Who We Are
The Richmond Symphony Announces its 61st Season with Amazing Concerts, World Class Artists and New Offerings
M E D I A A D V I S O R Y
January 30, 2018 – RICHMOND, Va. – Music Director Steven Smith and Executive Director David Fisk are pleased to announce the 2018-19 Season of the Richmond Symphony, which is headlined by two world-class artists: pianist Lang Lang in the opening concert, and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves singing the title role of Carmen for a special concert version of Bizet’s opera to close the season.
Highlights of the season include:
- An Opening Night concert featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor and the orchestral showcase, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 at 8pm.
- Brahms’ Requiem with the Richmond Symphony Chorus on November 10 & 11, 2018 in a concert commemorating the centennial of the 1918 Armistice.
- A season-long collaboration with the University of Richmond as part of its Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts, culminating with a two-night Masterworks program on April 13 & 14, 2019 at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Additional concerts will take place throughout the season at the Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond.
- An un-staged concert version of Bizet’s Carmen starring the world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 8pm.
- A Pops season that features Disco Inferno with Jeans ‘n Classics, as well as the return of the magical Cirque de la Symphonie and Beatles tribute Classical Mystery Tour. Associate Conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin returns for her third season with the Richmond Symphony to conduct. The season also boasts holiday favorite, Let It Snow! under the baton of Erin Freeman.
- The Union Bank & Trust LolliPops season includes the Halloween Spooktacular (bring your costumes, kids), the annual family tradition and beloved animated film The Snowman, the exciting adventure A Lemony Snicket Mystery, and the return of Really Inventive Stuff’s Michael Boudewyns in The Story of Babar. This series will also be conducted by Chia-Hsuan Lin.
- After a third season of sold-out performances, the Symphony will team up again with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for a series of one-hour, Thursday evening Rush Hour concerts. In addition, the Symphony will perform a special concert at the new Hardywood West Creek on April 24, 2019 that benefits the Goochland Education Foundation and the work the Symphony does in Goochland County Public Schools.
- Randolph-Macon College will continue to host the Metro Collection series. This season showcases symphonies of Mozart, Haydn and includes Beethoven’s “Pastorale,” featuring the Symphony’s David Lemelin as clarinet soloist on Spohr’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1.
- The Casual Fridays Series will be renamed “Symphony in 60,” maintaining its current format and content. Audiences will get the chance for a deeper dive into their favorite classical works. This year’s concerts will feature Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”.
- In an expansion of the Symphony’s Masterworks series, it will perform a special concert at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church on Sunday, October 21, 2018 featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.”
- New in 2018-19: Adding to its policy of making tickets for children 18 and under free for Altria Masterworks and Symphony in 60 concerts, tickets will now be free for all active Military Personnel starting in 2018 – 2019. This initiative is thanks to generous sponsorship from Dominion Energy. Military discounts will also continue to be available for other series performances. (Does not include Opening Night with Lang Lang on September 21, 2018 or Carmen on May 18, 2019.)
(Full list of concerts and dates listed below)
2018-19 will also mark the culminating season of Music Director Steven Smith’s artistic leadership of the organization. Smith, who in addition to his role with the Richmond Symphony, is an active composer and music director of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, leaves the Symphony in vibrant artistic health after almost ten years of positive programmatic growth. Smith helped establish new initiatives such as the Casual Fridays Series and Rush Hour at Hardywood. He was also a co-leader of the launch of the “Big Tent” initiative – committing to a focus on the growth of new, more diverse audiences while pursuing continued artistic excellence.
“I am very proud of everything that we have accomplished during my tenure, including expanding our repertoire and broadening our audience,” says Steven Smith. “When I arrived I saw the possibilities of new types of concert series, but was also struck by the lack of an outdoor performance facility. I am especially proud of obtaining the “Big Tent,” bringing the Symphony to wider audiences in the Richmond region. For my final season, I am delighted to be welcoming stars such as Lang Lang and Denyce Graves, who will open and close a thrilling season. Major pillars of the repertoire by some of my most cherished composers include Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Bizet’s Carmen.”
“Steven has been a tremendous leader of our Orchestra, and our organization has grown much under his baton,” says Richmond Symphony Board Chair Richard Smith. “The breadth of our offerings, the caliber of our music, and engagement with our community has never been better. We all owe him much gratitude for his efforts over the past years, helping guide us toward and through our 60th anniversary, and leaving us well positioned for our next decade. We look forward to the upcoming, 2018 – 2019 season as a year-long celebration of Steven’s tenure here in Richmond. Bravo, Steven!
Richard Smith continues: “The Symphony has formed a Search Committee, made up of both Board members and musicians, to manage the succession process. They will ensure smooth continuity of leadership as we look toward naming a new music director in due course. Not only will Steven Smith remain with us through the full-length of the coming season, we are also fortunate and grateful to have Associate Conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin and Chorus Director Erin Freeman on board to maintain our strong conducting team with him through this upcoming season and beyond.”
Richmond Symphony Executive Director David Fisk adds “Steven Smith has been a great colleague and friend, and a fine artistic leader: he deserves enormous credit for the Symphony’s accomplishments over the last decade. The Richmond Symphony shows no sign of slowing down in its 61st season and we look forward to building on Steven’s work in the coming years – using 2018-19 as a year to celebrate his tenure, with all the special programs he has created as a final hurrah”.
Altria Masterworks Series
The Altria Masterworks series features celebrated guest artists and the great works from the classical repertoire. All Altria Masterworks concerts take place at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts’ Carpenter Theatre. We are grateful for the support from our Masterworks series sponsor Altria.
Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 at 8pm
Lang Lang & Symphonie Fantastique
Steven Smith, conductor
Lang Lang, piano
Perry Study for Orchestra
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491
Lang Lang, piano
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 at 8pm
Beethoven & Bernstein’s 100th Celebration
Steven Smith, conductor
Joan Kwuon, violin
Kodály Dances of Galánta
Bernstein Serenade (After Plato’s “Symposium”)
Joan Kwuon, violin
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Opus 55 “Eroica”
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at 8pm and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 3pm Brahms’ Requiem, Barber’s Adagio: Commemorating the Centennial of Armistice 1918
Rennolds Memorial Concert
Steven Smith, conductor
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Barber Adagio for Strings
Butterworth The Banks of Green Willow
Brahms German Requiem, Opus 45
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 at 8pm and Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019 at 3pm Beethoven’s Emperor and Mahler 5
Steven Smith, conductor
Orion Weiss, piano
Florence Robertson Givens Guest Artist
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, Opus 73 “Emperor”
Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at 8pm and Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at 3pm
Dvořák & American Masterpieces
Ankush Kumar Bahl, conductor
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Aaron Jay Kernis Musica Celestis
Dvořák Violin Concerto in A Minor, Opus 53
Copland Suite from “Billy the Kid”
Bernstein Symphonic Suite from “On the Waterfront”
Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 8pm
Rachmaninoff 1 & Tchaikovsky 6
Steven Smith, conductor
Adam Neiman, piano
Steven Smith Kataklysmos
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Opus 1
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Opus 74 “Pathétique”
Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 8pm and Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3pm
Influence of the World: The Tucker-Boatwright Concert
Collaboration with the University of Richmond
Steven Smith, conductor
University of Richmond Chorus and Richmond Symphony Chorus
Saygun Ritual Dance for Orchestra, Opus 57
Reena Esmail World Première Commission for chorus and orchestra
Ravel Rapsodie espagnole
Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 8pm
Carmen in Concert with Denyce Graves
Slatten-MacDonald Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
Steven Smith, conductor
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano
Richmond Symphony Chorus
In collaboration with Virginia Opera
Bizet Carmen (concert performance)
Symphony Pops Series
The Symphony Pops Series combines the excitement of a live orchestra with the best in popular music. All Symphony Pops concerts take place at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts’ Carpenter Theatre.
Symphony Pops 1
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at 8pm
with Jeans ‘n Classics
Break out the platform shoes and the satin pants as we recapture the mood and feel of the Disco “daze” with Jeans ‘n Classics and the Orchestra. Hear the hits from Earth Wind & Fire, Donna Summer, ABBA and all the rest of your favorite disco artists.
Symphony Pops 2
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at 8pm and Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 at 3pm
Let It Snow!
Erin R. Freeman, conductor
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Celebrate the holidays with a concert featuring the sounds of the season! Join the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus for this magical annual holiday tradition the whole family will love.
Symphony Pops 3
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at 8pm
Cirque de la Symphonie
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Cirque de la Symphonie continues to amaze and delight audiences by bringing its unique magic to the concert hall. Hear the Orchestra perform its own acrobatics as it’s joined by aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen. This show is not to be missed.
Symphony Pops 4
Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 8pm
Classical Mystery Tour: The Music of the Beatles
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Imagine The Beatles playing in concert with a symphony orchestra. The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like The Beatles, but Classical Mystery Tour is more than just a rock concert. The full show presents some 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed exactly as they were written.
Hear “Penny Lane” with a live trumpet section; experience the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet; enjoy the rock/classical blend on the hard edged “I Am the Walrus.” From early Beatles music on through the solo years, Classical Mystery Tour is the best of The Beatles like you’ve never heard them: totally live!
Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series
The Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series is designed with the whole family in mind. These performances entertain, educate and are fun for children of all ages. All Union Bank & Trust LolliPops concerts take place at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts’ Carpenter Theatre. Pre-concert festivals feature family activities including the popular instrument petting zoo and take place in Rhythm Hall one hour prior to the concert. Union Bank & Trust LolliPops concerts are now Sensory-Friendly and are designed to create a performance experience where all audiences are welcome, including those with autism or other sensory sensitivities. We are grateful for the support from our LolliPops series sponsor Union Bank & Trust and pre-concert festival sponsor, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 at 11am
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Come in your favorite costume and listen to the RSO perform music from your child’s Halloween favorites. Your special ghosts, goblins and princesses may even receive a special pre-concert Trick or Treat bag!
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 at 11am
The Snowman (animated film)
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Kick-off the holiday season with the Richmond Symphony! This charming animated film tells the story of a young boy’s magical friendship with a snowman. Enjoy other holiday favorites during this program as well.
© Snowman Enterprises Limited
“The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs is published by Puffin.
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 at 11am
A Lemony Snicket Mystery
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Play along with an orchestra who-done-it! If you have ever heard an orchestra play, then you know that musicians are most certainly guilty of something. Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a bit too much?
Help the Inspector solve the crime as he interrogates all the unusual suspects with great music from the Orchestra. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, “well-orchestrated” performance.
Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 11am
The Story of Babar, The Little Elephant
with Really Inventive Stuff’s Michael Boudewyns
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Pack your trunks! You’re invited to Babar’s coronation! Jean de Brunhoff’s popular children’s story of one little elephant’s epic rise from rags to riches is eloquently set to music by Francis Poulenc, and expressively re-imagined by Really Inventive Stuff with all the enthusiasm and pomp worthy of a royal gathering. Long live King Babar!
Rush Hour at Hardywood
We’re teaming up with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery again this season to continue the popular Thursday night Rush Hour concerts! Grab your favorite craft beer, hit the food trucks and enjoy a laid back concert at 6:30pm in Hardywood’s tasting room.
