Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Open Doors: Sensory-Friendly Concert Series

Explore the many ways music makes us feel and helps us understand our emotions during this one-hour chamber music performance. The musicians will speak about how each piece makes them feel or inspires them, while board-certified music therapists from Tidewater Music Therapy assist participants in activities to engage their own emotions and creativity.

Gospel According to Swing with Byron Stripling | 2/17-2/18

Gospel According to Swing with Byron Stipling

Fri., Feb. 17, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sat., Feb. 18, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

Experience this jubilant concert bursting with the spirit of gospel music, and bubbling with the influences of jazz and blues!

Animals at the Symphony | 2/19

Animals at the Symphony

Sun., Feb. 19, 2023 | 3:00 PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach

Join Peter and his animal friends on a symphonic adventure in Sergei Prokofiev’s
beloved work, Peter and the Wolf. A lively introduction to the orchestra, each character in this musical fairy tale is represented by a different instrument. Together we experience the full spectrum of beautiful orchestral colors.

Pre-concert activities start at 2:00PM

Helen Martell, conductor

The Incomparable Yo-Yo Ma | 2/23

The Incomparable Yo-Yo Ma

Thurs., Feb. 23, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

Eric Jacobsen and the VSO are thrilled to welcome the world’s greatest cellist and Eric’s mentor of 20 years, Yo-Yo Ma, for his first appearance here with orchestra since 1999. Mr. Ma’s performance of Dvořák’s famous concerto will be a special highlight of this season’s tribute to the composer.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Add this to your subscription package for priority seating! This concert is ONLY available to UNLIMITED and 8-CONCERT subscribers.

 

Mozart’s Requiem | 3/9-3/12

Mozart's Requiem

Thurs., Mar. 9, 2023 | 7:30PM |Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Fri., Mar. 10, 2023 | 7:30PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sun., Mar. 12, 2023 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach

The Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate JoAnn Falletta returns
to direct the orchestra and VSO Chorus in Mozart’s transcendent Requiem, with
its darkly rich orchestration and otherworldly radiance. The program begins with
Richard Strauss’ tone poem that explores what lies beyond our earthly existence.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Robert Shoup, concertmaster

Richard Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem

 

Violinist Gil Shaham Returns | 3/24-3/26

Violinist Gil Shaham Returns

Fri., Mar. 24, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sat., Mar. 25, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sun., Mar. 26, 2023 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach

Since his surprise appearance with the VSO when he was just 17 years old (a lastminute replacement for Yehudi Menuhin) Gil Shaham has been a special favorite of local audiences even as he has become one of America’s most revered and recorded instrumentalists. He performs the beautiful Dvořák Violin Concerto, a youthful piece that is virtuosic and joyous all the way through. The program also includes a selection of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, newly reimagined by composers commissioned specifically for this project.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

Antonin Dvořák: Violin Concerto
Antonin Dvořák: Slavonic Dances

Broadway Rocks | 3/31-4/1

Broadway Rocks

Fri., Mar. 31, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sat., Apr. 1, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach

This high energy show brings together exciting vocalists from the Broadway stage performing selections from Rock and contemporary Broadway hits. Featured in this show are selections from popular musicals including Hairspray, The Lion King, Rent, The Wiz, and Phantom of the Opera among many others.

 

Romantic Meltdown | 4/21-4/22

Romantic Meltdown

Fri., Apr. 21, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sat., Apr. 22, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

His Symphony No. 1 was reportedly Tchaikovsky’s own favorite piece. Like Tchaikovsky, composer Anna Clyne, an inventive collaborator once described by NPR as “fearless,” always tells a story with her music to create a very distinct sound and color. Also on the program is the piece lovingly called “Rach 2” by its legions of devotees – the ultimate piano thrill ride.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Gabriela Martinez, piano

Anna Clyne: Masquerade
Sergei Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 2
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1

 

From the Silk Road to the Planets | 5/11-5/14

Thur., May 11, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Fri., May 12, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sun., May 14, 2023 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach 

The VSO welcomes two members of the legendary Silk Road Ensemble: the world’s leading virtuoso on the tabla, Sandeep Das, and composer Kayhan Kalhor! Music Director Eric Jacobsen takes us all on a journey from the farthest reaches of our universe to the most joyous human dance imaginable, an accessible emotional bridge to one of the world’s most ancient cultures.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh
Sandeep Das, tabla
Karen Ouzounian, cello
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus Women

Gabriel Fauré: Pie Jesu
Kayhan Kalhor: Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur
Gustav Holst: The Planets

 

 

Chris Thile: World Premiere | 5/19-5/21

Chris Thile: World Premiere

Fri., May 19, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Ferguson Center, Newport News
Sat., May 20, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
Sun., May 21, 2023 | 2:30 PM | Sandler Center, Virginia Beach

Join the VSO for the world premiere of mandolin master Chris Thile’s new concerto with orchestra! We are so proud that Chris has chosen the VSO for this opportunity – it’s a tribute to the orchestra and our music director’s dedication to collaboration and fostering new works at the crossroads of American music.

