Meet VSO’s new music director,

ERIC JACOBSEN

Just 38 years old and already well-established as one of classical music’s most exciting and innovative young conductors, combining fresh interpretations of the traditional canon with cutting-edge collaborations across musical genres.

Eric is artistic director and co-founder of The Knights, the uniquely adventurous NYC-based chamber orchestra. The ensemble grew out of late-night music reading parties with friends, good food and drink, and conversation. The group’s projects are wide-ranging, including a recent release of Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos with artist Gil Shaham, which critics are calling revolutionary.

Eric brings joy, storytelling, and a touch of humor to what he describes as “musical conversations” that delight audiences around the world, including those who don’t traditionally attend classical music concerts. In addition to conducting, he is a dedicated chamber musician (cello) and is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

Jacobsen is married to Grammy winning singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan and they have a three-year-old daughter, Ivy Jo.

Follow Eric online!

Eric Jacobsen + Branford Marsalis • 12/2-12/5

Thurs. December 2, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Fri. December 3, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. December 5, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Sandler Center

Join us to welcome new Music Director Eric Jacobsen with Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis for an evening of musical celebration.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

Program includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2

Beethoven’s Ninth! • 4/1-4/3

Fri. April 1, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center
Sat. April 2, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall
Sun. April 3, 2022 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center

Few — if any — works of the orchestral repertoire inspire such fervor, but then, Beethoven’s  Ninth Symphony is no ordinary piece of music. It was revolutionary when it premiered, as it was the first symphony that included a chorus and vocal soloists, performing a slightly altered version of Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.”

And it endures because in this work Beethoven was grappling with some of the most fundamental aspects of humanity, with music that can evoke myriad ideas and emotions — tenderness to terror, sympathy to scorn, delight to despair, calm to chaos — culminating in an anthemic hymn to the possibility of universal brotherhood.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.