Rush Hour 1 – Oct. 4, 2018
Rush Hour 2 – Jan. 24, 2019
Rush Hour 3 – Feb. 21, 2019
Rush Hour 4 – April 25, 2019
Special Rush Hour at Hardywood West Creek – April 24, 2019
The Metro Collection offers audiences fantastic classical music in an intimate setting. Concerts feature smaller-scale works from the classical repertoire and newer pieces by contemporary composers. Richmond Symphony musicians are often featured soloists. All Metro Collection concerts take place in Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA.
Metro Collection 1
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 at 3pm
Mozart, Ives & Haydn
Steven Smith, conductor
Mozart Overture to “The Abduction of the Seraglio”, K. 384
Fazil Say Symphonic Dances
Ives Hymn – Largo cantabile
Ives Country Band March
Haydn Symphony No. 88 in G Major
Metro Collection 2
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at 3pm
Debussy & Mozart
Steven Smith, conductor
Debussy La boîte à joujoux (The toybox)
Dewa Alit Open My Door
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel Overture
Mozart Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K. 183
Metro Collection 3
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at 3pm
Reena Esmail & Beethoven
Steven Smith, conductor
Reena Esmail Avartan
Mozart Overture to Don Giovanni
Beethoven Symphony No. 6, Opus 68 “Pastorale”
Metro Collection 4
Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3pm
Copland, Spohr & Schubert
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
David Lemelin, clarinet Thomas P. Bryan, Jr., Guest Artist
Copland Music for the Theatre
Spohr Clarinet Concerto No. 4 in E minor
Schubert Symphony No. 6, D. 589
Saturday, December 8, 2018 – 7:30pm
Chia-Hsuan Lin, conductor
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Don’t miss the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus performing Handel’s masterwork, a holiday classic that has delighted Richmonders for generations.
Symphony in 60 (Formerly Casual Fridays)
Music Director Steven Smith and special guests will take you on a 60-minute behind the scenes tour through great orchestral works. These concerts take place at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts’ Carpenter Theatre. Join us for an exclusive happy hour with Symphony musicians after the concert!
Symphony in 60
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 at 6:30pm
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Symphony in 60
Friday, March 8, 2019 at 6:30pm
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”
Subscription and Ticket Information and Pricing
Enjoy the best in live music with exclusive benefits available only to subscribers!
Savings on the Best Seats in the House
- Save up to 40% off on the price of single tickets
- Receive up to 20% off ticket purchases to additional series concerts
- Priority Seating – choose your seats before the general public and keep them season to season
- Avoid single ticket and venue fees
Flexibility and Customer Service
- FREE and easy ticket exchanges (upgrade fees may apply)
- FREE lost ticket replacement
- Personalized customer service by friendly and knowledgeable Richmond Symphony staff
- Exclusive pre-sale opportunities for special Symphony events
- Enjoy subscriber discounts to local RVA businesses and restaurants
- Invitations to attend exclusive, subscriber-only dress rehearsals
Altria Masterworks Saturday Evening Subscription (8 concerts)
Includes Opening Night with Lang Lang and all 7 Saturday concerts.
Dates Included are: Fri 9/21, Sat 10/20, Sat 11/10, Sat 1/12, Sat 2/9, Sat 3/9, Sat 4/13, Sat 5/18
NEW! Altria Masterworks Saturday/Sunday Split Subscription (8 concerts)
Includes Opening Night with Lang Lang, 3 Saturday concerts, and 4 Sunday concerts.
Dates Included are: Fri 9/21, Sat 10/20, Sun 11/11, Sun 1/13, Sun 2/10, Sat 3/9, Sun 4/14, Sat 5/18
Altria Masterworks Sunday Afternoon Subscription (4 concerts)
Dates Included are: Sun 11/11, Sun 1/13, Sun 2/10, Sat 3/9, Sun 4/14
Symphony Pops Subscription (4 concerts)
Dates Included are: Sat 11/3, Sat 12/1, Sat 2/2, Sat 3/16
Metro Collection Subscription (4 concerts)
Held at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland.
Dates Included are: Sun 10/7, Sun 1/27, Sun 2/24, Sun 4/28
Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Subscription (4 concerts)
Dates Included are: Sat 10/27, Sat 11/24, Sat 1/19, Sat 3/2
NEW! Rush Hour at Hardywood E-Z Pass (limited availability)
Purchase an E-Z Pass to see all 4 Rush Hour and receive 25% off single ticket prices.
E-Z Pass holders do not receive subscriber benefits.
Dates Included are: Thu 10/4, Thu 1/24, Thu 2/21, Thu 4/25
Compose Your Own Subscription (CYO)
Mix and Match 3+ concerts from the Altria Masterworks, Symphony Pops, Metro Collection, or Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series to receive up to 10% off single ticket prices and subscriber benefits. Excludes Rush Hour at Hardywood and Symphony in 60 concerts.
CYO subscribers can vary the number of tickets and seating for each concert.
