Classical Calendar

FALL Classical Music Highlights

Staff Picks


Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Opening Night with Sarah Chang, violin

September 18, Ferguson Center

September 19, Chrysler Hall

September 20, Sandler Center

JoAnn Falletta’s 25th season with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra opens with Sarah Chang, one of the world’s greatest and most high-profile violinists, performing Bernstein’s romantic West Side Story Suite for violin and Ravel’s musically exotic Tzigane. The celebration continues with Barber’s Overture from The School for Scandal, characterized by its orchestral brilliance, and Brahm’s cheery and pastoral Symphony No. 2


Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Mozart & Tchaikovsky

September 24, CrossWalk Community Church, Williamsburg
September 25, Regent University, Virginia Beach
September 26, TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk

Benjamin Rous conducts the series season opener, featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s own Simon Lapointe, violin, and Beverly Baker, viola, as soloists in Mozart’s passionate and deeply expressive Sinfonia Concertante. Also on the program is Mozart’s festive Symphony No. 32 and Tchaikovsky’s “piece from the heart,” the Serenade for Strings, including a lively finale based on a Russian folk tune, a Volga “hauling song.”


Virginia Symphony Orchestra Pops

Up, Up and Away — The Music and Memories featuring Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.   

October 1, Ferguson Center
October 3, Chrysler Hall

Kicking off the 2015–16 Pops season, Benjamin Rous conducts as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra welcomes Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. McCoo and Davis are the original stars and lead singers of the legendary group The 5th Dimension, where they launched Champagne and Pop Soul Classics, including “Up, Up and Away,” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Worst That Could Happen,” “Sweet Blindness,” “Wedding Bell Blues” and “One Less Bell to Answer.” The couple has enjoyed tremendous success through the years as recording artists, performers and authors. They have received seven Grammy Awards and have earned 15 gold and three platinum records.



Dover String Quartet

Presented by Feldman Chamber Music Society

October 5

St. Patrick Catholic School

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world.  The New Yorker recently dubbed them “the young American string quartet of the moment,” and The Stradraved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.”


Virginia Symphony Orchestra

“Fountains of Rome”

October 16, Ferguson Center
October 17, Douglas L. Wilder Performing Arts Center
October 18, Sandler Center

JoAnn Falletta begins the concert with Bax’s lush Tintagel, a symphonic poem which the VSO released on the Seascapes CD in 2000. The performance continues with a multi-sensory presentation of Respighi’s Fountains of Rome. Photographs of each of the fountains that inspired this seminal work—The Fountain of Valle Giulia, the Triton Fountain, the Trevi Fountain and the Villa Medici Fountain—will be displayed on a large screen behind the orchestra as they play. All of the pictures were taken by local photographer and blogger David Beloff. Also on the program is Walton’s spectacular Biblical oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast, which the orchestra played at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. under the direction of JoAnn Falletta in 2000.



With Annika Jenkins, violin

“Planets & Stars”

October 18

Sandler Center

The program will feature Rimsy-Korsakoff’s “Procession of the Nobles,” Sibelius “Violin Concerto in d minor,” and Holst’s “The Planets.”


Hampton Roads Philharmonic

October 18

American Theatre

In 2013, talented professional and amateur musicians in the community signed on to the dream of creating a new orchestra to serve the area, and by that summer, the Hampton Roads Philharmonic (HRP) was born.  The HRP is led by Steven Brindle, a young conductor that has been recognized as a burgeoning local talent. Welcoming familiar and new composers alike, the orchestra actively commissions new works each season, as well as showcasing the virtuoso talents of outstanding young local musicians. Hampton Roads Philharmonic will present Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, (Op. 25) with Rebecca Willett.


Virginia Symphony Orchestra

“Enigma Variations”

October 29, Ferguson Center
October 31, Chrysler Hall
November 1, Sandler Center

Zuill Bailey, a Virginia native and widely considered to be one of the best cellists in the world, takes the stage for the Virginia debut of Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway for Cello and Orchestra. Elgar’s Enigma Variationsexplores a theme and variations that illustrate, according to Elgar, “the idiosyncrasies of 14 of my friends, not necessarily musicians.” Under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, the VSO performed this well-known work during a concert at Carnegie Hall in 1997. Also on the program is Ibert’s naval-inspired Ports of Call, which can be found on the VSO’s Seascapes CD.


