Monday, March 11, 2013

Richmond Symphony 2013-14

A concert starring mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, the most prominent singer to have come out of Richmond in the past generation, and a recent work by Mason Bates, the Richmond-bred composer who has become a leading figure in contemporary classical music, highlight the 2013-14 season of the Richmond Symphony.

Lindsey, who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and other leading opera companies and orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, will sing a French program with the symphony on Nov. 9.

Bates’ Violin Concerto, introduced in December 2012 by Anne Akiko Meyers with the Pittsburgh Symphony, will be played here by Meyers on March 1-2. Unlike many of Bates’ recent works, the concerto does not incorporate electronic sounds.

The coming symphony season also will feature another collaboration between the Richmond Symphony and Virginia Symphony choruses, Berlioz’s “The Damnation of Faust,” on May 17-18 in Richmond as well as dates to be announced in the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk. The chorus also will perform in Verdi’s Requiem on Oct. 19-20, Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 6 and “Let It Snow!” pops concerts on Dec. 7-8. The Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus will sing Handel’s four “Coronation Anthems” in a Metro Collection program on Feb. 23.

The season will open on Sept. 21-22 with an all-Beethoven program, including the Fourth Piano Concerto played by William Wolfram and the “Eroica” Symphony (No. 3). Other major works on the 2013-14 Masterworks schedule are Richard Strauss’ “Don Quixote,” featuring two symphony principals, violist Molly Sharp and cellist Neal Cary (Jan. 11); Grieg’s Piano Concerto, played by George Li, and Schumann’s Second Symphony (Feb. 1); and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony (March 1-2).

Steven Smith, the symphony’s music director, will conduct all those programs, except the Feb. 1 date, which will be led by Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Memphis Symphony and winner of the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras.

Erin R. Freeman, associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony and director of the Symphony Chorus, will lead the Feb. 23 Metro Collection concert with the Handel anthems and Mozart’s Symphony No. 34, as well as “Messiah,” three of the season’s four pops concerts including “Let It Snow!” and three programs in the LolliPops family series.

The Metro Collection series, in addition to the Mozart-Handel concert, include a program with a rare performance of the original chamber version of Samuel Barber’s music for “Medea,” a performance of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto by symphony principal Ralph Skiano, and a French program featuring the orchestra’s concertmaster, Daisuke Yamamoto, playing violin showpieces by Ravel and Saint-Saëns.

The Pops series will feature, in addition to “Let It Snow!” a concert with Rex Richardson, the Virginia Commonwealth University-based jazz trumpeter; a return engagement for the acrobatic dance troupe Cirque de la Symphonie; and “Classical Mystery Tour,” a 50th-anniversary celebration of The Beatles’ first U.S. tour.

LolliPops programs include “Carnivals and Clowns,” with Drew Allison & Grey Seal Puppets; performances of Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Michael Abels’ “Dance for Martin’s Dream,” a piece celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., with The School of Richmond Ballet Ensembles; and “The Remarkable Farkle McBride,” with actor Michael Boudewyns.

The symphony also will play host to the Windborne troupe in “The Music of Michael Jackson,” a special concert on April 12 at the Landmark Theater.

As in the current season, the symphony will stage seven Masterworks programs, three of them on Saturday nights only; four in the Metro Collection chamber-orchestra series; four in the Pops series, with “Let It Snow!” reprised in a Sunday matinee; and three in the LolliPops series. Masterworks, Pops and LolliPops programs will be staged in the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage, Metro Collection concerts in Blackwell Auditorium of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland.

To obtain a season brochure or subscription information, call the symphony’s patron services desk at (804) 788-1212.

Concert dates, artists and programs for the symphony’s 2013-14 season:

8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage.
Saturday subscriptions: $35-$448.
Sunday subscriptions: $20-$256.

Sept. 21-22 – Steven Smith conducting. Beethoven: “Fidelio” Overture, Piano Concerto No. 4 (William Wolfram, piano), Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”).