NEW! CYO subscribers may include Special Concerts (Opening Night with Lang Lang & Symphonie Fantastique, Handel’s Messiah, and Carmen with Denyce Graves) as part of their subscription.
|SERIES SUBSCRIPTIONS||update 1/18/18|
|price per subscription|
|Altria Masterworks Saturday|
|Altria Masterworks Saturday/Sunday Split||Adult||Child|
|(8 concerts including Lang Lang & Carmen)||Mezzanine||$588||$588|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$463||$125|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$322||$50|
|Front Second Dress||$187||$30|
*Child may opt out of Opening Night and Carmen to receive free subscription. Excludes Mezzanine.
|Altria Masterworks Sunday Afternoon|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$213||$0|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$157||$0|
|Front Second Dress||$92||$0|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$213||$132|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$157||$80|
|Front Second Dress||$92||$56|
|(4 concerts)||General Admission||$70||$40|
|Union Bank & Trust LolliPops|
|(4 concerts)||General Admission||$45||$34|
|Rush Hour at Hardywood EZ Pass (only 100 available)|
|(4 concerts)||Cover Charge||$60||N/A|
|Compose Your Own||Altria Masterworks 2-7|
|price per ticket||Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$59||free|
|NEW: Special concerts, included below, can be included in your CYO subscription at the prices below.||Rear Orchestra||$53||free|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$43||free|
|Front Second Dress||$25||free|
|*See pricing for Opening Night & Carmen below)|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$59||$33|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$43||$20|
|Front Second Dress||$25||$14|
|Union Bank & Trust LolliPops|
|SUBSCRIPTION ADD ONS|
|included w/ Sat Masterworks and Sat/Sun Split Masterworks; can be included in CYO subscription||Lang Lang & Symphonie Fantastique|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$100||$75|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$55||$25|
|Carmen w/ Denyce Graves|
|included w/ Sat Masterworks and Sat/Sun Split Masterworks; can be included in CYO subscription||Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$75||$50|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$50||$25|
|Front Second Dress||$30||$15|
|Rear Second Dress||$20||$10|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||$45||$32|
|Rear Orchestra / Rear First Dress||$40||$28|
|Side Orchestra / Front Second Dress||$30||$21|
|Rear Second Dress||$20||$14|
|*Child may opt out of Lang Lang and Carmen to receive Masterworks Saturday Subscription (6 concerts) for free. Excludes Mezzanine.|
|Child tickets are for ages 3-18. All prices above reflect subscription discounts where applicable.|
|RICHMOND SYMPHONY 2018-2019 SINGLE TICKET PRICING|
|MASTERWORKS 2-7||Single Tickets|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||65||59||0||10|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||48||43||0||10|
|Front Second Dress||28||25||0||10|
|Rear Second Dress||10||10||0||10|
|NOT AVAILABLE FOR LANG LANG/CARMEN PRICING SEE BELOW.|
|MASTERWORKS Lang Lang||Single Tickets|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||100||75||75|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||55||25||25|
|MASTERWORKS CARMEN||Single Tickets|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||75||50||50|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||50||25||25|
|Front Second Dress||30||15||15|
|Rear Second Dress||20||10||10|
|SYMPHONY POPS||Single Tickets|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||65||59||33||46|
|Side Orchestra / Rear First Dress||48||43||20||34|
|Front Second Dress||28||25||14||20|
|Rear Second Dress||10||10||10||10|
|SYMPHONY IN 60||Single Tickets|
|METRO COLLECTION||Single Tickets|
|Full Sub Discount is $18 at door.|
|RUSH HOUR||Cover Charge|
|HANDEL’S MESSIAH||Single Tickets|
|Front Orchestra / Front First Dress||45||n/a||32||32|
|Rear Orchestra / Rear First Dress||40||n/a||28||28|
|Side Orchestra / Front Second Dress||30||n/a||21||21|
|Rear Second Dress||20||n/a||14||14|
Child tickets are for ages 3-18.
Senior tickets are for ages 65 and up.
College students & Military must present a valid ID at time of purchase or pick up.
The Richmond Symphony offers a range of group sale discounts starting at 10% off single ticket prices for groups of 8 or more. Discounts vary by concert and by the size of the group.
The Richmond Symphony offers college students best available seating to any Altria Masterworks and Casual Fridays Series concerts in the 2018-19 season for just $25! (Excludes Lang Lang & Symphonie Fantastique on September 21, 2018 and Carmen with Denyce Graves on May 18, 2019).
For more information on pricing and subscriptions, please contact Patron Services at email@example.com or 804.788.1212
Guest Artist Bio
Few artists can claim to have the same profound impact on the world of music as Lang Lang has had. As a pianist, educator and philanthropist, as well as an influential ambassador for the arts, Lang Lang has fully embraced new technology and innovation, leading the way in bringing classical music into the 21st century. Equally happy playing for billions of viewers at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing or just for a few hundred children in the public schools, Lang Lang is a master of communicating through music.
Heralded by the New York Times as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet”, Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts covering all continents of the globe. He has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph Eschenbach and performs with all the world’s top orchestras. Lang Lang is known for thinking outside the box and frequently steps into different musical worlds. His performances at the GRAMMY Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were hailed by millions of viewers.
For about a decade Lang Lang has contributed to musical education worldwide. In 2008 he founded the Lang Lang International Music Foundation aimed at cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. In 2013 Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a Messenger of Peace focusing on global education.
Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, and gave his first public recital before the age of five. He entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at 13. He subsequently went to Philadelphia to study with legendary pianist Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was seventeen when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the Gala of the Century, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation and the invitations started to pour in.
Lang Lang’s boundless drive to attract new audiences to classical music has brought him tremendous recognition: he was presented with the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos and was picked as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In December 2011 he was honoured with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and received the highest civilian honours in Germany (Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and France (Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters). In 2016 Lang Lang was invited to the Vatican to perform for Pope Francis. He has also performed for numerous other international dignitaries, including four US presidents and monarchs from many nations.
For further information visit www.langlang.com / www.langlangfoundation.org
American violinist Joan Kwuon is widely recognized for her commanding interpretations, graceful flair and deeply communicative voice. Her artistry is committed to a diversity of musical periods and styles ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Stravinsky and Takemitsu.