Made possible by the Susan S. Goode Performance Fund. Co-presented with the Virginia Arts Festival.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Chris Thile, mandolin

2.2.22 | JUST ANNOUNCED: Local Favorites Perform Beethoven and Haydn at the Ferguson Center, April 29, 2022

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [February 2, 2022] – Norfolk native and VSO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins brings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 to the Ferguson Center for the Arts with the Virginia Symphony on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 PM.

Mr. Wilkins found his passion for his orchestral career at age eight while attending a VSO concert.  Having led major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, and after a 17-year stretch as the music director of the Omaha Symphony, Mr. Wilkins was named the VSO’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor last June.

Also joining the orchestra to perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D will be Sterling Elliott, a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the youngest winner of the Sphinx Competition in history.  Mr. Elliott, a native of Newport News, began his career in the Elliot Family String Quartet and is a former student of VSO principal cellist Michael Daniels. Now an accomplished soloist, Elliott’s previous engagements have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony, among others.

Tickets to this performance start at $25 and can be purchased through the box office at 757-892-6366 or www.virginiasymphony.org.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 2, 2022

Contact: Collin Norman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1424
Email: cnorman@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

1.21.22 | Virginia Symphony Orchestra Announces Nikki Thorpe as Director of Diversity and Engagement

Nikki ThorpeHAMPTON ROADS, VA [January 21, 2022] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce Nikki Thorpe as its first-ever Director of Diversity and Engagement.

In this new role, Thorpe will be the primary staff support for all the VSO’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives, partnering closely with the EDI Leadership Team, individual VSO staff members, and the Board of Directors. She will also help be responsible for the vision and execution of the VSO’s HARMONY project and other community-based concerts and events.  

In making the announcement, President and CEO Karen Philion said, “Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for our efforts to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity and creating this new position is the logical next step to capitalize on our momentum. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with Nikki, whose energy, knowledge and enthusiasm stood out among a strong pool of applicants.”

Thorpe is a diversity professional who successfully provided strategic direction and advocacy around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as a member of the executive leadership team at the Coalition for Christian Outreach in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a Diversity Certificate from Cornell University and also helped the organization curate live music performances for annual conferences and training events.  

Thorpe is also the founder of Music Industry Consulting Services (MICS) which provides expertise and resources for artists and organizations and manages arts events and concerts in venues across the country.  She has initiated collaborations between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and African-American vocalists and hip-hop artists. She has served as a member of the PSO’s Community Advisory Council and has been honored by the Pittsburg City Council for her community engagement. She is a member of the American Heart Association Multicultural Initiatives Executive Leadership Team, Ramah International Board of Directors, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Leadership Fraternity and the International Music Department, Church of God in Christ, Inc.

Thorpe said, “The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has shown a true commitment to EDI and I am excited about the opportunity to continue this work with the organization, merging my love for the arts and diversity experience in this new role. As a Black woman, I identify with the challenges faced by members of marginalized populations and will diligently pursue opportunities to serve as a champion to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. I am also thrilled to have the privilege to engage the African American community in Hampton Roads with VSO musicians and staff in new and creative ways.”

Nikki and her husband, Chris, are relocating from Pittsburgh to be near family in Newport News. They are the proud parents of Christin, Nikolas, and CJ and grandparents to Ozzie.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 21, 2022

Contact: Collin Norman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1424
Email: cnorman@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

9.17.21 | The New Maestro

by  | VEER Mag
September 17, 2021

By Montague Gammon III

The newly appointed twelfth Music Director of our Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Eric Jacobsen, flew into town from his current home in Brooklyn late last month, hitting the ground – or rather the stage – running, with rehearsals, board meetings and meetings on programming concerts, “meets and greets with various VSO communities,” dinner, audio editing and then hastened back to Brooklyn, finding time at stops along the way to chat by phone and text about what he has in store for Virginia. 

One comment he made is that he “likes to throw parties and to have people own that party.” 

Conducting and programming a season of concerts is, to Jacobsen, much like giving a party. The musicians and the audiences are the guests, and the host/conductor is out to make their experience joyful and fun and meaningful and memorable. Most especially, to make it memorable. 

1.18.22 | New Fellowship Program at Virginia Symphony Seeks to Diversify Orchestras Nationwide

In Partnership with ODU, Local Public Schools to Gain Mentors

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [January 18, 2022] The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has announced a new Musician Fellowship Program for four early-career African American orchestral string musicians to advance the goal of increased diversity of orchestral musicians nationwide. The first Fellows will join the orchestra in the fall of 2022.  This initiative is a continuation of the VSO’s commitment not only to serve our community but to reflect the diversity of Hampton Roads.

In making the announcement, President and CEO Karen Philion said, “To be truly excellent the VSO must be diverse.  This program is really a game-changer for the VSO and will open up opportunities for not only the Fellows but for everyone who comes in contact with the orchestra.  Thanks to all who were involved in designing this program, especially our musicians whose leadership remains key to its success.”

Music Director Eric Jacobsen added, “The passion and energy of young musicians fuels all of us on stage, and we are incredibly grateful for the community support that makes this groundbreaking project possible.  What we are doing here in Virginia will be a model for other orchestras nationwide.”

