of second-order cybernetics as a way to help understand how complex social systems organize, coordinate and interconnect with one another. This includes the interdependent and recursive nature of musical experiences, in which performers and audiences alike interact and respond to each other. In addition to that, he has a warm affection for Zen Buddhism, which he has practiced for many years.