Joan Kwuon, whom the New York Times describes as “fiery, intensely musical and impassioned,” made her Tanglewood Music Festival concerto debut at the invitation of Sir André Previn in 2000 and her recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall the following season. She has since appeared with leading orchestras of North America, Europe and Asia and in recital and chamber music internationally. Ms. Kwuon’s virtuosity and radiant stage presence have been recognized by media ranging from The Today Show, CBS News and Lifetime Television to National Public Radio.
Celebrating Mozart’s 250th birthday, Ms. Kwuon toured the United States performing Mozart Violin Concerti with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit and Matthias Bamert. She performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and André Previn in Cardiff, Wales and with Maestro Previn and the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall performing Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3. She also appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Bulgarian National Academic Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia of Finland, Moscow State Radio Symphony, Orchestra Europa, Busan Philharmonic, State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Louisiana Philharmonic, Amarillo Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and International Sejong Soloists. Among the many conductors with whom she has worked are Günther Herbig, Joann Falletta, Heinz Wallberg, Patrick Gallois, Heiichiro Ohyama, Enrique Batiz, Theodore Kuchar, Christopher Seaman, Joel Smirnoff, Gürer Aykal, Arild Remmereit and Thierry Fischer.
Ms. Kwuon’s other recent debuts and return engagements included the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Turkey and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in León, Mexico. Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 2 with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s “Turkish” Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Rochester Philhamonic, Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the El Paso Symphony and Beethoven Violin Concerto in the Czech Republic with the Janacek Philharmonic.
Joan Kwuon made her Metropolitan Museum recital debut in 2006 and in 2008 returned to the Metropolitan Museum with pianist, André Previn in Sonata Recital. Ms. Kwuon and Mr. Previn also performed at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and for the Anne Ratner Concert Series in NYC. She has opened the Mixon Hall Masters Series at CIM and has appeared on the Ravinia Festival Rising Stars, Caramoor’s Great Artists Series, San Francisco Performances, Hampton Arts Series, Tannery Pond Concerts, University of Illinois’ Krannert Center, The Peggy Rockefeller Concerts in New York City, Universities of Georgia, Long Beach, Iowa, George Mason, Hoam Art Hall, Wooster College and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. She has enjoyed collaborations with Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, the Juilliard String Quartet, Bright Sheng, Heidi Grant Murphy, Cecile Licad, Vladimir Feltsman and Tony Bennett with whom Ms. Kwuon has performed in duet at Jazz Lincoln Center, Tanglewood and most recently at the MusiCares Grammy Awards Gala.
Born in Los Angeles, Joan Kwuon began her musical studies at the piano at age five and violin at age six. She attended Crossroads School and studied at Indiana University with Miriam Fried, The Juilliard School with Joel Smirnoff and CIM with Donald Weilerstein. She has taught at The Juilliard School and has been guest artist/faculty at numerous music festivals including Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, La Jolla’s Summerfest, Bowdoin International Music Festival and this summer at the Heifetz International Music Institute. In 2009, Ms Kwuon was appointed to the violin faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She recently signed a multi-album contract with Azica Records.
One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.
2017-18 sees him opening the season for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and ending his season with the Colorado Symphony and Mozart’s majestic Concerto in C major, K. 467; in between Orion will play with eleven orchestras, go on a recital tour with James Ehnes, and perform recitals around the country. In 2016-17 Orion performed with the Knoxville, Wichita, and Santa Rosa Symphonies, among others, and in collaborative projects with Alessio Bax, the Pacifica Quartet, and with Cho-Liang Lin and the New Orford String Quartet in a performance of the Chausson Concerto for piano, violin, and string quartet. In 2015 Naxos released his recording of Christopher Rouse’s Seeing – a major commission Orion debuted with the Albany Symphony – and in 2012 he released a recital album of Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Bartok. That same year he also spearheaded a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with his longtime collaborators the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta.
Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.
Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with his wife, the pianist Anna Polonsky, the violinists James Ehnes and Arnaud Sussman, and cellist Julie Albers. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the U.S. at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall.
Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.
Ankush Kumar Bahl
Hailed by the New York Times as an “energetic” conductor who leads with “clear authority and enthusiasm,” Ankush Kumar Bahl is recognized today for his impressive technique, thoughtful interpretations, and engaging podium presence. Recent and upcoming appearances include Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, Orchestre National de France, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. The past few seasons, Bahl has been a frequent cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic and Maestro Jaap van Zweden, having assisted him and other venerable guests both at Lincoln Center and on tour.
Bahl is a recipient of four Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards, as well as the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. A protégé of Kurt Masur, Bahl served as Masur’s assistant conductor at the Orchestre National de France, Royal Concertgebouw, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. It was in this capacity he was called upon to step in for Maestro Masur for two performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
From 2011-15 Bahl was the Assistant Conductor at the National Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach. During his tenure, Bahl conducted over 100 performances including his subscription and Wolf Trap debuts, numerous run out concerts for the In Your Neighborhood program, and the annual Young People’s Concerts which educated over 24,000 students each year.
Violinist Daisuke Yamamoto, known for exhibiting “immense virtuosity and probing musicianship,” is originally from Marietta, GA. Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony since 2013, he has been featured as a soloist on several occasions since his arrival, including a performance of the Theme from Schindler’s List for the Holocaust Remembrance Concert, which was broadcast statewide. Other performances include Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Ravel’s Tzigane and Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from The Four Seasons. He recently completed his tenure as a violin fellow of the New World Symphony. While at New World, he soloed with the orchestra, performing Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. He has also collaborated with Jaime Laredo in a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins. While at New World he was hand-picked by Michael Tilson Thomas to participate in the Thomashefsky Project, an homage to Tilson Thomas’s grandparents who were pioneers of the American Yiddish Theater. The project was recorded for DVD and was aired on PBS’ Great Performances. He was also invited to Medellín, Colombia, where he led sectionals and masterclasses as well as performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín.