The Fellows will perform as part of the VSO in over 100 rehearsals and performances throughout eastern Virginia and engage in public school residencies and educational performances. Professional development opportunities, including private instrument instruction, mock auditions, and mentorship, will better equip Fellows to achieve in their careers as performers and educators. Through these activities, Fellows will receive 9 university-level course credits from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, according to each Fellow’s degree level: undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate course credit. For those Fellows at a post-graduate level, these 9 credits culminate in a Graduate Certificate in Music Performance.

“The Diehn School of Music at ODU is excited to collaborate with the Virginia Symphony of this Fellowship Program,” said Dr. Nancy K. Klein, Professor of Choral Music and Director of the F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music at ODU. “Offering the Performer’s Certificate as part of the program will open doors for musicians to advance their training and education at the highest possible level. This has been two years in the planning stages and we are happy to see it launched.”

“I’m so pleased that we are starting this program. I look forward to identifying and encouraging talented young musicians— a win-win-win for them, for our orchestra and for our community,” said Vahn Armstrong, VSO Concertmaster.

VSO Musician Fellows will participate in the breadth of work performed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra including Classics and Regional Classics, Pops, Peanut Butter & Jam family concerts, Young People’s Concerts, outdoor community concerts, chamber music, small ensemble educational concerts for elementary school students, and mentorship and coaching for middle school, high school, and university students.

With their participation, fellows will receive a stipend for the orchestra services and education work performed, housing with a local host family, a monthly health insurance stipend, and a full scholarship to receive course credit from Old Dominion University.

The program is open to violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists who self-identify as Black. Application materials are due March 21, 2022 to fellowship@virginiasymphony.org.  Live auditions will be held at Old Dominion University in Norfolk April 4 and 5, 2022.  For more information on eligibility, and the application and audition materials, please visit www.virginiasymphony.org/fellowship. This Fellowship, in partnership with Old Dominion University, is made possible by generous support from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation with assistance from the Goode Family Foundation.

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As the region’s most celebrated musical, educational, and entrepreneurial arts organization, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra challenges expectations and pushes the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be.

Driven by a core belief of excellence and innovation, the VSO 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 its commitment to adventurous programming, the VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and BBC Worldwide News.

Presenting more than 150 concerts and events annually for over 100,000 residents and visitors, the VSO and VSO Chorus are the largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, interactive therapeutic experiences for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for neurodiverse audiences. Since 2019, the VSO has been nationally recognized for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, programming, and leadership.

Selecting the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was yet another bold step forward, further expanding the VSO’s vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative, relevant programming. With Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins as the artistic leadership team’s Principal Guest Conductor, VSO is committed to telling its community’s stories and advancing conversations that promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, is Virginia’s forward-focused public doctoral research university with approximately 23,500 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2022

Contact: Collin Norman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1424
Email: cnorman@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

11.17.21 | CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [November 17, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony presents four exceptional holiday programs throughout Hampton Roads from December 10th through December18th.

Join the VSO for the must-see holiday tradition of the season – Holiday POPS! There is 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 VSO is thrilled to welcome back the VSO Chorus, led by Chorusmaster Robert Shoup. Holiday POPS will have all the magical elements you’ve come to expect and more – high energy, familiar carols, and lots of holiday warmth. December 10th at the Ferguson Center in Newport News sponsored by Canon, December 11th at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, and December 12th at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach.

Looking for a fun, safe, and educational event for kids of all ages? Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s stopping by to be a part of the VSO’s ever-popular Jingle Bell Jam! This 50-minute interactive concert showcases the music of the holidays performed by the best talent in Hampton Roads. Celebrate the magic of the season with an afternoon of pre-concert activities, familiar tunes, and pictures with Santa! December 12th at 3:00pm at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. Pre-Concert Activities begin at 2:00pm. Get your tickets early – this family favorite is sure to sell out quickly. Tickets are $12/child and $17/adult. Jingle Bell Jam is sponsored by BayPort Credit Union.

Ring in the holidays with a blast! The VSO brass section takes center stage, filling the concert hall with holiday spirit in Holiday Brass, December 15th at Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, December 16th at the Chesapeake Conference Center sponsored by Carl’s Wash, December 17th at the Suffolk Center for the Arts, and December 18th at the Historic Palace Theater in Cape Charles.

This increasingly popular concert presents all your favorite holiday songs performed with vibrance and virtuosity by the best brass players in the Southeast! The bold sounds and variety of styles of the Virginia Symphony brass section are sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Conductor Helen Martell brings her unique warmth and vitality to lead this amazing group.

The VSO presents George Frederic Handel’s revered oratorio, Messiah, featuring the ever-beloved Hallelujah Chorus, on December 16th at Regent University in Virginia Beach, December 17th at First Baptist Church in Newport News, and December 18th at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk. All Messiah performances are sponsored by Operation Blessing.

Conducting the concerts will be the Virginia Symphony’s founding chorusmaster, Don McCullough. After his departure from Virginia, McCullough led the Kennedy Center’s Master Chorale and is currently director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus (FL). He will conduct the VSO Chorus in excerpts from the Messiah, the perennial holiday favorite that continues to bring hope and joy to listeners nearly 300 years after it was written.

Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting virigniasymphony.org or by calling (757) 892-6366.

