HAMPTON ROADS, VA [March 12, 2018] – Through an educational partnership with Old Dominion University, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the ODU Symphony Orchestra will present a full-length concert program titled Russian Perspectives.
The concert is the culmination of the VSO’s first Orchestra Week with ODU Symphony students. Orchestra week is an intensive training opportunity for students to experience a realistic professional schedule, rehearse, and perform side-by-side with the VSO.
“This unique experience offers professional mentorship and prepares students for the fast-paced preparation that would be expected of them in a performance career,” Christy Havens, the VSO’s Director of Orchestra Activities, said. “Rather than learning their music gradually through a semester of classes, students develop the independence, professionalism, and ownership over their own preparation that is key to professional success.”
The program will welcome to the podium ODU professors Paul Kim and David Walker, and the VSO’s resident conductor Benjamin Rous, to lead the two orchestras through a program of Russian masterpieces. Kim will open the concert with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, followed by Walker for Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite. The program will conclude with Rous conducting Ravel’s famous arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
The concert will be on March 20, 7 p.m., at Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach. Adult tickets are $10 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. Children under 12 and ODU students with a valid student I.D. are free.
Under the leadership of GRAMMY-winning music director JoAnn Falletta, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra is Virginia’s preeminent 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 nearly 150,000 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.
Conductor, composer, violinist, and educator Paul S. Kim is an assistant professor at Old Dominion University, where he directs the ODU Symphony Orchestra, teaches violin and conducting, and oversees the strings program. He also serves as music director of the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore as well as the symphony orchestra conductor of Fine Arts Camps Europe/Czech Music Camp for Youth. Kim is the conductor and producer for the audio recording Carl Roskott: Works for Violin, which is being released by Centaur Records in May. The composer of over twenty original works, Kim arranged Radiohead songs for string quintet SYBARITE5 that have been released on the album Everything in Its Right Place and have been performed on NPR’s Performance Today as well as at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. As a violinist, Kim is a member of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Virginia Symphony and Maryland Symphony, as well as internationally. He and his wife Rebecca are co-founders of New Music Norfolk, performing and promoting contemporary art music for Norfolk and surrounding communities. Dr. Kim holds graduate music degrees from the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, and Shenandoah Conservatory. Kim also served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Professor David Walker has been teaching at ODU since 1999. He is Director of Percussion Studies, Drumline Instructor for the Marching Band, and teaches Undergraduate Instrumental Conducting. He regularly performs with the Virginia Symphony and is Percussion Instructor for the Governor’s School for the Arts. In the past Mr. Walker co-taught the Old Dominion University New Music Ensemble, as well as founded and directed the percussion group Stick People. He received a Bachelor of Performance degree from Wheaton Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music Performance from The University of Michigan. He and his wife, Christy, have eight children—Matthew, Christopher, Emily, Michael, Bethany, Jeremiah, Mary, and Rebekah. This past November they celebrated the birth of their first grandchild, Patrick Lee.
Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous was hired as Associate Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among audiences throughout southeastern Virginia. Promoted to Resident Conductor in 2013, he took on an expanded role in the VSO’s calendar, where he performs annually on every series including Classics, Regional Classics, Pops, Young People’s Concerts, and state tours. In the summers he pursues his love of education, serving as faculty conductor of Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
Recent guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Hartford Symphony, and the Santa Fe Symphony. Highlights of past seasons include performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Illinois Symphony, and on St. Louis’s Pulitzer Concerts with musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Rous was featured in the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony, and in the summer of 2014, he was called upon by the Grant Park Music Festival to fill in for a delayed conductor on less than 24 hours’ notice.
An accomplished instrumentalist, Rous has concertized extensively on violin, viola, and keyboard instruments. He has served as guest principal 2nd violin with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he performed under the batons of Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding, including European tours and a teaching residency with El Sistema students in Caracas. He was a regular member of the Boston-area Arcturus Chamber Ensemble for a decade and has led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra from the harpsichord in baroque repertoire.
Benjamin Rous studied music at Harvard with an emphasis on composition, graduating with highest honors. His works have been performed by diverse ensembles including the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwood Orchestra, and the Fromm Players.
During his college years he served as Music Director of Harvard Bach Society Orchestra and of Lowell House Opera, studied performance practice with Robert Levin, and performed on baroque violin with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra as section leader and soloist. He went on to earn the Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where he also studied harpsichord and pursued his interest in dance. He received further guidance in festivals and masterclasses from David Zinman, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, and Lorin Maazel.
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March 12, 2018
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