An avid orchestral performer, he has performed with many orchestras across the US, including The Cleveland Orchestra on numerous occasions both on tour and in Cleveland, New World Symphony, and the Spokane Symphony. As a concertmaster, he has led the New World Symphony on several occasions both at the New World Center and the Adrienne Arsht Center, Spokane Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. His performances have taken him to many great concerts halls in America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Benaroya Hall, Suntory Hall, Festspielhaus and the KKL Luzern Concert Hall. He has worked with such notable conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Fabio Luisi, Osmo Vänskä, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, Jeffrey Tate and David Zinman. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Robert McDuffie, Ida Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Steven Tenenbom, Jasper String Quartet, members of The Cleveland Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Duo Patterson and Jerry Wong.
Grammy Award-nominee Adam Neiman is hailed as one of the foremost pianists of his generation. With a distinguished international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans more than sixty concerti, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Slovenia, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. He has collaborated with many of the world’s celebrated conductors, including David Atherton, Jiri Belohlavek, Michael Francis, Giancarlo Guerrero, Theodor Gushlbauer, Carlos Kalmer, Uros Lajovic, Yoël Levi, Andrew Litton, Rossen Milanov, Heichiro Ohyama, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vänska, and Emmanuel Villaume. An acclaimed recitalist, Neiman has performed an expansive array of solo recital programs across the major cities and concert halls of Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Neiman makes frequent appearances at prestigious chamber music festivals around the globe, and he was a member of two award-winning ensembles: Trio Solisti and the Corinthian Trio. A prolific composer, Neiman has composed numerous substantial works for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo piano, and voice. His multifaceted career includes prestigious appointments as the Artistic Director of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont and as a full-time piano faculty member of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He is also the founder and CEO of Aeolian Classics, LLC. His extensive discography includes myriad solo, concerto, and chamber music albums for labels such as Aeolian Classics, Bridge, Lyric Records, Naxos, Onyx, Sono Luminus, and VAI.
Born in 1978, Neiman has captured the attention of audiences and critics alike since his Los Angeles debut at age 11 at Royce Hall. At fourteen, he debuted in Germany at the Ivo Pogorelich Festival, and at fifteen, he won second prize at the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, the youngest medalist in the competition’s history. In 1995, Neiman also became the youngest-ever winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and, in the following year, he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Two-time winner of Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Neiman received the Rubinstein Award upon his graduation in 1999, the same year in which he received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Neiman’s principal teachers have included Trula Whelan, Hans Boepple, Herbert Stessin, and Fanny Waterman.
Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as “an operatic superstar of the 21st century,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, “If the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.”
Her career has taken her to the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals and to delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. Denyce Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Ms. Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence.
Ms. Graves appears continually on the stages of leading theaters in North America, Europe, and Asia. Highlights have included a Robert Lepage production of The Rake’s Progress at San Francisco Opera, the title role in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner in the world premiere performances at Michigan Opera Theater with further performances at Cincinnati Opera, Opera Carolina, and Opera Philadelphia, the role of Charlotte in Werther for Michigan Opera Theatre opposite Andrea Bocelli in his first staged operatic performances, and the role of Judith in a William Friedkin production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle in her return to Los Angeles Opera; she also has sung Judith at the Washington National Opera and for The Dallas Opera. Recent appearances include the world premieres of Doubt at Minnesota Opera and Champion at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as the role debuts of Katisha in The Mikado for Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Herodias in Salome for Palm Beach Opera.
In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Graves can be seen in recital at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires before going on to perform the role of The Old Lady in Candide at both Washington National Opera and Palm Beach Opera. She will also appear at the Gala de Danza in Los Cobos, Mexico. In addition, Ms. Graves will sing recitals at Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) and the Academy Art Museum (Eaton, IL).
During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Graves made her role debut as Erda in Wagner’s Das Rheingold with Minnesota Opera under the baton of Michael Christie, returned to Washington National Opera for her acclaimed portrayal of Emelda Griffith in Champion, appeared in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin as Filipyevna with Florida Grand Opera, and took part in the world premiere of Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King, an opera based on the life of baseball legend Josh Gibson, with the Pittsburgh Opera. Over the course of the season, the distinguished mezzo-soprano sang on gala programs for Wolf Trap Opera, and a “Night of Stars” hosted by Michael Feinstein and featuring Alan Cumming and Patti Lupone for the 25th Anniversary of West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center.
Recent seasons have seen Ms. Graves return to stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Andrea Chénier conducted by Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano, as the role of Nettie Fowler in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel in a new Rob Ashford production given by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and with Kentucky Opera as Madeline Mitchell in Three Decembers, by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. In the service of her country, Ms. Graves-Montgomery celebrated the bicentenary of The American National Anthem in a Star Spangled Spectacular for PBS Great Performances appearing with Kristin Chenoweth, Smokey Robinson, John Lithgow, and Marin Alsop leading the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Graves has worked with the finest symphony orchestras and conductors in a wide range of repertoire. She has performed with Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, and Mstislav Rostropovich. One of the music world’s most sought-after recitalists, Ms. Graves combines her expressive vocalism and exceptional gifts for communication with her dynamic stage presence. Her programs include classical repertoire of German lieder, French mélodie, and English art song, as well as the popular music of Broadway musicals, crossover and jazz together with American spirituals. For her New York recital debut, the New York Times wrote, “[h]er voice is dusky and earthy. She is a strikingly attractive stage presence and a communicative artist who had the audience with her through four encores.”
