Ferguson Center for the Arts

The Ferguson Center for the Arts, on the campus of Christopher Newport University, opened its doors in 2005 and houses the Diamonstein Concert Hall that we perform in (pictured above). Seating 1,725 people, the Orchestra, Parterre, and Grand Tier areas feature comfortable seating with several aisles. For the best experience, inquire about the box seating located on each level. Drinks with lidded cups purchased in the lobby are allowed inside the hall, and free parking with a convenient shuttle is offered in the garage behind the hall.

Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606

Phone:  (757) 594-7448
Capacity:  1,600
Parking:  Free parking is available in the garage adjacent to the Ferguson Center with complimentary shuttle service to take you to the lobby. In addition, the Ferguson Center also provides valet parking for a fee.

Dining options nearby

Click on a seating chart above to download a PDF.

Accessibility

The Ferguson Center was built under the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) and meets the standards set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is our intent to exceed standard requirements and provide exceptional service for our patrons with disabilities.

Special Features for patrons with disabilities

Complimentary wheelchairs are available at all performances. Speak to a member of House Management upon arrival.

Seating

To purchase accessible seating, contact VSO Patron Services at (757) 892-6366. Notice of special needs must be addressed at time of purchase so that we may best accommodate you. All accessible seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parking

Handicap Parking is available in the parking garage. A shuttle service, via electric carts, is available at all performances to and from the parking garage.

Paid valet parking is available at most performances for all patrons. If valet parking is not available, disabled patrons may park in the drop-off circle. These services must be arranged at least 14 days prior to the performance. Contact Patron Services at (757) 594-8465.

Assisted Listening

An FM assisted listening system, including headsets and induction loop devices, is available at performances on a first-come, first-served basis.
Speak to a member of House Management upon your arrival.

Ferguson Center for the Arts

Upcoming Concerts at Ferguson Center for the Arts

Mahler & Mozart • 2/21-2/23

Friday, February 21, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, February 22, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, February 23, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Perfoming Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

“Danzmayr has what it takes,” wrote The Chicago Tribune of David Danzmayr’s performances leading the Illinois Symphony. Last year, Danzmayr was appointed chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic – part of an extensive European career of concerts in venues like Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. One of his shorter symphonies, Mahler’s fourth is that last of his so-called Wunderhorn symphonies, all based on songs from The Youth’s Magic Horn – and is one of his most popular and widely performed.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor David Danzmayr. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

David Danzmayr, conductor
Clara Rottsolk, soprano

Mozart: Divertimento KV 136
Mozart:
Voi avete un cor Fedele
Mahler
: Symphony No. 4

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Series Sponsor

Stravinsky Firebird • 3/6-3/8

Friday, March 06, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, March 07, 2020 | L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, March 08, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Chicago-born conductor Fawzi Haimor has established an extensive international career with some of the world’s great orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, and just last summer, the Grant Park Symphony in his native Chicago. He is currently music director of the Württembergische Philharmonie. For his VSO debut, Haimor celebrates the Centennial of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, along with a first Hampton Roads performance from Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara – his popular Cantus Arcticus, or Concerto for Birds and Orchestra featuring birdsong recorded at the Finnish Artic Circle.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor Fawzi Haimor. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

Fawzi Haimor, conductor
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

Joshua Cerdenia: Feuertrunken (Fire-Drunk)
Elgar: Concerto for cello
Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus, op. 61 “Concerto for Birds and Orchestra”
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919)

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Series Sponsor

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!

Series Sponsors

Strauss Rosenkavalier Suite • 3/27-3/29

Friday, March 27, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, March 28, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, March 29, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

From the much-loved waltzes made famous in Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier, to Robert Schumann’s one and only piano concerto, JoAnn Falletta has chosen a wide-ranging program of classics to show off the orchestra and soloist next spring, including French pianist Prisca Benoit – known for a refined pianistic touch with a wide range of colors. Benoit continues the orchestra’s collaboration with Sentara Healthcare’s “Music and Medicine” Program. The Schumann concerto will be recorded for later release.