Sentara Healthcare is the VSO’s Regional Presenting Sponsor.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

NEW VSO MUSIC DIRECTOR ERIC JACOBSEN PRESENTS HIS DEBUT CONCERTS WITH SPECIAL GUEST AND GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SOLOIST BRANFORD MARSALIS DECEMBER 2 – 5

Eric JacobsenHAMPTON ROADS, VA [November 8, 2021] – In a monster musical weekend featuring everything from a romantic-era favorite to the first U.S. performances of music from British composer Sally Beamish, conductor Eric Jacobsen makes his Virginia Symphony Orchestra debut as its 12th Music Director with Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis as soloist in three concerts across Hampton Roads — December 2, 3 and 5.

Jacobsen, known for challenging audiences with an exciting mix of music, having fun, and a flair for surprises, will open each concert with Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro. In addition to the Beamish pieces, the performances will also include two Mahler songs, Urlicht and Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, before concluding the evening with Brahms’ magnificent Symphony No. 2.

At the core of the program are the two pieces written for saxophone and orchestra featuring Branford Marsalis called “The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone” and “Under the Wing of the Rock” by composer Sally Beamish, whose works for orchestra and opera have riveted the attention of the media and audiences worldwide.

Based in London, the composer, who has previously collaborated with Marsalis, will be in the audience for the performances as well as recording sessions earlier in the week for a CD to be released worldwide in 2022. The weekend’s performances will also be recorded and available to stream through Dreamstage on December 10th at 7:30pm.

New Orleans-born Branford Marsalis is an award-winning saxophonist, band leader, featured classical soloist, and a film and Broadway composer. He has received three Grammy Awards and a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet, formed in 1986, remains his primary means of expression. In its virtually uninterrupted three-plus decades of existence, the quartet has established a rare breadth of stylistic range as demonstrated on the band’s latest release, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. However, Mr. Marsalis has not confined his music to the jazz quartet context. A frequent soloist with classical ensembles, he has become increasingly sought after as a soloist with acclaimed orchestras around the world, performing works by composers such as Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams, and Villa-Lobos. His legendary guest performances with the Grateful Dead and collaborations with Sting have made him a fan favorite in the pop arena as well.

Mr. Marsalis’s work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and Tony nominations for the acclaimed revivals of Children of a Lesser God, Fences, and A Raisin in the Sun. His screen credits include original music composed for: Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better BluesThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, the Netflix film adaptation of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, produced by Denzel Washington and released in December 2020.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as helping to ensure “the future of classical music in America,” Eric Jacobsen, 39, has already carved out a reputation as one of the classical music’s most exciting and innovative young conductors. He combines the best of the core classical canon with cutting-edge collaborations and projects that cut across musical boundaries, captivating both traditional as well as younger and more diverse new audiences.

The Thursday, December 2nd performance will be held at 7:30pm at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. Friday, December 3rd will be held at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall at 7:30pm, and the weekend will conclude with a 7:30pm performance at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach on Sunday, December 5th. Masks are required at all performances.

Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting virginiasymphony.org or by calling 757.892.6366.

The Virginia Symphony is pleased to have Sentara as this year’s Regional Presenting Sponsor.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

11.4.21 | VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH ODU

VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH ODU

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [November 4, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra presents a one-night only concert alongside the Old Dominion University Symphony Orchestra on Friday, November 12th.

JoAnn Falletta, the VSO’s Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate returns to Virginia to conduct a side-by-side performance of Suites from Bizet’s Carmen, Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8 and Dr. Adolphus Hailstork’s Fanfare on Amazing Grace.

Directed by Dr. Paul Kim, the Old Dominion University Symphony Orchestra will play alongside the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. This provides a great opportunity for ODU students to rehearse and perform with a professional orchestra and further develops the long-standing partnership that the VSO and ODU share.

Tenor Brian Nedvin will sing Bizet’s La fleur que tu m’avais jetée (Flower Song), also from Carmen. In addition to being a performer, Nedvin is also an Associate Professor of Music at Old Dominion University, Vocal Coordinator, and the Director and/or Musical Director of the Opera and Musical Theatre productions. 

Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony was started in 1822 but contains only two movements. There is still speculation as to why it was never completed but it is considered one of Schubert’s most beautiful orchestral works.

Dr. Adolphus Hailstork recently retired as Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion and his works have been frequently performed by the Virginia Symphony.

The concert will take place on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting virginiasymphony.org or by calling 757.892.6366.

The Virginia Symphony is pleased to have Sentara returning as this year’s Regional Presenting Sponsor. This concert is also made possible by Connie and Marc Jacobson.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS SEASON OPENING WEEKEND | 9.14.21

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [September 14, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra opens its 2021/22 season with a weekend of exciting concerts across Hampton Roads on September 24th, 25th, and 26th.

It’s the roaring ‘20s! Pianist Natasha Paremski returns to the VSO for her third time in a program that harkens back to the decade of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra’s first performance in 1921. Two jazz-influenced blockbusters, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s Concerto in G, will showcase Paremski’s virtuosity and dynamic style.

Returning to the region to lead the orchestra will be Akiko Fujimoto, Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most dynamic and nuanced young conductors, Fujimoto was previously Conducting Associate of the VSO and Director of Orchestra at the College of William & Mary, so she looks forward to her return to Hampton Roads.