In 2001 Ms. Graves gave a series of appearances in response to the tragic events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Ms. Graves was invited by President Bush to participate in the National Prayer Service in Washington’s National Cathedral in which she sang “America, the Beautiful” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” This event was televised worldwide and was followed by Ms. Graves’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in a live musical program of “Healing through Gospel Music.” Ms. Graves appears regularly on radio and television as a musical performer, celebrity guest, and as the subject of documentaries and other special programming. In 1997 PBS Productions released a video and audio recording titled Denyce Graves: A Cathedral Christmas, featuring Ms. Graves in a program of Christmas music from Washington’s National Cathedral. This celebration of music including chorus and orchestra is shown each year on PBS during the Christmas season. Ms. Graves was seen on the Emmy-award winning BBC special “The Royal Opera House,” highlighting her debut performances there and she has been a frequent guest on television shows including Sesame Street, The Charlie Rose Show, and Larry King Live. In 1996 Ms. Graves was the subject of an Emmy-award winning profile on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
For nearly two decades, Ms. Graves has been a prolific recording artist. As an exclusive artist, Voce di Donna, a solo recording of opera arias, was released on RCA Red Seal. The Lost Days, a recording with jazz musicians of Latin songs in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, followed in January 2003. In June 2003 Church was released ‒ this recording, developed by Ms. Graves, brings together African-American divas from various forms of music, all of whom were first exposed to music through their upbringing in church. Participants recorded music of their choice and include Dr. Maya Angelou, Dionne Warwick, En Vogue, Patti LaBelle, and others. Other recordings of Ms. Graves include NPR Classics’ release of a recording of spirituals, Angels watching over me, featuring the mezzo-soprano in performance with her frequent partner, pianist Warren Jones, and an album of French arias, Héroïnes de l’Opéra romantique Français, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo under Marc Soustrot. Her full opera recordings include Gran Vestale in La vestale, recorded live from La Scala with Riccardo Muti for Sony Classical; Queen Gertrude in Thomas’s Hamlet for EMI Classics; Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine; and Emilia in Otello with Plácido Domingo and the Opéra de Paris, Bastille Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, both for Deutsche Grammophon.
Ms. Graves is a native of Washington, D.C., where she attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts. She continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory. Ms. Graves is the recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prix du Concours International de Chant de Paris, the Eleanor Steber Music Award in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, and a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. In 1991, she received the Grand Prix Lyrique, awarded once every three years by the Association des amis de l’opéra de Monte-Carlo, and the Marian Anderson Award, presented to her by Miss Anderson. In addition she has received honorary doctorates from Oberlin College, the College of Saint Mary, Centre College, and the New England Conservatory. Ms. Graves’s dedication to the singers of the next generation continues to be an important part of her career and recently she joined the voice faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.
Please visit the artist’s website at www.denycegraves.com.
A native of Québec, Canada, David Lemelin is currently Principal Clarinettist with the Richmond Symphony. Before joining the RSO, David was 2nd/Eb clarinetist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and also previously served a 4-year fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach where he had the opportunity to work with a wide array of renowned musicians and conductors. In November 2011, David was a winner of the New World Symphony Concerto Competition and performed a concerto with the orchestra. In addition, he has played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke.
David received his Master of Music from DePaul University in Chicago and his Bachelor of Music from McGill University in Montreal, both in Clarinet Performance. His main teachers include Larry Combs, Robert Crowley, and Nathalie DeGrâce.
Music Director & Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair
This season, Steven Smith marks his ninth season as Music Director of the Richmond Symphony and his seventh season in the Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair. He continues as Music Director of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, which produces the annual NEOSonicFest, this year celebrating its fifth anniversary, and in 2013 completed a 14-year tenure as Music Director of the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus.
From 1997 to 2003, Steven Smith served as the Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra where he appeared on the subscription series at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. With a strong commitment to arts education, he assisted in the planning and conducting of The Cleveland Orchestra’s educational and family concerts and hosted the orchestra’s annual broadcast videoconference which won an Emmy Award in 2001. For five seasons, he also served as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra which performed by invitation at Carnegie Hall in 2001. From 2002–05, he was associate professor at Oberlin Conservatory, where he led both orchestral and opera performances.
Since arriving in Richmond, Steven Smith has been delighted to collaborate with other performing groups in the region, including the Richmond Ballet’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2014, and the Virginia Opera’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2013. He has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras such as San Francisco, Milwaukee, Houston, Detroit, Tulsa, Jacksonville, Puerto Rico Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival. Abroad, he has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and Mexico’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. In addition, he has conducted numerous opera and orchestral performances at Indiana University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and Brevard Music Center.
Steven Smith is an ASCAP award-winning composer, with commissions from The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Eugene Youth Symphony and solo artists. He was named Ohio Composer of the Year for 2008.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Steven Smith earned Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is the recipient of the CIM Alumni Association 1999 Alumni Achievement Award and the Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation’s Conductor Career Development Grant.
Associate Conductor & Jack and Mary Ann Frable Associate Conductor Chair
Lauded for her clarity and elegance on the podium, Chia-Hsuan Lin has shared her talents in many diverse musical settings throughout the world. Ms. Lin continues her second season as Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony and as Music Director of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2017. Her ’16-’17 season featured sold-out concerts in the RSO’s Metro Collection Series and “The Genius of John Williams” pops show, and a crowd of 10,700 for Henrico County’s “Red, White, and Lights” Independence Day celebration.