Oct. 19-20 – Steven Smith conducting. Verdi: Requiem (Kelley Nassief, soprano; Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano; Michael Fabiano, tenor; Kevin Deas, bass; Richmond Symphony Chorus).

Nov. 9 – Steven Smith conducting. Bizet: “Carmen” Prelude; Canteloube: selections from “Songs of the Auvergne;” Massenet: “Enfin, ju sis ici (Cendrillon);” Berlioz: “La mort d'Ophelie;” Chabrier: “Je suis Lazuli;” Offenbach: Overture and arias from “The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein” (Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano); Debussy: “Ibéria;” Ravel: “Alborada del grazioso.”

Jan. 11 – Steven Smith conducting. Wagner: orchestral excerpts from “Lohengrin;” George Walker: “Foils for Orchestra (Homage à Saint-Georges);” Richard Strauss: “Don Quixote” (Molly Sharp, viola; Neal Cary, cello).

Feb. 1 – Mei-Ann Chen conducting. Osvaldo Golijov: “Last Round;” Grieg: Piano Concerto (George Li, piano); Schumann: Symphony No. 2.

March 1-2 – Steven Smith conducting. Liadov: “Enchanted Lake;” Mason Bates: Violin Concerto (Anne Akiko Meyers, violin); Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10.

May 17-18 – Steven Smith conducting. Berlioz: “The Damnation of Faust” (Elizabeth Bishop, mezzo-soprano; Vale Rideout, tenor; Kyle Ketelsen, bass-baritone; Jason Hardy, bass, Richmond Symphony Chorus; Virginia Symphony Chorus).

3 p.m. Sundays, Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland
Subscriptions: $20-$68.

Oct. 13 – Steven Smith conducting. Barber: “Medea” (original chamber version); Bernard Rands: Madrigal; Brahms: Serenade No. 2.

Nov. 24 – Steven Smith conducting. Joseph Martin Kraus: Symphony in E minor; Copland: Clarinet Concerto (Ralph Skiano, clarinet); Ives: Symphony No. 3 (“Camp Meeting”); Dvořák: “Czech Suite.”

Feb. 23 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. Mozart: Symphony No. 34; Handel: “Coronation Anthems” (Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus).

May 4 – Steven Smith conducting. Fauré: “Masques et bergamasques;” Ravel: “Tzigane;” Saint-Saëns: “Introduction and Rondo capriccioso” (Daisuke Yamamoto, violin); Roussel: “The Spider’s Feast” Symphonic Fragments; Ravel: “Le Tombeau de Couperin.”

8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Dec. 8, Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
Subscriptions: $20-$256.

Sept. 28 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. “Classical Mystery Tour – Music of The Beatles 50th Anniversary Tour.”

Dec. 7-8 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. “Let It Snow!” holiday program (Lisa Edwards-Burrs, soprano, Richmond Symphony Chorus).

Feb. 8 – Steven Smith conducting. Rex Richardson, trumpet, and friends in jazz program.

March 8 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. Cirque de la Symphonie, dance and acrobatic troupe.

11 a.m. Saturdays, Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
Subscriptions: $15-$24.

Oct. 26 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. “Carnivals and Clowns,” with Drew Allison & Grey Seal Puppets.

Jan. 25 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. Gershwin: “An American in Paris;” Michael Abels: “Dance for Martin’s Dream” (The School of Richmond Ballet Ensembles).

March 15 – Erin R. Freeman conducting. “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” (Michael Boudewyns, actor).


Dec. 6 (7:30 p.m., Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage) – Erin R. Freeman conducting. Handel: “Messiah” (soloists TBA, Richmond Symphony Chorus).
Tickets: $12-$45.

April 12 (8 p.m., Landmark Theater) conductor TBA. “The Music of Michael Jackson” (Windborne).
Tickets: $25-$60.