Virginia Symphony Orchestra

POPS! Concert Series

Faith-The Music of George Michael • 9/14 & 9/15

Friday, September 14, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, September 15, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

With over 115 million records sold world-wide, George Michael secured his place in pop music history long before his untimely death on Christmas Day in 2016. A voice of his generation, his iconic style and high-energy songs spanned a 30-year career. Join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for a special tribute to this superstar, performing his best hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “I’m Your Man,” “Faith,” and “Careless Whisper.”

Gonzalo Farias , conductor

The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel • 11/3

Saturday, November 3, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Michael Krajewski , conductor
AJ Swearingen & Jonathan Beedle, vocals

Theirs was the harmony of a generation. Popular conductor Michael Krajewski returns to the VSO with two outstanding singers and band to lead this tribute, featuring Simon & Garfunkel’s greatest hits: “The Sounds of Silence,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Boxer,” and many more. This show is sure to leave you Feelin’ Groovy.

Holiday Pops! • 12/20 – 12/22

Thursday, December 20, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Friday, December 21, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 8PM

Robert Shoup , conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus

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. Led by conductor Robert Shoup, 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 the season together!

Broadway A to Z … ABBA to Les Miz!™ • 1/18 & 1/19

Friday, January 18, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM

Saturday, January 19, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM

We’re back with the best of Broadway! Your favorite Broadway hits spanning the decades, from Jerome Kern to Comden and Green. Featuring songs from: SHOWBOAT, Les Misèrables, Guys and Dolls, The King And I, Peter Pan, Rent, West Side Story, La Cage Aux Folles, Cabaret, and The Music Man. These are the songs that you and all Broadway fans around the world want to hear sung by the current stars of Broadway!

Gonzalo Farias , conductor
Alicia Hall Moran , vocals
Nicholas Rodriguez , vocals

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

 

 

 

Gonzalo Farias, currently the recipient of the prestigious BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, is an engaging conductor, pianist, and educator. Mentored by Marin Alsop, Mr. Farias’ ambition is to establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust, and cooperation.

While Music Director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Farias revitalized the city of Joliet by crafting tailor-made pre-concert lectures and sold-out events. A vis-à-vis Spanish and English narrated version of Bizet’s Carmen intended to bring together all members of the community was one of the highlights of recent seasons. Currently, he is the new Associate Conductor at the Occasional Symphony, one of most innovative and exciting chamber orchestras in Baltimore.

Recently, Mr. Farias attended the 2017 Gstaad Menuhin Festival Conducting Academy. Under the guidance of Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli, he was selected to conduct the prestigious Gstaad Festival Orchestra in several occasions. Under the mentorship of Paavo and Neeme Järvi, Mr. Farias also studied at the Järvi Academy and was selected to close its final concert at the Pärnu Music Festival. He has also attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he was awarded the Osher Scholar Prize in conducting. As part of the Peninsula Music Festival, Mr. Farias worked as an Assistant Conductor under the “Emerging Conductor” program established by esteemed Music Director Victor Yampolsky.

An advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Farias served as an Assistant Conductor of Donald Schleicher in the recording project of “Astral Canticle” by Augusta Read Thomas, released by Nimbus Records. Mr. Farias also served as a Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as the recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship.

Mr. Farias has worked with conductors Harold Farberman, Diane Wittry, Markus Stenz, Christoph König, Hannu Lintu, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin. Garrett Keast, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Larry Rachleff, as well as with members of the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Worcester Youth Orchestra, Bard Conductor’s Institute Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, National Symphony of Chile, Pleven Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Farias was born in Santiago de Chile. He began his piano studies at age five and earned his Bachelor’s degree at the P.C. University of Chile. Mr. Farias continued his graduate studies at the New England Conservatory, earning his Master´s, Graduate Diploma, and Doctoral degrees 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 as his Assistant Conductor. He is currently a student in the inaugural class of Marin Alsop at the Peabody Conservatory.

Besides having a fond love for piano, chamber, and contemporary music, Mr. Farias is an avid reader of second-order cybernetics from authors Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela. His Doctoral thesis “Logical Predictions and Cybernetics” explores the case of Cornelius Cardew’s “The Great Learning” to redefine our music activity as a social and “cybernetic” organization. In addition to that, he has a warm affection for Zen Buddhism, which he has practiced for many years.

