The Richmond Philharmonic opens its 36th season – and the second for its music director, Robert Mirakian – with a program featuring Ralph Vaughan Williams’ rarely performed "London Symphony" (No. 2) on Oct. 19.
The philharmonic, the area's largest community orchestra, will present two other classical and two pops concerts during the season, and will sample the classical programs in educational concerts at area schools.
The classical concerts will be staged in Vlahcevic Concert Hall of the Singleton Arts Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. A holiday pops concert will be presented in the Atrium of the James Center in downtown Richmond, and a summer concert at the Garden Pavilion of Sunday Park in Brandermill in western Chesterfield County.
The philharmonic also will launch a Concerto Competition for young musicians, with the winner being featured in the winter classical concert.
The concerts are free, with donations requested.
The philharmonic’s 2008-09 programs:
Oct. 19 (4 p.m., VCU) – Mozart: "Abduction from the Seraglio" Overture; Ginastera: four dances from "Estancia;" Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2 ("A London Symphony"). (Pre-concert talk at 3 p.m.)
Educational concert, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, Elizabeth Davis Middle School, Chester; instrumental petting zoo at 6:30.
Dec. 8 (7 p.m., James Center) – "Home for the Holidays" pops concert, with works by Tchaikovsky, Bach, Vaughan Williams, Leroy Anderson, others, featuring baritone Aaron Ellerbock.
March 15 (4 p.m., VCU) – Johann Strauss II: "On the Beautiful Blue Danube;" concerto TBA (Concert Competition winner); Berlioz: "Symphonie fantastique." (Pre-concert talk at 3 p.m.)
Interactive lecture-performance of "Symphonie fantastique," 7:30 p.m. March 9, location TBA.
May 3 (4 p.m., VCU) – Saint-Saëns: Bachannale from "Samson and Delilah;" Brahms: "Variations on a Theme of Haydn;” Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World"). (Pre-concert talk at 3 p.m.)
Educational concert, 7:30 p.m. May 4, Deep Run High School, Henrico County.
June 21 (6 p.m., Brandermill) – "Just for Fun" pops concert, with music by Grieg, Bizet, Copland, Sousa, Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington, others.
Information: (804) 673-7400.