Fujimoto said, “This will be the first time I am returning to the area since I left, so it will be a highly emotional homecoming for me. I am most looking forward to seeing the VSO musicians and staff again, after 10 years. The VSO was the first professional orchestra where I had the privilege to be on the conducting staff, and without those years with the orchestra, I would not be the conductor that I am today. I am forever indebted to the VSO for taking a chance on me, welcoming me into the family and supporting me as I learned the ropes. And I can’t think of a better way to thank them than making great music with them once again!”

The Friday, September 24th performance will be held at 7:30pm at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. Saturday, September 25th will be held at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall at 7:30pm, and the weekend will conclude with a 2:30pm performance at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach on Sunday, September 26th.

Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting virginiasymphony.org or by calling 757.892.6366.

The Virginia Symphony is pleased to have Sentara returning as this year’s Regional Presenting Sponsor. The Ferguson opening night performance is sponsored in memory of Rona M. and Erwin B. Drucker. The Norfolk opening night performance is sponsored by Connie and Marc Jacobson.

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 14, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

SINGLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY’S 2021-2022 SEASON

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [August 30, 2021] – The future of the VSO shines brightly, looking ahead to a season full of joy, new voices, and more live music together. With favorites like Branford Marsalis, Kishi Bashi and The Music of the Bee Gees, to Uptown Nights with the spectacular trumpeter Byron Stripling, you won’t want to miss this exciting season!

The season opens with a celebration of 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 first performance in 1921.

October features Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles, which will have you waving your arms and dancing in the aisles to all your favorite megahits! We also welcome tubist Carol Jantsch to perform Wynton Marsalis’ new concerto for tuba and orchestra commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony concludes the evening by reflecting on the bountiful and optimistic United States that welcomed the composer with open arms. We finish the month with Music: The Final Frontier, A Sci-Fi Spectacular!

In November, we welcome back JoAnn Falletta in her role as the Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate, on the podium for a one-night-only special performance with the VSO side-by-side with Old Dominion University’s Symphony Orchestra.

Then in December, welcome Eric Jacobsen in his debut as Music Director with Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis for an evening of musical celebration, including Brahms’ Symphony No. 2!

Our holiday programming features all your favorites – Holiday Pops, Holiday Brass, and Handel’s Messiah!

Kick off the new year with Met Opera star (and Suffolk, Virginia native) Ryan Speedo Green, and the Norfolk State University Chorus in a program that features soul-stirring spirituals and operatic hits. Also in January, the orchestra presents the Golden Age of Broadway featuring favorites from Berlin, Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loewe. You won’t want either of these evenings to end!

February brings a special treat, The Music of the Bee Gees, the orchestra with a rock band and amazing singers playing the iconic band’s 70’s disco hits from “Stayin’ Alive” to “Night Fever” while also embracing many of their early songs. Also join us when Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins returns to conduct the orchestral blockbuster Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4! Then, Uptown Nights will recreate the magical world of song and dance popularized in the jazz clubs of the ‘40s and ‘50s, and features the return to Virginia of the trumpeter Byron Stripling, the thrilling vocals of Carmen Bradford, and the fancy footwork of tap dancer Leo Manzari.

The internationally celebrated singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kishi Bashi has been pushing musical boundaries since graduating from Maury High School in Norfolk. Hear his Improvisations on EO 9066, a multimedia presentation combining elements of film as well as recorded and improvised music, conducted by co-founder and artistic director of Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, Jacomo Bairos.

Few – if any – works of the orchestra repertoire inspire such fervor as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, but then, it 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. Make sure you have tickets for this blockbuster in April 2022 with the VSO Chorus conducted by Eric Jacobsen.

Back by popular demand, the VSO will perform The Music of Star Wars; experience the entire saga through the films’ scores written by the legendary John Williams.

Single Tickets start at just $25. To purchase tickets, visit virginiasymphony.org, or call 757.892.6366 to reserve your seats. We will see you at the symphony soon!

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 30, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WELCOMES 2021-2022 NEW BOARD MEMBERS

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [August 23, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is excited to welcome four new members to its 2021-2022 Board of Directors.

GarrettGarrett Berger, a Virginia Beach resident since 2003, joins the VSO Board with a great appreciation for the arts community throughout Hampton Roads. A violinist and wine lover, Garrett was an integral part of developing the VSO Symphony of Wines fundraising concert in May 2019.

Until recently, Garrett held the role of Property Portfolio Controller at Armada Hoffler Properties in Virginia Beach. Prior to that, he served as the Controller for T. Parker Host, Inc., a shipping agency and maritime solutions provider headquartered in Norfolk. Garrett holds a Bachelor’s in Commerce and Master’s in Accounting from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

Peggy LaynePeggy Layne has been a resident of Hampton Roads for 30 years and considers herself a “professional volunteer.” After a 40-year career with Dominion Energy, she now dedicates her energy and diverse business experience to work for organizations that make her community a better place to live.

Peggy is actively involved in the Virginia Community College System and is the Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Council on the Furnishing and Interpretation of the Executive Mansion. Peggy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master’s of Education in Human Resource Development from George Washington University. Locally, she graduated from both LEAD-Hampton Roads (1989) and CIVIC Leadership Institute (2017). Peggy is a resident of Chesapeake and enjoys golfing, reading, and taking her “fur babies” for walks with her husband, Aubrey.

