HAMPTON ROADS, VA [September 3, 2019] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra launches its 2019/20 fall season with two weekends of exciting concerts across multiple communities in Hampton Roads September 13 through 21, including the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, and two concerts each at the Ferguson Center in Newport News and Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall. 

The two weekends of concerts mark the opening of Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta’s final season as Music Director of the VSO – a season in which the Orchestra will also work with a variety of guest conductors as part of the ongoing search for the Orchestra’s next musical leader.

September 13 through 15, VSO Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts the first three concerts of the new season featuring Rachmaninoff’s famous Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini with pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk. Known to local audiences who visit New York’s Chautauqua Institution in the summer months, Gavrylyuk has been hailed as a “true inspiration” and “easily, the most compelling pianist of his generation.” To close these concerts, Falletta and the Orchestra will present a rare live musical treat: excerpts from Ravel’s music for Daphnis et Chloe, originally produced by the Ballets Russes.

The following weekend, September 20-21, the VSO presents Queens of Soul, in a tribute to the great music of female-singer legends such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Adele. The performances will feature the full Virginia Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by three powerhouse vocalists, Shayna Steele, Brie Cassil, and Melissa McMillian, who make up the highly successful Queens of Soul.

To celebrate the opening of the POPS in Norfolk on September 21, food trucks and beer will be available on the Scope Plaza starting on September 21 for a Party on the Plaza! Starting at 6:00pm, Party on the Plaza will feature food trucks, local beer selections, and music from 95.7 R&B. Come early for some fun with the VSO before rocking out to the timeless, chart-topping hits of the Queens of Soul!

Queens of Soul performances will be presented Friday, September 20 at the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts in Newport News at 8pm, and on Saturday, September 21 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk at 8pm.

Tickets for these and all VSO performances can be purchased by calling 757-892-6366 or at virginiasymphony.org.  

The Norfolk Classics Series is sponsored by Norfolk Southern. The September 13 concert is sponsored by Associates in Dermatology. The September 14 concert is sponsored by Kaufman and Canoles. Mr. Gavrylyuk’s appearance with the VSO is underwritten by Mrs. Oriana McKinnon. The Newport News POPS series sponsor is Riverside Health. The Norfolk POPS series sponsor is PNC Bank. The September 21 concert is sponsored by BDO.


As the region’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organization, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to challenge expectations and push the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be – even as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2020.

At the heart of the VSO’s narrative is innovation.  In 1991 the VSO made a very bold move in appointing the gifted young American conductor JoAnn Falletta as its music director. Since then, the orchestra has received national attention for its unique mission serving a home area of 1.7 million across the diverse communities of southeastern Virginia.  Through appearances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and commitment to adventurous programming, the VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.

As the largest arts performing organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events to educate, enlighten and entertain more than 100,000 residents and visitors each year. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  As it approaches its Centennial year, the Orchestra and its legions of fans look forward with anticipation as the VSO conducts a worldwide search for its next music director.


September 3, 2019

Contact: Monica Meyer, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations
Phone: 757.213.1431 | email: mmeyer@virginiasymphony.org

Contact: Peyton Carter, Manager of Digital Media Strategies and Patron Loyalty
Phone: 757.213.1420 | email: pcarter@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
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