Michael Krajewski, conductor

“…his wry wit, as spontaneous as a stand-up comedian’s, emerged to amuse the audience. Krajewski turned to the orchestra to lead a bright, sassy account. It showed that he is as effective and entertaining a communicator in music as he is in words.”

— Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle

Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski is a much sought after conductor of symphonic pops. He is Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphonies.  Previously, he was Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston Symphony for sixteen seasons.

As a guest conductor Michael has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Boston and Cincinnati Pops; the San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and National Symphonies, and numerous other orchestras across the United States. In Canada he has led Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and the Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies. Other international appearances include performances in Dublin and Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra as well as performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Spain’s Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.

Michael is the conductor of the video Silver Screen Serenade with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker that aired worldwide on BYU Broadcasting. On recording he has led the Houston Symphony on two holiday albums: Glad Tidings and Christmas Festival. In 2016 Michael's conducting his original Carole King Songbook all over North America featuring Broadway's Liz Callaway, Allison Blackwell and Bryce Ryness. Michael’s other collaborative programs have included such artists as flutist James Galway, mezzo Marilyn Horne, pianist Alicia de Larrocha, guitarist Angel Romero, and pop artists Jason Alexander, Roberta Flack, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Wynonna Judd, Kenny Loggins, Ben Folds, Doc Severinsen, Patti Austin, Sandi Patty, Ann Hampton Callaway, Chicago, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Chieftains, Pink Martini, Rockapella, Cirque de la Symphonie, Classical Mystery Tour, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Midtown Men.

With degrees from Wayne State University inDetroit and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michael furthered his training at the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors. He was a Dorati Fellowship Conductor with the Detroit Symphony and later served as that orchestra’s assistant conductor. He was resident conductor of the Florida Symphony and for eleven years served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Michael lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Darcy. When not conducting he enjoys travel, photography and solving crossword puzzles.

 

Robert Shoup, chorus master

This is Robert Shoup’s 22nd 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.

Critics have described Shoup’s choruses 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.

Shoup is also a singer whom the Pittsburgh Post Gazette called “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.

Shoup also serves as the Director of Music Ministry at Freemason Street Baptist Church where he continues to lead a vibrant vocal music program.  He has been instrumental in the creation of “The Hymnal of Freemason Street Baptist Church,” published Fall 2016. He is also the architect of a new musical outreach program – The Norfolk Street Choir – that will provide homeless individuals an opportunity to participate in music in a performing choir.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (voice) from Duquesne University, and a Master’s degree in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Grammy Award-winning conductor Robert Page.

Gonzalo Farias, currently the recipient of the prestigious BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, is an engaging conductor, pianist, and educator. Mentored by Marin Alsop, Mr. Farias’ ambition is to establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust, and cooperation.

While Music Director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Farias revitalized the city of Joliet by crafting tailor-made pre-concert lectures and sold-out events. A vis-à-vis Spanish and English narrated version of Bizet’s Carmen intended to bring together all members of the community was one of the highlights of recent seasons. Currently, he is the new Associate Conductor at the Occasional Symphony, one of most innovative and exciting chamber orchestras in Baltimore.

Recently, Mr. Farias attended the 2017 Gstaad Menuhin Festival Conducting Academy. Under the guidance of Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli, he was selected to conduct the prestigious Gstaad Festival Orchestra in several occasions. Under the mentorship of Paavo and Neeme Järvi, Mr. Farias also studied at the Järvi Academy and was selected to close its final concert at the Pärnu Music Festival. He has also attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he was awarded the Osher Scholar Prize in conducting. As part of the Peninsula Music Festival, Mr. Farias worked as an Assistant Conductor under the “Emerging Conductor” program established by esteemed Music Director Victor Yampolsky.

An advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Farias served as an Assistant Conductor of Donald Schleicher in the recording project of “Astral Canticle” by Augusta Read Thomas, released by Nimbus Records. Mr. Farias also served as a Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as the recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship.

