Thursday, January 15, 2009

Virginia Symphony 2009-10

The Virginia Symphony will present 12 classical programs in its 2009-10 season, continuing to perform at its five existing mainstage venues in Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach despite its financial woes.

Music Director JoAnn Falletta, who along with administrative staffers recently took a 20 percent pay cut to help reduce the orchestra’s budget deficit, will conduct 10 of the 12 programs, including performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ "A German Requiem," Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony and premieres of works by Lowell Liebermann, Behzad Ranjbaran and Hampton Roads-based Adolphus Hailstork.

Guest conductor Jung Ho Pak will lead the premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra. Also scheduled are recent works by John Adams, John Tavener and Jack Gallagher.

Other major repertory includes Mendelssohn’s "Scottish" Symphony, Stravinsky’s "Firebird" Suite, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony and a Christmas-season performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Next season's guest soloists include pianists Jon Klibonoff (in Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 2), Benedetto Lupo (Beethoven’s "Emperor" Concerto) and Norman Krieger (Brahms’ Concerto No. 2); violinist Philippe Quint (Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons"); cellist Michael Daniels (Tavener’s Cello Concerto); and soprano Hila Plitman (Mozart’s "Exsultate, jubilate" and the Mahler Fourth).

Four of the orchestra’s principals also will perform as concerto soloists: Concertmaster Vahn Armstrong (Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Ranjbaran’s Concerto for Violin and Viola), associate concertmaster Yun Zhang (the Chen/He "Butterfly Lovers" Concerto), principal violist Beverly Kane Baker (the Ranjbaran concerto) and principal oboist Sherie Lake Aguirre (Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto).

Concerts will be staged at 8 p.m. Fridays in the Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News; 8 p.m. Saturdays at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk; 2:30 p.m. Sundays at Sandler Arts Center, Virginia Beach; 8 p.m. Thursdays at St. Bede Catholic Church, Williamsburg; and 8 p.m. Saturdays (except Feb. 12) at Regent University Theater, Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Symphony’s 2009-10 classical series dates and programs:

Sept. 11 (Ferguson Center), Sept. 12 (Chrysler Hall), Sept. 13 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falleta conducting. Stravinsky: "Fireworks;" Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor") (Benedetto Lupo, piano); Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5.

Sept. 24 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Sept. 26 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Fauré: "Pelléas et Mélisande" Suite; Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto (Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe); Jack Gallagher: Berceuse; Beethoven: Symphony No. 8.

Oct. 10 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. John Adams: "Slonimsky’s Earbox;" Brahms: "A German Requiem" (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Oct. 22 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Oct. 24 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Respighi: "The Birds;" Behzad Ranjbaran: Concerto for Violin and Viola (premiere) (Vahn Armstrong, violin; Beverly Kane Baker, viola); Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish").

Oct. 30 (Ferguson Center), Oct. 31 (Chrysler Hall), Nov. 1 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Vivaldi: "The Four Seasons" (Philippe Quint, violin); Lowell Liebermann: work TBA (premiere); Stravinsky: "Firebird" Suite (1919 version).

Dec. 12 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting, Adolphus Hailstork: "The Gift of the Magi" (premiere) (Virginia Children’s Chorus, Todd Rosenlieb Dance); Handel: "Messiah" (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Jan. 8 (Ferguson Center), Jan. 9 (Chrysler Hall), Jan. 10 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falleta conducting. Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Norman Krieger, piano); Alexander Tcherepnin: "La Princesse Lointaine;" Richard Strauss: "Joseph’s Legend: Symphonic Fragment."

Jan. 29 (Ferguson Arts Center), Jan. 30 (Chrysler Hall), Jan. 31 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. John Tavener: Cello Concerto (Michael Daniels, cello); Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ("Choral") (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Feb. 11 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Feb. 12 (Regent University Theater), Feb. 14 (Sandler Center) – Matthew Kraemer conducting. Smetana: The Bartered Bride" Overture; Delius: "Walk to the Paradise Garden" from "A Village Romeo and Juliet;" Chen/He: "Butterfly Lovers" Concerto (Yun Zhang, violin); Puccini: Intermezzo from "Manon Lescaut;" Puccini, Mascagni: opera arias (Amy Colfield Williamson, soprano; Scott Williamson, tenor); Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy-Overture.

March 26 (Ferguson Arts Center), March 27 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Josef Suk: "Scherzo fantastique;" Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Vahn Armstrong, violin); Dvořák: Symphony No. 8.

April 2 (Ferguson Arts Center), April 3 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Mozart: "Exsultate, jubilate" (Hila Plitman, soprano); Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (Hila Plitman, soprano).

April 16 (Ferguson Arts Center), April 17 (Chrysler Hall), April 18 (Sandler Center) – Jung Ho Pak conducting. Roberto Sierra: work TBA (premiere); Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Jon Klibonoff, piano); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4.

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