Who We Are

The Richmond Symphony Announces Its 2015-16 Season

February 19, 2015

M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y

For Immediate Release

How Do You Listen?

The Richmond Symphony Announces Its 2015-16 Season:
New Series, New Venues, World Class Guest Artists, and Classical Masterpieces Highlight the RSO in the Upcoming Season at the Carpenter Theatre and Beyond!

February 19, 2015 – Richmond, Virginia Music Director Steven Smith and Executive Director David Fisk announced the 2015-16 season of the Richmond Symphony (RSO).  The season features new series, a change of location, world-renowned guest artists and concerts designed to appeal to diverse audiences throughout the Richmond region.   The season will again be led by the artistic team of Steven Smith, Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair, Keitaro Harada, Associate Conductor and Dr. Erin R. Freeman, Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and James Erb Choral Chair.

 “Music expresses emotion in sound. Perhaps that helps explain why music plays such a strong role in our lives. In fact, memories of events are often attached to musical memories. Any time we hear that music, its effect is more powerful, because the music is so entwined with that memory. We feel it. In a wonderful way, then, when we hear music for the first time, it can inspire new emotional connections to our personal experiences.

 A beautiful mystery of live performance is how music affects all of us differently. The drama, beauty, and shared experience of a live performance have no equal. Live music conveys emotions ranging from joy to sorrow; from love to anger; from calm to surprise; giving all of us an opportunity to enjoy moments that are both personal and unique. There is simply nothing else like it!” – Music Director Steven Smith.

Some highlights of the season include:

  • An opening weekend concert featuring Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony with the Richmond Symphony Chorus on September 12 & 13, 2015.
  • A new series titled Casual Fridays – hour-long concerts starting at 6:30pm in the Carpenter Theatre that feature great works from the orchestral repertoire in a casual format.
  • Starting this fall, the RSO is partnering with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery to move the popular one-hour, Thursday evening Rush Hour series to Hardywood’s tasting room.
  • An Altria Masterworks season that includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”, an evening of Viennese New Year’s favorites including Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz, Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony with guest conductor Victor Yampolsky, Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with pianist Orli Shaham, the choral version of Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, Copland’s Appalachian Spring suite, a new work by composer Laura Schwendinger,  a work by Richmond native Zachary Wadsworth, and the complete version of Ravel’s lush Daphnis et Chloé.
  • A Genworth Symphony Pops season that includes a Science Fiction Double Feature of the silent film Nosferatu with the orchestra followed by a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a concert featuring the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson, the return of symphony favorite Steve Lippia performing the music of Frank Sinatra on his centennial anniversary, and our annual holiday favorite – Let It Snow!­ – conducted for the first time by Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada.

“Our 2015-16 Richmond Symphony season offers you the best of orchestral music designed to touch each and every one of us in a personal way.  Whether its sorrow in Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, the joy of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or the love story of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, you have the opportunity to be changed by the experience.” 

“I hope you are as excited as I am about the 2015-16 season.  We can’t wait for you to join us!”  – Music Director Steven Smith, Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair

“We are delighted to be announcing the Richmond Symphony’s 58th Season today and want to offer special thanks to our corporate partners – especially our main series sponsors Altria, Genworth and Union Bank & Trust for renewing their generous support – and our media partners –WCVE and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. – David Fisk, RSO Executive Director 

Mr. Fisk continues: “We also warmly acknowledge our partners in the performing arts community who are joining us to collaborate on concert programs next season.  This includes our friends at the Virginia Opera and the Richmond Ballet, who are contributing young artists to our Masterworks and LolliPops series respectively. And we especially thank Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for letting us take over their tasting room four Thursdays next season as our new Rush Hour concert location. More than ever, it’s appropriate for us to say ‘cheers’ to all of our sponsors, partners and patrons for a fantastic 2015-16 Season!”

Altria Masterworks Series

Under the baton of Music Director Steven Smith, the Altria Masterworks series again features fantastic guest artists and the greatest works from the classical repertoire.  The 2015-16 series includes an opening of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a guest conducted concert with Maestro Victor Yampolsky and the rare complete version of Daphnis et Chloé.  Joining the RSO on stage will be: Philippe Quint, violin; Orion Weiss, piano; Orli Shaham, piano; RSO Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto, violin; RSO Principal Flute Mary Boodell; members of the Virginia Opera Emerging Artists  program; and the Richmond Symphony Chorus.