Mr. Farias has worked with conductors Harold Farberman, Diane Wittry, Markus Stenz, Christoph König, Hannu Lintu, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin. Garrett Keast, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Larry Rachleff, as well as with members of the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Worcester Youth Orchestra, Bard Conductor’s Institute Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, National Symphony of Chile, Pleven Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Farias was born in Santiago de Chile. He began his piano studies at age five and earned his Bachelor’s degree at the P.C. University of Chile. Mr. Farias continued his graduate studies at the New England Conservatory, earning his Master´s, Graduate Diploma, and Doctoral degrees 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 as his Assistant Conductor. He is currently a student in the inaugural class of Marin Alsop at the Peabody Conservatory.

Besides having a fond love for piano, chamber, and contemporary music, Mr. Farias is an avid reader of second-order cybernetics from authors Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela. His Doctoral thesis “Logical Predictions and Cybernetics” explores the case of Cornelius Cardew’s “The Great Learning” to redefine our music activity as a social and “cybernetic” organization. In addition to that, he has a warm affection for Zen Buddhism, which he has practiced for many years.

Alicia Hall Moran, mezzo-soprano

Alicia Hall Moran, mezzo-soprano, is a multi-dimensional artist performing and composing between the genres of Opera, Art, Theater, and Jazz. Ms. Moran made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning revival The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, starring as Bess on the celebrated 20-city American tour. "Moran finds the truth of the character in her magnificent voice," Los Angeles Times.

A unique vocalist performing across the fine arts and in her own contemporary work, Ms. Moran's creativity has been nurtured by, and tapped by celebrated artists including Carrie Mae Weems, Adam Pendleton, Joan Jonas, Ragnar Kjartansson, Simone Leigh, Liz Magic Laser, curator Okwui Enwezor, and choreographer Bill T. Jones, musicians like Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, and the band Harriet Tubman, diverse writers from Simon Schama to Carl Hancock Rux, as well as institutions at the forefront of art and ideas worldwide.

Ms. Moran's artist residencies include Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, MASSMoCA, and National Sawdust center for original music. She's been commissioned by ArtPublic/Miami Art Basel, Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, Histories Remixed/Art Institute Chicago, and Prototype Festival: HERE Performing Arts/Beth Morrison Projects, steadily rewriting a template for the classical-pop hybrid singer, with quiet yet critically-acclaimed works such as HEAVY BLUE, her first album, the motown project, The Five Fans, Breaking Ice: The Battle of the Carmens, and Black Wall Street, a personal historical take on the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 which premiered at River To River Festival after developing at National Sawdust and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/Women In Jazz--institutions dedicated to keeping creativity and risk-taking alive at the critical level Ms. Moran inhabits.

In partnership with husband and collaborator Jason Moran, she was awarded a 2017 Art of Change fellowship by the Ford Foundation and has generated work for the Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Walker Art Center, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many others.

Ms. Moran's transcendent vocal performances travel from the jazz club (Village Vanguard, The Stone, Jazz@Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, San Francisco Jazz, Kennedy Center, etc.; to solo turns with symphony orchestra--including National Symphony Orchestra Pops, Chicago Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, 1B1 Orchestra/Norway, Roanoke Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic; to the opera stage to translations on theatrical stages and film. Her second album, HERE TODAY, was released December 21, 2017.

Nicholas Rodriguez, vocals

Nicholas Rodriguez has had an extensive career on Broadway (Tarzan), film (Sex and the City 2) and the concert stage. He recently toured the US as Captain Georg Von Trapp in The Sound of Music directed by Jack O’Brien.

His debut album, based on his one-man show of the same name, The First Time... fuses Rodriguez's love of theatre with the music of jazz, blues, folk and pop.

Rodriguez made his Broadway debut in Disney’s production of Tarzan.  Off-Broadway he starred in The Toxic Avenger: The Musical, Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver, Death for Five Voices, Colette Collage, and Bajour. He’s also traveled the world on tours of Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), Evita (Che), and Hair (Claude).

He starred opposite Kathleen Turner in Mother Courage and Her Children at Arena Stage in Washington, DC where he recently played Billy Bigelow in Carousel (Helen Hayes nomination), Sebastian in the World Premier of Destiny of Desire, Freddy in My Fair Lady (Helen Hayes nomination), Fabrizio in Light in the Piazza, and was also seen as Curly in Oklahoma! for which he received a 2011 Helen Hayes Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” and was named “Top 10 Performers of 2010” by Hilton Als of The New Yorker.