Jim NaughtonJim Naughton, retired Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, joins the VSO Board with expertise in labor relations and employment law representing management. Listed in Best Lawyers in America and similar publications, Jim has been integral in assisting with the VSO’s labor negotiations and Covid-relief funding. Jim holds a BS from Northwestern University and a JD from Tulane University and served in the US Marine Corps as an infantry officer and as a military lawyer.

Jim is a past Board President of the Virginia Chorale and is a longtime supporter of the arts community. He enjoys singing bass with auditioned choral groups and serving as a church cantor and psalmist. Jim and his wife, Deb, have three adult children and six grandsons.

Dr. Andrea WarrenDr. Andrea F. Warren recently retired as Executive Director of The Governor’s School for the Arts after 13 successful years. During her tenure and with the assistance of the City of Norfolk and support of the eight superintendents and Regional Board, she was able to obtain a permanent home for the school on Granby Street, now called the Perry Family Arts Center. Under her leadership, GSA created a Visual and Performing Arts College Fair, expanded summer camps and programs for middle and high school students, and provided incredible opportunities for young artists to foster their talents at an exemplary high school arts training program.

Dr. Warren held a 20-year tenure in Virginia Beach City Public Schools in various teaching and leadership roles. She and her husband, Rev. Samuel Warren, Jr. are the proud parents of Adrienne Warren, a 2005 GSA graduate of the musical theatre department who has two Tony nominations, an Olivier nomination, and a Drama Desk Award.

The 2021-2022 Board of Directors will be led by Board Chair Mike McClellan, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Norfolk Southern Corporation. William “Bill” Van Buren III, President and Chairman of Kaufman & Canoles, was re-elected as Vice Chair. Becky Sawyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Sentara Healthcare will continue to serve as Board Treasurer, Susan Goode will continue her service as Board Secretary, and Pat McDermott, Partner at Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C. in Newport News, will continue to serve as Chair Emeritus for the upcoming season.

###

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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

8.31.21 | Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Under the Stars’ concert a Williamsburg tradition

Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Under the Stars’ concert a Williamsburg tradition

 

Williamsburg is a town of traditions and one of its most popular music traditions has been the free outdoor concert offered by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, under the stars, at the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre overlooking picturesque Lake Matoaka, on the campus of William & Mary.

The tradition continues Thursday, when the VSO’s “Under the Stars” concert signals the start of live classical music in town. And, in keeping with that tradition, a fun-filled fare is on tap, running from “Girl from Ipanema” and “Orange Blossom Special” to a medley from “Chicago,” “In the Mood” and “Shall We Dance,” with a few very light classical selections in the mix.

8.12.21 | RESTRUCTURING AT THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PROVIDES MORE RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [August 12, 2021] — The VSO is proud to welcome experienced music educator and conductor Helen Martell as its new Director of Education and Staff Conductor.

This new position reflects restructuring at a moment of artistic transition in the organization. Alongside recently appointed Music Director Eric Jacobsen and Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, Martell will round out the VSO’s new musical leadership team and bring a new level of expertise and experience to one of the pillars of its core mission, music education.

In her position, Martell will be responsible for the design and execution of the VSO’s broad education activities and will conduct the VSO’s education and family concerts. She brings not only more than two decades of experience and dedication in the field of public-school music education, but also a demonstrated commitment to and enthusiasm for equity, diversity and inclusion. She will continue as the Music Director and Symphony Orchestra Conductor of the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, the region’s premier youth orchestra.

Martell taught string orchestra at The Academy of International Studies and Young Scholars at Rosemont for the Norfolk Public Schools for 18 years. Prior to that she taught middle school and high school orchestra in Chesapeake for 8 years. She has been with the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia since 2001.

Karen Philion, VSO President and CEO, said, “I believe Helen’s leadership will take the VSO’s education programs to a new level of professionalism and impact. She is a person of unusual ability, energy and dedication, and we are fortunate to have her join our team.”

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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. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO 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 performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 12, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

7.29.21 | Another View with Barbara Hamm Lee on WHRO: Featuring Thomas Wilkins

Another View with Barbara Hamm Lee on WHRO: Featuring Thomas Wilkins

ACT-SO WINNERS!

If you’ve ever heard of ACT-SO, boy are you in for a treat! This NAACP youth achievement program allows high school students of African descent to develop their areas of interest and then showcase their talents through projects and performances. This year’s Region Two Virtual Competition produced several local winners who went on to ‘blow the competition away’ on the national level! Our Lisa Godley caught up with several of those talented teens who are the epitome of artistic excellence! Lisa’s piece was co-produced by our intern Brianna Walton, who is a rising senior at North Carolina A&T.

7.19.21 | Thomas Wilkins is back in Norfolk with new Virginia Symphony Orchestra position

Thomas Wilkins is back in Norfolk with new Virginia Symphony Orchestra position

By MIKE HOLTZCLAW
VIRGINIAN-PILOT CORRESPONDENT
JUL 19, 2021 AT 8:39 AM

Thomas Wilkins believes music is more than just notes on paper or melodic sounds. It is transformative and alive, and the longtime conductor has made it a goal to share that with audiences.

