Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Williamsburg Classics Concert Series

Copland’s Clarinet Concerto • 10/12

Thursday, October 12, 2017 | 8 PM | Phi Beta Kappa Hall, Williamsburg

The 2017-2018 Williamsburg Classics series opens with Respighi’s Botticelli Triptych, a marvelous and colorful piece inspired by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli’s Early Renaissance paintings in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The program continues with Principal Clarinet Michael Byerly’s VSO solo debut in a dreamy concerto from America’s most beloved native composer, Aaron Copland. Commissioned by jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman, Copland’s Clarinet Concerto was influenced by Brazilian folk music heard on his travels through South America. The two-movement concerto is languid yet expressive in its first movement and becomes restive and audacious in the second. The concert concludes with Brahms’ mellow and airy Serenade No. 2 constructed around a multi-movement suite model.

  • JoAnn Falletta, conductor
  • Virginia Symphony Orchestra
  • Michael Byerly, clarinet

 

  • Respighi: Botticelli Triptych
  • Copland: Clarinet Concerto
  • Brahms: Serenade No. 2

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 • 11/9

Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 8PM | Crosswalk Community Church, Williamsburg

The second installment of this season’s Williamsburg Classics Series begins with Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galanta. An avid collector of Hungarian folk songs, Kodály based the piece on the folk music of Galanta, and it bears an evocative, fervent quality that ignites glowing orchestral sonorities. The program proceeds with Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. This “lush, richly textured” work is set to excerpts from a 1938 prose poem by James Agee that later became a preamble to his Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Death in the Family (1957). The concert concludes with Beethoven’s more relaxed and blithe Symphony No. 2, one of the final works of his “early period.”

  • JoAnn Falletta, conductor
  • Virginia Symphony Orchestra
  • Aundi Marie Moore, soprano

 

  • Kodaly: Dances of Galanta
  • Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

Holiday Brass • 12/12-12/15

Thursday, December 12, 2017 | 8PM | TCC Roper Performing Arts Center , Norfolk
Friday, December 15, 2017 | 8PM |
Saint Bede Catholic Church, 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. You’ll enjoy music from a variety of styles that make this concert one holiday delight you won’t want to miss!

Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Mozart’s Haffner Symphony • 3/23

Friday, March 23, 2018 | 8PM | Crosswalk Community Church, Williamsburg

The final Williamsburg Classics program opens with György Ligeti’s Concert Romanesc, a modestly modern piece composed in four movements played without pause. Using elements from the Romanian folk tradition, Ligeti echoes childhood memories of Alpine horns heard in the Carpathian mountains. William Walton’s viola concerto, featuring Juilliard graduate and Chesapeake, VA native Andrew Gonzalez, is an emotionally gripping piece and is arguably the first great viola concerto of the 20th century. The performance concludes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 35. Also called the Haffner Symphony, the work has a spirited first movement that is, Mozart said, to be played with fire, followed by an unhurried, graceful second movement, a bright, atmospheric third, and ending in a fervid finale that Mozart advised be played “as fast as possible.”

  • Benjamin Rous, conductor
  • Virginia Symphony Orchestra
  • Andrew Gonzalez, viola

 

  • Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni
  • Walton: Viola Concerto
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 35, Haffner

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

Michael Byerly, Principal

Principal clarinetist Michael Byerly joined the Virginia Symphony at the start of its 2014-2015 season. Originally from Oregon, he studied clarinet with William McColl and Yehuda Gilad, completing degrees at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California and earning an Artist Diploma at The Colburn School. While in Los Angeles, he gained formative orchestral experience as a substitute player with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a soloist, he won First Prize at the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition and the Pasadena Showcase House Competition. He spent three years in Nishinomiya, Japan, as a member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, and he served for two seasons as Principal Clarinetist with the Tucson Symphony. He resides in Virginia Beach with his fiancée, Christina Havens, who is Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Virginia Symphony.

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

Benjamin Rous

Resident Conductor

Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous was hired as Associate Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among audiences throughout southeastern Virginia. Promoted to Resident Conductor in 2013, he took on an expanded role in the VSO’s calendar, where he performs annually on every series including Classics, Regional Classics, Pops, Young People’s Concerts, and state tours. In the summers, he pursues his love of education, serving as faculty conductor of Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.

Recent guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Hartford Symphony, and the Santa Fe Symphony. Highlights of past seasons include performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Illinois Symphony, and on St. Louis’s Pulitzer Concerts with musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Rous was featured in the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony, and in the summer of 2014 he was called upon by the Grant Park Festival to fill in for a delayed conductor on less than 24 hours’ notice.

An accomplished instrumentalist, Rous has concertized extensively on violin, viola, and keyboard instruments. He has served as guest principal 2nd violin with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he performed under the batons of Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding, including European tours and a teaching residency with El Sistema students in Caracas. He was a regular member of the Boston-area Arcturus Chamber Ensemble for a decade, and has led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra from the harpsichord in baroque repertoire.

Benjamin Rous studied music at Harvard with an emphasis on composition, graduating with highest honors. His works have been performed by diverse ensembles including the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwood Orchestra, and the Fromm Players. During his college years he served as Music Director of Harvard Bach Society Orchestra and of Lowell House Opera, studied performance practice with Robert Levin, and performed on baroque violin with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra as section leader and soloist. He went on to earn the Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where he also studied harpsichord and pursued his interest in dance. He received further guidance in festivals and masterclasses from David Zinman, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, and Lorin Maazel.