On the big screen, Rodriguez was seen in Sex and the City 2.  He is also featured on the film’s soundtrack.

Rodriguez’s Regional Credits include: Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson) Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Camelot (Lancelot), Les Miserables (Javert), Oklahoma! (Curly), Damn Yankees (Joe Hardy), The Ten Commandments (Aaron) with Val Kilmer (also on DVD), South Pacific (Joe Cable), The King & I as “Lun Tha” with Lou Diamond Phillips, Nefertiti (Akhenaten), Cinderella (Prince Charming), Last 5 Years, Candide with Harrisburg Opera, Love, Valour, Compassion! (Ramon), Master Class (Tony).

He made his Carnegie Hall debut in a one night only concert version of Guys and Dolls directed by Jack O’Brien and starring Nathan Lane, Megan Mullaly and Len Cariou.

He is perhaps best known for the role of Nick Chavez on ABC’s “One Life to Live” for which he received the GLAAD Media Award, the 2009 Visibility Award, and, along with his co-stars “Men of the Year.”  He has also appeared on Madame Secretary.  

Venturing into the world of the web, Nicholas joined the ensemble cast of Then We Got Help for which he received a Best Actor Nomination for the American Soap World Awards.

His solo shows have enjoyed sold out runs at Birdland, Orlando Cabaret Festival, The MUNY, Signature Theatre, ZACH Theatre, and many others. He has performed at Radio City Music Hall, 54 Below, Feinstein’s, Birdland, and the Metropolitan Room in New York City.

When not on stage, Rodriguez volunteers for The Harvey Milk school in New York City, and SMYAL in Washington, DC for which he received the 2011 Outstanding Community Ally Award. A native Texan, he holds a BM and MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gonzalo Farias, currently the recipient of the prestigious BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, is an engaging conductor, pianist, and educator. Mentored by Marin Alsop, Mr. Farias’ ambition is to establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust, and cooperation.

While Music Director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Farias revitalized the city of Joliet by crafting tailor-made pre-concert lectures and sold-out events. A vis-à-vis Spanish and English narrated version of Bizet’s Carmen intended to bring together all members of the community was one of the highlights of recent seasons. Currently, he is the new Associate Conductor at the Occasional Symphony, one of most innovative and exciting chamber orchestras in Baltimore.

Recently, Mr. Farias attended the 2017 Gstaad Menuhin Festival Conducting Academy. Under the guidance of Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli, he was selected to conduct the prestigious Gstaad Festival Orchestra in several occasions. Under the mentorship of Paavo and Neeme Järvi, Mr. Farias also studied at the Järvi Academy and was selected to close its final concert at the Pärnu Music Festival. He has also attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he was awarded the Osher Scholar Prize in conducting. As part of the Peninsula Music Festival, Mr. Farias worked as an Assistant Conductor under the “Emerging Conductor” program established by esteemed Music Director Victor Yampolsky.

An advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Farias served as an Assistant Conductor of Donald Schleicher in the recording project of “Astral Canticle” by Augusta Read Thomas, released by Nimbus Records. Mr. Farias also served as a Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as the recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship.

Mr. Farias has worked with conductors Harold Farberman, Diane Wittry, Markus Stenz, Christoph König, Hannu Lintu, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin. Garrett Keast, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Larry Rachleff, as well as with members of the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Worcester Youth Orchestra, Bard Conductor’s Institute Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, National Symphony of Chile, Pleven Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Farias was born in Santiago de Chile. He began his piano studies at age five and earned his Bachelor’s degree at the P.C. University of Chile. Mr. Farias continued his graduate studies at the New England Conservatory, earning his Master´s, Graduate Diploma, and Doctoral degrees 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 as his Assistant Conductor. He is currently a student in the inaugural class of Marin Alsop at the Peabody Conservatory.

Besides having a fond love for piano, chamber, and contemporary music, Mr. Farias is an avid reader of second-order cybernetics from authors Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela. His Doctoral thesis “Logical Predictions and Cybernetics” explores the case of Cornelius Cardew’s “The Great Learning” to redefine our music activity as a social and “cybernetic” organization. In addition to that, he has a warm affection for Zen Buddhism, which he has practiced for many years.