Wilkins, a Norfolk native, was first exposed to classical music as an 8-year-old at the old Arena Theater. He said recently that he knew then it would be his life’s work. On Friday, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra announced it created a new position just for him — principal guest conductor.

“There’s beauty in the fact that this completes the circle,” Wilkins said in a phone interview from St. Petersburg, Florida, home. “I get to come back home and be a part of a team, be a part of the organization that helped me chart my life course. Therein lies the beauty of all this.”

Wilkins will be introduced at a reception at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Chrysler Hall, which will be free to the public. Eric Jacobsen, the recently named VSO musical director, will also attend.

Wilkins just finished a 17-year run as musical director for the Omaha Symphony. He still serves as principal conductor at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and conducts for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

When JoAnn Falletta ended her 30-year term as head of the VSO last year, the symphony’s board asked Wilkins if he wanted to be a candidate for the position. He declined. At 64 and leaving the Omaha position, he was ready for a slower pace. That’s when the VSO asked if he would be interested in a formal support relationship. Wilkins, who has conducted the VSO on several occasions, accepted immediately, becoming VSO’s first African-American artistic leader.

In a news release, VSO Board Chair Mike McClellan said Wilkins and Jacobsen “share the VSO’s commitment to telling our community’s stories and advancing the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all our residents.”

Wilkins graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1974, serving as president of the last class in the old building. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and a master’s from the New England Conservatory of Music — a path that he traces back to that performance he witnessed at age 8.

It was Russell Stanger conducting the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, a forerunner to the VSO. Wilkins doesn’t remember the music, but he has never forgotten the sensation.

“It was as if the music was calling me by my name,” Wilkins said. “There was something about his physical and emotional involvement in that sound. I couldn’t take my eyes off him — the movements he made, the emotions he was conveying. I knew I wanted that to be in my life.”

Wilkins will make his debut on the weekend of Feb. 18 with shows in Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach. The program will include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The experience won’t be different in the new role, he said.

“I feel the same with every orchestra I conduct,” Wilkins said. “Once I start, it’s just the work of getting to the beauty. It doesn’t matter if it’s a major symphony or a youth orchestra. It’s all the same. It’s the joy of making music.”

Mike Holtzclaw can be reached at mikeclaw81@yahoo.com.

Reception

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra will introduce Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins as its principal guest conductor at a reception at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Chrysler Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Virginia Symphony Orchestra upcoming schedule:

July 25 — Town Point Park in Norfolk, 6 p.m., free.

Aug. 19, and Sept. 9, 16 and 30 — Symphony by the Sea, Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 31st Street, 7:30 p.m., free ($100 subscription to series, which also includes two performances by Symphonicity, provides reserved seating and other benefits. Available at neptunefestival.com.)

Sept. 24 to 26 — Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s Concerto in G. 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News; 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk; 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. Tickets start at $25.

Oct. 15 to 16 — VSO backs the Eagles tribute band Hotel California. 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ferguson Center for the Arts; 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chrysler Hall. Tickets start at $25.

Oct. 22-24 — Wynton Marsalis’ Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ferguson Center for the Arts; 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chrysler Hall ; 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sandler Center. Tickets start at $25.

Oct. 30 — The Final Frontier, featuring music from iconic sci-fi movies and TV shows. 7:30 p.m. at Chrysler Hall. Tickets start at $25.

Ticket information: virginiasymphony.org or call 757-892-6366

Simone Paulwell

Soprano, Simone Paulwell has garnered international attention for her innate ability to capture audiences with her strikingly powerful and agile voice. A Washington D.C. native, she made her national debut as a soloist with The President's Own: United States Marine Band in 2007. Ms Paulwell has performed for audiences of all ages and cultures and has graced such prestigious stages as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall, in New York City, the Reichold Center for the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Washington National Opera Company and The San Francisco Opera Company. Ms. Paulwell recently completed her first summer at The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. Ms. Paulwell received critical acclaim under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg, Russia performing Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in 2004. She also debuted as a soloist with Paul Freeman and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic in 2006. In 2015 Ms. Paulwell made her European debut as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Rai Centre in Amsterdam and at Theatre Odyssud in Blagnac, France.

As a lifelong student of music, Ms. Paulwell has studied voice with Betty Ridgeway at Morgan State University, in Baltimore, MD, and Jeremy Winston at Wilberforce University, in Wilberforce, OH, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Her educational ambitions have afforded her success in several vocal competitions including 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, and 1st place winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Regional Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Womens' Club.

In addition to her musical accomplishments and affiliations, Ms. Paulwell is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Eric Jacobsen

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming. He is the newly-named Music Director of the Virginia Symphony, becoming the 12th music director in the orchestra’s 100-year history, and will assume that post on July 1.

Jacobsen is Artistic Director and conductor of The Knights, and serves as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Jacobsen founded the adventurous orchestra The Knights with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage. As conductor, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; at major summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Ojai; and on tour nationally and internationally, including at the Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus, Vienna Musikverein, National Gallery of Dublin, and the Dresden Musikfestspiele. Recent collaborators include violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, singers Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, and Nicholas Phan, and pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has led the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, the New World, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and the Tonkunstler Orchestra, with whom Jacobsen appeared at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.