Virginia Symphony Orchestra Pops

“An Innocent Man – The Music of Billy Joel” 

November 5, Ferguson Center
November 7, Chrysler Hall

The Virginia Symphony pays homage to epic performer Billy Joel in this high-energy show conducted by Benjamin Rous with lead vocals by Jean Meilleur and Donald Paulton on piano. Having sold more than 150 million records, Billy Joel is one of most popular and recognizable recording artists in the world. The Virginia Symphony plays live, bringing Joel’s music center stage in celebration of this larger-than-life talent. Get ready to dance along to all of your favorites, including “Uptown Girl,” “Piano Man,” “Ballad of Billy the Kid,” “Big Shot” and more!

Lark String Quartet

Presented by Feldman Chamber Music Society

November 9

Chrysler Museum, Kaufman Theatre

The Lark Quartet continues to delight audiences with its energy, passionate commitment and artistry since its inception in 1985. The Lark has performed in many of the world’s great cultural centers including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Library of Congress, London’s Wigmore Hall, L’Opéra de la Bastille in Paris, and appeared at international festivals including Lockenhaus, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Mostly Mozart, Istanbul Festival, Wolftrap and the Beethoven Festival in Moscow. Promising to deliver “a performance of grace, proportion and burnished brilliance” (The Washington Post), The Lark Quartet offers audiences new insights into the art of chamber music through programs that begin with the ensemble virtuosity of the western tradition and continue into recent music from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, all while regularly sharing the stage with dynamic collaborators.


Munich Symphony Orchestra

Philippe Entremont, Conductor & Piano Soloist
Pepe Romero, Guitar Soloist
The Romeros, Guitar Quartet

November 12

Ferguson Center

The Munich Symphony Orchestra (Münchner Symphoniker) was founded in 1945 as “Symphonieorchester Kurt Graunke” and — with its four subscription series in Prinzregententheater, Herkulessaal and the Philharmonie am Gasteig — is regarded as one of the high-profile ensembles of the city of Munich (of which there are four). The Orchestra performs more than 100 concerts each year throughout Europe, Asia and the United States (they last performed here in 2009). Georg Schmöhe, as chief conductor, has been credited with raising the artistic profile of the orchestra as well as the continuing enhancement of its symphonic repertoire. Philippe Entremont serves as conductor, as well as piano soloist.

The New York Times wrote: “To call Pepe Romero a superb guitarist is to understate the case … [he] is an exceptional musician, and one whose qualities would assuredly have made themselves known regardless of the instrument he had chosen for his own.”

Known to millions as “The Royal Family of the Guitar,” The Romeros were founded by the legendary Celedonio Romero with his sons Celin, Pepe and Angel in 1960. Half a century after walking onto the world stage as the first classical guitar quartet, The Romeros continue to be a veritable institution in the world of classical music.



Featuring Irina Muresanu, violin

November 22

Sandler Center

Highlights will include Beethoven’s “Symphony #3 in E Major, Opus 55,” and Tschaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35.”


Boston Piano Trio

Presented by Feldman Chamber Music Society

December 7

St. Patrick Catholic School

Violinist Irina Muresanu, cellist Astrid Schween, and pianist Heng-Jin Park each have distinguished careers as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and have appeared with major orchestras and premier chamber music festivals throughout the United States and Europe.  Cellist Ms. Schween, who made her debut as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, enjoys a varied conert career as a solist and chamber artist.  She has been soloist with major orchestras in Canada, US, and in Europe.  Ms. Muresanu, who has appeared as soloist with the Boston Philharmonic, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and other top international orchestras, is the recipient of top prizes at the Montreal International Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition. Pianist Heng-Jin Park, who made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at the age of 15, is the founding member of the Boston Trio and founder and artistic director of Halcyon Music Festival.




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