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Prisca Benoit, piano

Bantock: The Witch of Atlas
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Strauss: Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Sponsored By

Series Sponsor

Video Games Live • 4/3

Friday, April 3, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts | 7:30PM

Video Games Live™ is an immersive concert event featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Picture the energy and excitement of a rock concert mixed with the power and emotion of a symphony orchestra and brought together by the technology, interactivity, stunning visuals and fun that only video games can provide. Completely synchronized, cutting-edge videos, state-of-the-art lighting and special effects, stage show production and special on-stage interactive segments will dazzle crowds of all ages – gamers and non-gamers alike.

Are you the ultimate gamer and want special access to the most popular video game concert in the world? How about a tour of what goes on behind the scenes by VGL Creator/Executive Producer/Host and video game legend Tommy Tallarico? Are you interested in NO WAITING special front of line access to the post-show meet & greet with the performers and special guests? How about a laminated backstage pass and V.I.P. package of exclusive merchandise? Then here’s your chance! Choose the “Ticket Plus VIP Experience” option at checkout!

Shostakovich Five • 5/8-5/10

Friday, May 8, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Saturday, May 09, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Sunday, May 10, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor Eric Jacobsen returns to the VSO in the new season to lead one of the 20th Century’s tour de force masterpieces – Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with his innovative and collaborative programming, and in addition to the Shostakovich, Jacobsen will conduct the beautiful Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, with violinist Alexi Kenney, a recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.”

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by guest conductor Eric Jacobsen. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Alexi Kenney, violin

Anna Clyne: Masquerade
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Sponsored By

Series Sponsor

Beethoven “Emperor” and Symphony No. 9 “Choral” • 5/15-5/17

Friday, May 15, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM
Saturday, May 16, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM
Sunday, May 17, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, VA Beach | 2:30PM

JoAnn Falletta finishes her final season as Music Director with a history-making performance celebrating Beethoven’s 250th Year, in performances presented by the Virginia Arts Festival. For these concerts, Falletta will be joined by renowned pianist Olga Kern, who will perform Beethoven’s well-known “Emperor” Concerto. Kern is the recently appointed Connie and Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music for the Virginia Arts Festival. Following intermission, Falletta will be joined by four soloists and full VSO Chorus for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the “Choral” Symphony.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

Beethoven: Emperor Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

*Please note this concert is not available for exchanges or Flex Package purchases.*

Meet the artists and discover the orchestra experience from a new perspective during Behind the Notes, a pre-concert talk hosted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. These casual presentations give you a special look at the music of the day as well as the music-makers themselves. They offer an informative way to learn about the music before your orchestra experience. One hour before each Classics concert (7pm or 1:30pm). Behind the Notes is FREE to ticket holders at all venues.

From the New World • 9/18 – 9/20

Friday, September 18, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, September 19, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, September 20, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 7:30PM

Suffolk native and Metropolitan Opera star Ryan Speedo Green comes home to join the VSO in the opening of our 100th Anniversary Season! Green’s inspiring personal story and incredible talent (nurtured at the Governor’s School for the Arts) has been featured in numerous media outlets. For this special appearance, Green’s incredible range will be on display with a variety of operatic showstoppers, Broadway standards and African American spirituals.
Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra and newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovenian RTV Orchestra in Ljubljana. Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony reflects on the bountiful and optimistic United States that welcomed the composer with open arms. Spirituals learned from the grandson of a freed slave and transcriptions of Native American melodies enrich this mix of European refinement and American earnestness.

Rossen Milanov, conductor
Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone

Adolphus Hailstork: An American Port of Call
Rossini: “La Calunnia” from IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
Bizet: “Votre toast” from CARMEN
Rodgers/Hammerstein: “This nearly was mine” from SOUTH PACIFIC
Wagner: “Abendlicht strahlt der sonne auge” from DAS RHEINGOLD
Traditional/ arr. Flody: Down by the river side
Dvorak: New World Symphony

A Celebration of the 1920s • 10/23 – 10/25

Friday, October 23, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, October 24, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

It’s the roaring ‘20s! Gershwin wrote his signature piece Rhapsody in Blue about the same time Maurice Ravel was in Paris writing his Concerto in G, which was heavily influenced by American jazz. Hear both pieces as audience favorite pianist Natasha Paremski returns to the VSO in a program that harkens back to the decade of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1920. Leading the VSO will be Akiko Fujimoto, who is quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most dynamic and nuanced young conductors.

Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano

Hindemith: Ragtime
Porter/Koechlin: Within the Quota
Ravel: Concerto in G
Ellington: Harlem
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Classic Marsalis! • 11/5 – 11/8

Thursday, November 5, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, November 8, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis makes his first appearance with the VSO! Joining his friend to conduct is Norfolk native and Hampton Roads’ favorite son Thomas Wilkins who returns to lead this exciting program featuring a recent saxophone concerto by American composer John Adams. The work is inspired by Adams’ early exposure to jazz greats John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Don’t miss this very special collaboration!

Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

John Adams: Saxophone Concerto

Elliott Brothers Pla7 Brahms • 1/22/21 – 1/24/21

Friday, January 22, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, January 23, 2021 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, January 24, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

Newport News natives Brendon and Sterling Elliott, each embarking on their own impressive solo careers, will make a rare joint appearance with full symphony orchestra in Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello. Popular former VSO Resident Conductor Benjamin Rous, now Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony and on faculty at the University of Virginia, returns to conduct this performance which concludes with Rachmaninoff’s final major composition, Symphonic Dances, popular for its colorful rhythms, gorgeous melodies and beautiful alto saxophone solo.

Benjamin Rous, conductor
Brendon Elliott, violin
Sterling Elliott, cello

Strauss, Jr.: Csardas from “Ritter Pasman”
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Kishi Bashi Meets the Symphony • 3/5/21 – 3/7/21

Friday, March 5, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 6, 2021 | Venue TBA, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, March 7, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM

From South by Southwest to Austin City Limits, the internationally celebrated singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kishi Bashi has been pushing musical boundaries since growing up in Norfolk. Written in honor of the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, his multimedia presentation combines elements of film as well as recorded and improvised music. The work was premiered by Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble in 2018 with co-founder and artistic director Jacomo Bairos on the podium. Bairos will conduct the VSO in this full orchestra premier of the work. The program will conclude with Shostakovich’s stirring Symphony No. 10.

Jacomo Bairos, conductor
Kishi Bashi, violin

Kishi Bashi: EO 9066 (Japanese Internment)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

Brandenburg Concertos • 3/26/21 – 3/28/

Friday, March 26, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 27, 2021 | Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | 7:30PM
Sunday, March 28, 2021 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 2:30PM

Rarely presented in a single evening, the complete Brandenburg Concertos – six baroque masterpieces – spotlight the superlative musicians of the VSO. These musical jewels showcase individual instruments in melodies immediately recognized and beloved by musicians and audiences everywhere. This extraordinary program will be led by one of America’s most revered conductor/ violinists, Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin, lauded all over the world and loved here in Virginia for his superb technique and leadership.

Cho-Liang Lin, conductor/violin
Members of the VSO

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Complete)

Tchaikovsky Spectacular • 4/23/21 – 4/24/21

Friday, April 23, 2021 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 7:30PM
Saturday, April 24, 2021 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM

After his first electrifying performances with the orchestra last fall, superstar pianist “Sasha” Gavrylyuk was immediately reengaged to perform the ultimate
Romantic piano blockbuster, Tchaikovsky’s luscious First Piano Concerto. The composer’s Symphony No. 4, a meticulously structured meditation on fate in four movements, follows with some of the most explosive brass and wind moments – a fitting finale to our celebratory season that will bring you to your feet! Former VSO Assistant Conductor “Z” Kuwahara returns from his current post at Russia’s famed Marinsky Theatre to lead the orchestra.

Shizuo “Z” Kuwahara, conductor
Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Mr. Gavrylyuk’s performance is being underwritten by Mrs. Oriana McKinnon.