“[Ms. Lin] moves with the command and energy of a soccer star,” wrote Larry Hayes (former editor, Journal Gazette) in his 2016 review of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s highest-attend Masterworks subscription concert in the last decade, featuring Ms. Lin at the helm. Appointed as assistant conductor to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in 2014, Ms. Lin directed family, ballet, pops, education, and community concerts all around the North Indiana region. Lin has since returned to conduct a Chamber Orchestra subscription concert, Messiah, and “Patriotic Pops” to a record audience of over 7,000 at Parkview Field.
Lin was a featured guest in Classical Revolution RVA’s Mozart Festivals in 2016 and 2017, conducting and sharing orchestral music in innovative, non-traditional venues. Ms. Lin conducted the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra as one of three young talents chosen for the Emerging Conductor Program in 2014. In the same year, Ms. Lin conducted Mark Adamo’s Little Women at Northwestern University, reflecting her great passion for vocal and contemporary works. She was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Jeunesses Musicales International Conducting Competition in Bucharest, Romania. Previously, she led the 2012 Mainstage Opera production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the University of Cincinnati, where she also served as music director of the University of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and later participated in the 2012 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. In celebration of the Taiwanese premiere of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Ms. Lin returned to Taipei in 2011 to conduct the Academy of Taiwan Strings and Taipei Philharmonic Chorus for a lecture series by conductor and Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling. In the summer of 2011, she traveled to Italy to serve as Assistant Conductor of Opera at the CCM Spoleto Music Festival.
Ms. Lin first received musical training as a pianist in Taiwan at age three. At age nine, she began studies as a percussionist and later performed with the renowned Taipei Percussion Group from 2003 to 2010. Ms. Lin received her undergraduate degree in percussion and graduate degree in conducting from National Taiwan Normal University, where she studied with Apo Hsu. Under the tutelage of Mark Gibson, she earned a graduate degree at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, and in 2012, Ms. Lin received the Foreign Study Award for Music from the Taiwan Education Bureau to begin her doctoral degree with Victor Yampolsky at Northwestern University.
Ms. Lin has attended masterclasses and workshops with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and the Romanian Royal Camerata, as well as with conductors Günther Herbig, Jorma Panula, Imre Palló, Steven Smith, Helmuth Rilling, Gábor Hollerung, Mei-Ann Chen, Harold Farberman, Markand Thakar, Israel Yinon, and Douglas Bostock.
Director of Richmond Symphony Chorus & James Erb Choral Chair
Erin Freeman holds a joint position with the Richmond Symphony (Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus) and Virginia Commonwealth University (Director of Choral Activities). This appointment follows seven successful years as Richmond Symphony’s Associate Conductor and includes overseeing all of the choral ensembles at VCU and preparing the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus. Freeman is also Artistic Director of Wintergreen Performing Arts, where her creative programming has resulted in record crowds, increased donations, and a Washington Post endorsement.
Freeman has conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony, and ensembles in Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, and Illinois. In 2015-2016, Freeman made her debut with Berkshire Choral International (BCI) and the Springfield Symphony. In 2016-2017 Freeman returned to BCI, conducted the Richmond Ballet in multiple productions, and made her Carnegie Hall debut.
Previous positions include Director of Orchestras at Baltimore School for the Arts and American University, Conductor at Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute, Lecturer for the National Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic, and Resident Conductor at Peabody Conservatory. Freeman holds degrees from Northwestern University (BMus), Boston University (MM), and Peabody Conservatory (DMA). Instructors include Gustav Meier, Victor Yampolsky, Helmuth Rilling, Murry Sidlin, Ann Howard Jones, and Robert Shaw.
About the Richmond Symphony (www.richmondsymphony.com):
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season in 2017/18, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia, and its reach extends throughout the Metro Richmond region and across the Commonwealth from its home downtown in the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and over 260 students in the four ensembles in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program. Each season, more than 200,000 people enjoy its live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Richmond Symphony also provides inspirational and immersive educational programming for over 55,000 students and teachers each year.
Its 40-week season (from September through June, plus an annual July 4th concert and summer concert series) includes the following series and programs under the headings of Classics, Currents and Community: Masterworks, Pops, Metro Collection, Casual Fridays, LolliPops, Rush Hour, Discovery, Come & Play, Messiah, Big Tent community festivals, and annual contracts with Richmond Ballet and Virginia Opera. The Richmond Symphony was recently named as one of 21 American orchestras selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Richmond Symphony Chorus
James Erb organized the all-volunteer Richmond Symphony Chorus in 1971 for a December performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, under guest conductor Robert Shaw. For 36 years, Erb continued to direct and build the Chorus to reflect the Symphony’s high standards. Erin Freeman assumed leadership of the Chorus at the start of its 2007–08 season. The repertoire for its selected volunteer membership encompasses most of the standard repertoire for chorus and orchestra. Included are works like: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion and Mass in B Minor, Berlioz Damnation of Faust and Romeo and Juliet, Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 and Choral Fantasy, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Requiem settings by Mozart, Brahms, Verdi and Faure, Mahler’s Symphony No.2, 3, and 8, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Serenade to Music, and Sea Symphony, and Ravel’s complete Daphnis and Chloe. A number of shorter choral-orchestral works are included as well. Special projects include the performance and recording of Mahler Symphony No. 8 with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, a performance with the Richmond Symphony in the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, re-creation of the Chorus’s inaugural performance of Missa Solemnis, under the direction of Erin Freeman, and in May 2018 a world premiere composition by Mason Bates. In February 2017, members of the Chorus performed Poulenc’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall, and in June 2019, members will travel to Paris to sing Bach’s Magnificat at La Madaleine – both under the direction of Erin Freeman. Professional recordings include: A James Erb Celebration, Durufle Requiem, and music by Britten, Rachmaninoff, and Adolphus Hailstork.
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Contacts: Erin Frye
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Director of Advancement and Patron Communications
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