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Richmond Symphony Altria Masterworks concert featuring pieces by Schubert, Bruckner and Vaughan Williams

M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y

March 23, 2017 – Richmond, Virginia Music Director Steven Smith will lead the Richmond Symphony for the seventh Altria Masterworks concert of the season on Saturday, April 8 at 8pm and Sunday, April 9 at 3pm. The Symphony’s Rennolds Memorial Concert will take place at the Dominion Arts Center’s Carpenter Theatre and feature Schubert’s well-known “Unfinished” Symphony, as well as major choral works by Bruckner and Vaughan Williams. Joining the Symphony on stage will be the Richmond Symphony Chorus under the direction of Erin R. Freeman and guest vocalists Michelle Areyzaga (soprano) and Kevin Deas (bass-baritone).

The concert will begin with Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 7. One of music’s great unanswered questions is why Schubert only completed half of the intended four-movement symphony but nonetheless, the two finished movements performed in concert are brilliantly composed and strikingly dramatic.

Music Director Steven Smith says, “most people assume that Schubert’s far-too-early death cut short his symphony we now call the ‘Unfinished.’ In fact, he wrote these two seemingly perfect movements and set the work aside. Apparently he never found the way to complete it to his satisfaction. But it is a masterpiece as is, with these two movements providing shadings of dark and light, melancholy and pleasure, and calmness and intensity that have been admired for the centuries since.”

Following will be Bruckner’s Psalm 150 featuring the Richmond Symphony Chorus and soprano Michelle Areyzaga highlighting a powerful and festive opening “Hallelujah,” a gentle soaring soprano solo and an elaborate ending.

The concert will close with Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the Richmond Symphony Chorus and soloists Michelle Areyzaga and Kevin Deas. Although written in 1936 in celebration of the Huddersfield Choral Society’s 100th Anniversary, the cantata reflects the political situation in Europe and the haunting experiences of war. By setting biblical and poetic text to music, Vaughan Williams succeeded in composing a cry for peace and reconciliation that still resonates today.

Adult tickets for Altria Masterworks performances start at $10, college student tickets are $7, and child tickets are free for individuals 17 and under. Purchase tickets online at www.richmondsymphony.com or by calling 1.800.514.ETIX. A free pre-concert lecture with Music Director Steven Smith will begin on Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm, in the theatre.

The Masterworks series sponsor is Altria. The media sponsor is Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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About the Richmond Symphony

Founded in 1957, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy concerts, and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 50,000 students and teachers each year. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.