Classical articles

Symphony Takes Flight

Symphony Takes Flight

By Montague Gammon III Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s NASA Langley Centennial celebration concerts soar from Newport News to Neptune and beyond, going galactic after a brief orchestral orbit. Of course, the race to space did not start a century ago, but it was in 1917, as World War 1 was raging, that the Langley Memorial Aeronautical

Norfolk Chamber Consort Opens 2017-18 Season with Baroque Drama

By Jeff Maisey The duels and competition of ideas among some of America’s early political leaders are famously documented in historical written accounts, but it is perhaps even more fascinating to think of composers from the Baroque period nearly impaling the other. Such is the background for Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2017-18 season opener, “George Frederick

Top Spring Classical Music Performances

Compiled by Staff   tenThing Presented by Virginia Arts Festival March 23 Attucks Theatre Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth has won rave reviews in recital and headlining orchestra concerts from the BBC Proms to Carnegie Hall. She also leads a unique all-female, ten-member ensemble of brass players in transcriptions of the classics that reveal new

SYMPHONY: The Russians Are Coming? The Russians Are Here!

By Montague Gammon III A familiar but exotic sounding piece of “stunning” Russian choral and orchestral music, compounded by the composer-chemist Alexander Borodin, kicks off Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s first Classics Series concert of the 2016-2017 Season. Music Director and conductor JoAnn Falletta calls the “Russian Fireworks” triplet of Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, Igor Stravinsky’s

Music from Centuries Past Comes to Norfolk from Venice

By Montague Gammon III   The Venice Baroque Orchestra will bring the still-fresh Italian and German music of three and four centuries ago to Norfolk this year, mixing familiar composers such as Bach, Vivaldi and Handel with the lesser known Geminani, Corelli and Veracini for a concert at the Virginia Arts Festival’s downtown Norfolk Robin

25 Years of Falletta

(February 25 marks JoAnn Falletta’s 25th anniversary with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra) By Montague Gammon III A coal miner’s granddaughter has led the Virginia Symphony for 25 years. In that time JoAnn Falletta – or Dr. Falletta, to give her the earned honorific that she never uses but to which her Juilliard Doctorate of Musical

An Open Letter to JoAnn Falletta

By Tom Robotham   Dear JoAnn, It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since you and I put down roots in Hampton Roads. That’s right—I don’t know whether you remember this, but you and I both moved to Norfolk in 1991. The timing was fortuitous. When I moved here from New York City, I

Bell’s Beethoven Recital a Must-see

By Montague Gammon III   A one-time subway busker – tall, good-looking and possessed of a multi-million dollar 1713 Stradivarius violin, a six-figure valued Tourte bow and prodigious, priceless talent – kicks off the classical music part of Virginia Arts Festival’s 20th year January 28 at the Roper Performing Arts Center on Granby Street. Actually,