In the coming season, Eric Jacobsen returns to the Detroit Symphony for the world premiere of James Lee III’s “Amer’ican,” a contemporary response to Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony which also features on the program. He also makes his La Jolla Summerfest debut, conducting three concerts featuring Summerfest Artistic Director Inon Barnaton and other artists. He appears twice with the Virginia Symphony, with guest artist Branford Marsalis and also performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and travels to Bilkent, Turkey, to appear with the orchestra there. With The Knights, he returns to the Tanglewood and Caramoor Festivals and to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, and appears at Wolf Trap in a new piece by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. In the spring, Jacobsen and The Knights close their season with a multi-city US tour featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.

The 21-22 Orlando Philharmonic season sees the return of the “Resonate” festival, a unique blend of old and new orchestral and chamber works, performed in standard and more intimate concert formats. This season’s edition features Artist-in-Residence Stewart Goodyear performing the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven as well as orchestral repertoire. The Orlando season will close with a semi-staged production of Orff’s “Carmina burana,” with staging by Alison Moritz and choreography by John Heginbotham.

In recent seasons, Eric Jacobsen and The Knights performed a fully-staged centennial production of Bernstein’s Candide directed by Alison Moritz at the Ravinia Festival, and toured Florida with Gil Shaham. With mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, Jacobsen and The Knights undertook a 15-concert European tour, including performances at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein. In New York, Jacobsen and The Knights performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; with groundbreaking countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at National Sawdust in music of Handel and Philip Glass; and at the Park Avenue Armory, where they helped create the music for William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load. With the Bridgeport Symphony, Jacobsen performed with his brother Colin, with whom he recorded a video of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending that was featured on London’s Classic FM and The Violin Channel.

At the close of a successful sixth season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen has continued to pioneer the orchestra’s programming and community engagement in new and exciting directions. During the 20-21 season, the Orlando Philharmonic was one of the few orchestras internationally that was able to perform live concerts, including with renowned pianist Yuja Wang, and they closed their season with “America, Come,” an Orlando Philharmonic commission from Aoife O’Donovan honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Previous seasons included Inside the Score, in which Jacobsen led the audience on a guided exploration of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; appearances by multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón as composer-in-residence; and guest appearances by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens and internationally acclaimed cello virtuoso Jan Vogler.

Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have developed an extensive recording collection, which includes the critically acclaimed albums Azul, with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Prokofiev Concerto in the Grammy-nominated Gil Shaham album 1930s Violin Concertos. Their most recent release, featuring Gil Shaham in performances of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in Spring 2020. The Knights issued three albums for Sony Classical including Jan Vogler and The Knights Experience: Live from New York; New Worlds, and an all-Beethoven album, as well as the “smartly programmed” (National Public Radio) A Second in Silence on the Ancalagon label. Jacobsen’s first release on Warner Classics was the ground beneath our feet. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by Thirteen/WNET, premiered in September 2011.

In December 2012, Jacobsen and his brother Colin were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship. Eric splits his time between New York and Orlando with his wife, singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and their daughter.

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Ali EwoldtAli Ewoldt has appeared as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Cosette in Les Miserables (Broadway, National Tour), The King and I (Broadway, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Maria in West Side Story (National Tour, International Tour). Ali’s concert work includes: Alice Tully Hall, NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, Houston Symphony, Kaohsiung Symphony and The Boston Pops. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina-American. @aliewoldt

Teri HansenSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS SHOW BOAT, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

Teri Hansen has received International recognition for her crossover abilities as a singing actress from Opera to Broadway and concert stages around the world. Miss Hansen made her Broadway debut in The Boys From Syracuse and starred in London’s West End as ‘Magnolia’ in Hal Prince’s Tony award winning production of Show Boat. Most recently she starred in the National Tours of The Sound Of Music (Elsa) and the Tony Award winning An American In Paris. Miss Hansen starred in tours of The Music Man as ‘Marian Paroo’, ‘Guenevere’ in Camelot and as ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat. Internationally recognized as an interpreter of Weill, Miss Hansen starred as “Rose” in the film version of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Miss Hansen also toured for years with Marvin Hamlisch, appeared at the Lincoln Center singing Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as regular appearances there as a part of the prestigious “Meet the Artist” series. Her solo CD “Into Your Arms…Love Songs of Richard Rodger’s” is available worldwide.

@teridhalinks

Sean MacLaughlinSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, THE WOMAN IN WHITE and BOMBAY DREAMS

Sean MacLaughlin recently garnered critical acclaim across the country performing the role of Juan Peron in the Broadway National Tour of Evita. He has sung with countless symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada singing the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Rodgers. Broadway credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Elton John’s Lestat, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White and Bombay Dreams. Other credits include Transport Groups Productions of The Audience, Requiem for William, and Baby: in Concert; South Pacific: In Concert at Carnegie Hall; Grand Hotel, Follies and More at Signature Theatre in DC; The Sondheim Celebration: Merrily We Roll Along and Chess at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Frank Wildhorn’s Excalibur and Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Film includes HBO’s Something the Lord Made and Walking Shadows.

@theatremutt

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

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.