HAMPTON ROADS, VA [March 29, 2018] – For its finale concert of the 2017-2018 Classics series, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will present Carmina Burana PLUS a World Premiere by Michael Daugherty. Performances are on Friday, April 6 at 8 P.M. at Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News; Saturday, April 7 at 8 P.M. at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk; and Sunday, April 8 at 2:30 P.M. Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.

Carl Orff’s composition, Carmina Burana is a cantata written between 1935-36, is based on 24 poems from the medieval collection of the same name. The first and last movements, “O Fortuna,” are the most recognizable, having been heard in numerous films, television programs, video games, advertisements, and live sporting events.

The large-scale work will bring to the stage over 250 performers from the VSO, the VSO Chorus, the Old Dominion University Diehn Chorale, and the Virginia Children’s Chorus. Soloists for this concert are Amy Owens (soprano), Brenton Ryan (tenor), and Virginia Beach native Will Liverman (baritone).

The program will open with the world premiere of Night Owl for orchestra by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty. Commissioned by Susan and David Goode, Night Owl is inspired by the nocturnal steam locomotive photography of O. Winston Link. During the performance Link’s photos will be choreographed to the music with the generous permission from Winston Conway Link in conjunction with the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, VA.

VSO audiences will recognize Daugherty’s accessible and dynamic style as his pieces were previously performed with the VSO. Daugherty won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2017 for Tales of Hemingway and in the same category Deus Ex Machina in 2011.

Ticket holders are able to hear more about the programming at the VSO’s regular Behind the Notes presentations held before the concert. Behind the Notes for this concert will begin at 6:45 on April 6-7 and 1:15 on April 8. Speakers will include Deena Sasser from the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Lynsey Allie from the O. Winston Link Museum, composer Michael Daugherty, and VSO Music Director JoAnn Falletta. Items on loan from the O. Winston Link Museum and the Virginia Museum of Transportation will be on display in a lobby exhibit before the concert and during intermission.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling 757.892.6366, visiting www.virginiasymphony.org or visiting the Virginia Symphony Box Office at 150 Boush Street, Suite 201, Norfolk, VA 23510 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. For group sales of 10 or more, call 757.892.6366.

Partners for this production include the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke. This collaboration is made possible in part by Virginia Humanities. Additional support for the commissioning and performance is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Norfolk Classics series is sponsored by Norfolk Southern Corporation`. The April 6 concert is sponsored by Associates in Dermatology. The April 7 concert is sponsored by the Helen G. Gifford Foundation. Partial support has been provided by the Business Consortium for the Arts, Newport News Arts Commission, City of Norfolk, City of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

GRAMMY® Award winning composer Michael Daugherty was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1954. He is the son of a dance-band drummer and the oldest of five brothers, all professional musicians. As a young man, Daugherty studied composition with many of the preeminent composers of the 20th century including Jacob Druckman, Earle Brown, Bernard Rands and Roger Reynolds at Yale, Pierre Boulez at IRCAM in Paris and György Ligeti in Hamburg. Daugherty was also an assistant to jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York from 1980-82. In 1991, Daugherty joined the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance as Professor of Composition, where he is a mentor to many of today’s most talented young composers. He is also a frequent guest of professional orchestras, festivals, universities and conservatories around the world.

Daugherty’s music has entered the orchestral, band and chamber music repertoire and makes him one, according to the LAO, of the ten most performed American composers of concert music today. Recordings of Daugherty’s music on Naxos, by the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, have received six GRAMMY® Awards including “Best Classical Contemporary Composition” in 2011 for Deus ex Machina for piano and orchestra and in 2017 for Tales of Hemingway for cello and orchestra. His music is published by Peermusic Classical/Faber Music, Boosey & Hawkes and Michael Daugherty Music. For more information on Michael Daugherty and his music, see www.michaeldaugherty.net and his publisher’s websites. Amy Owens, soprano, began the summer 2017 season creating the title role in David Hanlon’s Listen, Wilhelmina! with Wolf Trap Opera, after which she was called on two weeks’ notice to step into the belated U.S. premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable with On Site Opera in New York City. She received great acclaim for her interpretation of the role of Florestine, noted for her “impressive accuracy and thrilling high notes” (B. Hodges, Musical America) and “gleaming coloratura” (R. Sasanow, Broadway World), rendering her “the cast standout” (S. Evans, Bachtrack). In July 2017, Owens joined the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana: “with spot-on intonation and a pretty, virginal tone she was a sensation” (C. Downey, Washington Classical Review).

During the 2017–2018 season, Owens’ operatic engagements include her Verdian role debut as Oscar in Livermore Valley Opera’s production of Un ballo in

maschera and developing the role of Little Stone in a Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater workshop collaboration for Matthew Aucoin’s new opera Eurydice. Concert appearances include multiple symphonic debuts

in Carmina Buranawith the Omaha Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Virginia Symphony, as well as her Washington Concert Opera debut in their “Opera Outside” series. Her 2018 commitments include a return to the Omaha Symphony as the soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, a special Bernstein centennial concert at the Library of Congress, a return to Santa Fe Opera to cover Cunegonde in the company premiere of Candide, and her role debut as Marie in La fille du régiment with Opera in the Heights.

Brenton Ryan, tenor

Winner of the Birgit Nilsson prize at the 2016 Operalia competition, tenor Brenton Ryan is hailed by Opera News for his “remarkable tonal suavity and refined phrasing,” and is quickly establishing himself as a singer of great vocal diversity and dramatic depth.

The 2017-18 season sees Ryan’s return to the Metropolitan Opera as ‘Spoletta’ in a new production of Tosca directed by Sir David McVicar, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, which will be broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Ryan also makes his house debut with Opera Philadelphia as ‘Monostatos’ in the Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte, and his house debut with Santa Fe Opera singing the role of ‘Dancing Master’ in Ariadne auf Naxos, and his house debut with Dallas Opera singing both ‘Gastone’ in La Traviata and ‘Florian’ in Der ring des Polykrates. He also returns to LA Opera singing ‘John Wormley’ in a concert performance of Matthew Aucoin’s The Crossing.

Will Liverman, baritone

Praised by The New York Times as “mellow-voiced and charismatic” and identified as a baritone to watch by Opera News, Will Liverman is quickly gaining a reputation for his compelling performances, while making significant debuts at opera houses across the country. He is a 2017 recipient of the George London Award, as well as a recipient of a 2017 3Arts Award, given to exceptional Chicago-based artists.

The 2017-18 season includes a return to Seattle Opera and a debut with Kentucky Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Tommy McIntire in Fellow Travelers, and performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Florentine Opera and Central City Opera. Future seasons include anticipated appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Dallas Opera.

Liverman is a graduate of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach and the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk.


Under the leadership of GRAMMY-winning music director JoAnn Falletta, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra is Virginia’s pre-eminent professional symphony orchestra with a mission of inspiring, educating and connecting audiences of all ages.

Founded in 1921, it is ranked in the top ten percent of professional orchestras nationwide and serves the entire Southeastern Virginia region with Classics, Pops and Family concert series in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg as well as performances in outlying Virginia and North Carolina communities, reaching more than 160,000 concert-goers every year. Additionally, the orchestra annually reaches 45,000 children, students and lifelong learners with its education and community programs. The Virginia Symphony has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and is the cornerstone of the performing arts in Hampton Roads.


March 29, 2018

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