HAMPTON ROADS, VA [February 28, 2018] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra will present a thrilling program featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and a contemporary masterwork by Philip Glass.

The concert will open with Barber’s dramatic Adagio for Strings, before Glass’s Concerto for Two Timpanists and Orchestra shines a rare spotlight on principal timpanist Michael Laubach and Robert Cross. This performance marks Laubach’s VSO solo debut. This highly physical work will require 14 timpani on the stage. Full of substance and style, this piece will bolster a new appreciation for this essential percussion instrument.

Scheherazade is the musical portrayal of a story from One Thousand and One Night in which the Persian queen Scheherazade saves her own life through cunning story-telling. This immense and whimsical work will take your breath away.

On this program, the VSO will be led by guest conductor by guest conductor Eric Jacobsen, conductor and co-founder of the out-of-the-box orchestral ensemble The Knights. Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects.

Jacobsen is the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and is an Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta. A dedicated chamber musician, Jacobsen is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s venerated Silk Road Project, and as a founding member of Brooklyn Rider, he has taken part in a wealth of world premieres and has toured extensively in North America and Europe.

Performances are on Friday, March 9 at 8 P.M. at Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News; Saturday, March 10 at 8 P.M. at L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center in Norfolk; and Sunday, March 11 at 2:30 P.M. Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.

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.

Support for the Norfolk Classics series is provided by Norfolk Southern.


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.

Michael Laubach, Principal Timpani

Dr. Ralph R. & Barbara Stephens, Principal Timpani Chair

Originally from Pittsburgh PA, Mike received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University studying with Timothy K. Adams, Jr., Principal Timpani with the Pittsburgh Symphony (retired) and Paul Evans, Percussionist with the River City Brass Band. Postgraduate studies included a drum set performance certificate from Los Angeles Music Academy and Cleveland State University where he studied with Tom Freer, Assistant Principal Timpani/Percussion with the Cleveland Orchestra. Mike has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Erie Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras. Mike Currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Alice and son Valentine.

Robert W. Cross, Principal

Robert Cross joined the Virginia Symphony in 1981 and has been principal percussionist since 1987. He has also served the Symphony as Personnel Manager, Artistic Administrator, Orchestra Manager, Interim Executive Director and General Manager. In 1995, Mr. Cross became Executive Director of the Virginia Arts Festival. He has performed with the Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Atlantic Symphony, American Repertory Theater, Leonard Bernstein Festival of American Music, Skaneateles Festival, Brevard and the Eastern Music Festival, and some of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Mr. Cross has recorded for Northeastern Records, New Albion, NPR Classics, CD Review, and Albany Records.


February 28, 2018

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