Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Richmond Symphony 2014-15

The first Richmond appearance in 25 years by the stellar violinist Joshua Bell, an all-Duke Ellington orchestral-choral program and performances of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony (No. 2) highlight the 2014-15 season of the Richmond Symphony.

The coming season also will feature a pops program with New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Richmond’s No B.S. Brass Band, and a special presentation of “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II.”

Other special concerts include a Jan. 27, 2015, commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and other Holocaust death camps (staged in partnership with the Virginia Holocaust Museum and Weinstein JCC), and a May 25, 2015, program marking the end of the American Civil War (supported by the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission).

In addition to Bell, who will play Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, guest artists for 2014-15 include Richard King, principal French horn player of the Cleveland Orchestra (in Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1); Adam Golka, the prize-winning Texas-born pianist (Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto); conductor Tito Muñoz, recently named music director of the Phoenix Symphony; Ukrainian-born pianist Stanislav Khristenko (Mozart’s Concerto in D minor); soprano Michelle Areyzaga and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Feinstein (Mahler’s Second Symphony); and narrator Charlotte Blake Alston (Michael Gandolfi’s “Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland”).

Three principals of the Richmond Symphony will perform as soloists: concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto (Sibelius’ Violin Concerto), bassoonist Tom Schneider (Peter Schickele’s Bassoon Concerto); and harpist Lynette Wardle (Ginastera’s Harp Concerto).

Music by living composers, in addition to the Schickele concerto, include a commissioned work by University of Richmond-based Benjamin Broening and pieces by Jennifer Higdon and Marta Ptaszynska.

Major orchestral repertory includes the fourth symphonies of Tchaikovsky and Schumann, Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, Brahms’ Third Symphony, Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony (No. 36), Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella” Suite and “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto, Beethoven’s Second Symphony, J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 3 and three works by Respighi, “The Pines of Rome,” “The Fountains of Rome” and “Trittico Botticelliano.”

The Richmond Symphony Chorus will perform in the Mahler “Resurrection” Symphony, Handel’s “Messiah” and the “Let It Snow!” holiday pops program, Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and the “Polovtsian Dances” from Borodin’s “Prince Igor,” and selections from Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts,” the latter also featuring the One Voice Chorus and The St. Paul’s Baptist Church Chorus.

Other dates, including the popular casual “Rush Hour Concerts” at Richmond CenterStage, will be announced later.

Announcing the new season earlier today at Richmond CenterStage, Steven Smith, the symphony’s music director, said that in programming “we look for many, many ways to interact with many, many different audiences,” singling out the all-Ellington program as a showcase of “one of the great American composers . . . in the context of the Masterworks series.”

Another spur to audience diversity is “Soundwave,” a new offering of subscriptions to the full Masterworks series for college-age listeners at a cost of $25. Discounted subscriptions (including a “Compose Your Own” package from all mainstage series) and single tickets are available for seniors, youths and groups.

For more information, call the symphony’s patron services desk at (804) 788-1212, or visit www.richmondsymphony.com

Dates, programs and artists for the 2014-15 symphony season:

Steven Smith conducting unless listed otherwise
8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Subscriptions: $86-$457
Single tickets: $10-$78

Oct. 18-19 – Mahler: Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) (Michelle Areyzaga, soprano; Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano; Richmond Symphony Chorus).

Nov. 8 – Marta Ptaszynska: “Lumen;” Richard Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat major (Richard King, French horn); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4.

Jan. 17-18 – Jennifer Higdon: “Blue Cathedral;” Brahms: Symphony No. 3; Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Adam Golka, piano).

Feb. 14 – Duke Ellington: “The Three Black Kings,” “Night Creature,” “Harlem,” selections from “The Best of the Sacred Concerts” (One Voice Chorus, The St. Paul’s Baptist Church Chorus, Richmond Symphony Chorus).

March 7 – Tito Muñoz conducting. Beethoven: “Egmont” Overture; Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 (Stanislav Khristenko, piano); Schumann: Symphony No. 4.

April 18-19 – Benjamin Broening: commissioned work TBA; Sibelius: Violin Concerto (Daisuke Yamamoto, violin); Elgar: “Enigma” Variations.

May 9-10 – Borodin: “Polovtsian Dances” from “Prince Igor;” Bernstein: “Chichester Psalms” (Richmond Symphony Chorus); Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5.

conductors TBA
8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 7), Carpenter Theatre
Subscriptions: $86-$261
Single tickets: $10-$78

Sept. 27 – “ABBA – The Music.”

Dec. 6-7 – “Let It Snow!” (Richmond Symphony Chorus).

Jan. 31 – Preservation Hall Jazz Band with No B.S. Brass Band.

Feb. 28 – “Wicked Divas” (vocalists TBA).

Steven Smith conducting
3 p.m. Sundays, Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 204 Henry St., Ashland
Subscriptions: $68
Single tickets: $20

Oct. 5 – Cimarosa: “The Secret Marriage” Overture; Stravinsky: Concerto in E flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”); Respighi: “Trittico Botticelliano;” Mozart: Symphony No. 36 (“Linz”).

Nov. 16 – David Diamond: “Rounds” for string orchestra; Peter Schickele: Bassoon Concerto (Tom Schneider, bassoon); Beethoven: Symphony No. 2.

Jan. 11 – J.S. Bach: “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 3; Stravinsky: “Pulcinella” Suite (1949 version); Mozart: Serenade in E flat major, K. 375; J.C. Bach: Sinfonia in D major.

May 3 – Rossini: “The Italian Girl in Algiers” Overture; Ginastera: Harp Concerto (Lynette Wardle, harp); De Falla: “The Three-Cornered Hat” Suite No. 1;  Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga: Symphony in D major.

conductors TBA
11 a.m. Saturdays, Carpenter Theatre
Subscriptions: $28 ($24 for children)
Single tickets: $12 ($10 for children, students)

Oct. 25 – “Beethoven Lives Upstairs.”

Jan. 24 – Michael Gandolfi’s “Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland” (Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator).

March 21 – Gregory Smith’s “Orchestra Games.”


Sept. 20 (8 p.m., Carpenter Theatre) – Steven Smith conducting. Smetana: “The Moldau;” Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor (Joshua Bell, violin); Respighi: “The Pines of Rome,” “The Fountains of Rome.” (Tickets: $25-$125)

Nov. 23 (time TBA, Siegel Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Broad and Harrison streets) conductor TBA. “Come and Play,” Richmond Symphony and community musicians. (free)

Dec. 13 (7:30 p.m. Carpenter Theatre) – Steven Smith conducting. Handel: Messiah” (soloists TBA, Richmond Symphony Chorus). (Tickets: $20-$50)

Jan. 27 (time TBA, Carpenter Theatre) – Steven Smith conducting. Program TBA commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and other Holocaust death camps. (Ticket prices TBA)

Feb. 13 (7 p.m., The St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 4247 Creighton Road) – Steven Smith conducting. Duke Ellington: “The Three Black Kings,” “Night Creature,” “Harlem,” selections from “The Best of the Sacred Concerts” (One Voice Chorus, The St. Paul’s Baptist Church Chorus, Richmond Symphony Chorus). (Ticket prices TBA)

May 16 (6 p.m., Altria [formerly Landmark] Theater, Main and Laurel streets) conductor TBA. “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II.” (Tickets: $25-$60)

May 25 (time TBA, Carpenter Theatre) – Steven Smith conducting. Program TBA commemorating the end of the American Civil War. (free)