*All Altria Masterworks Concerts take place at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage unless otherwise noted. 


September 12 & 13, 2015 – 8:00 pm/3:00 pm

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Steven Smith, conductor

Richmond Symphony Chorus

John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Berlioz: King Lear Overture

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125


October 17, 2015 – 8:00 pm

Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony

Steven Smith, conductor

Zachary Wadsworth: Point – Line – Plane

Korngold:  Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

Philippe Quint, violin

Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Opus 29 “The Inextinguishable”


November 14, 2015 – 8:00 pm

Sibelius and Liszt

Steven Smith, conductor

Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela

Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major

Orion Weiss, piano

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 43


January 9 & 10, 2016 – 8:00 pm/3:00 pm

A New Year in Vienna

Join the Richmond Symphony and Steven Smith for a special evening in the style of a Viennese New Year with selected works, waltzes, polkas and arias by Johann Strauss II and Richard Strauss.  You will feel like you are celebrating the New Year in Vienna!

Steven Smith, conductor

Virginia Opera Emerging Artists, vocalists

Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

Strauss, Jr.: The Blue Danube

Additional selections


February 6, 2016 – 8:00 pm

Manfred Symphony

Victor Yampolsky, guest conductor

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 63

Daisuke Yamamoto, violin

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B Minor, Opus 58


March 5 & 6, 2016 – 8:00 pm/3:00 pm

Beethoven, Mussorgsky and Shostakovich

Steven Smith, conductor

Richmond Symphony Chorus

Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain (choral version)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Opus 37

Orli Shaham, piano

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 54


April 2, 2016 – 8:00 pm

Copland: Appalachian Spring

Steven Smith, conductor

Copland: Appalachian Spring: Suite

Laura Schwendinger: Waking Dream, for flute and orchestra

Mary Boodell, flute

Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 73


May 14 & 15, 2016 – 8:00 pm/3:00 pm

Daphnis et Chloé

Steven Smith, conductor

Richmond Symphony Chorus

Griffes : The White Peacock 

Barber: Symphony No. 1 in One Movement, Opus 9

Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (complete work)

Genworth Symphony Pops Series

The Genworth Symphony Pops Series combines the excitement of a live orchestra with the best in popular music.  Joining the RSO in 2015-16 are Jeans ‘n Classics performing the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson; The Richmond Symphony Chorus for two concerts of Let It Snow, and Steve Lippia returning to Richmond in a Frank Sinatra tribute.

*All Genworth Symphony Pops Concerts take place at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage unless otherwise noted.


October 24, 2015 – 8:00 pm

Science Fiction Double Feature

Two great movies on one fantastic night!  First see Murnau’s silent classic: Nosferatu with a live soundtrack performed by the Richmond Symphony as part of the Genworth Symphony Pops Series – then stay for a special late-night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and all the fun that comes with it) for just $10 more.


December 5 & 6, 2015 – 8:00 pm/3:00 pm

Let It Snow!

Kick off your holidays with a concert featuring the sounds of the season!  Join the Richmond Symphony, Richmond Symphony Chorus and conductor Keitaro Harada for this annual tradition the whole family will love.


February 27, 2016 – 8:00 pm

Music of Earth, Wind and Fire & The King of Pop

From Boogie Wonderland to Billie Jean the music of Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind and Fire is what pop music is all about.  Come hear your favorites with Jeans ‘n Classics and the Symphony performing your favorite hits in a concert that will make everyone want to get up and dance!


April 30, 2016

Steve Lippia’s Centennial Celebration: A Frank Sinatra Tribute

Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old in 2015.  Come celebrate the “Chairman of the Board’s” life and music when world-renowned entertainer Steve Lippia returns to Richmond to perform the Sinatra hits that we all love with the RSO.


Metro Collection

The Metro Collection offers audiences fantastic classical music in a intimate setting.  Concerts feature lesser known works from the classical canon and newer pieces by contemporary composers.  RSO Musicians often take part as featured soloists.

*All Metro Collection Concerts take place in Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA unless otherwise noted.


October 25, 2015

Bartók, Weber, Mozart

Keitaro Harada, conductor

Jared Davis, clarinet

Bartók: Divertimento for String Orchestra

Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major, Opus 74

Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550


January 17, 2016

Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme

Steven Smith, conductor

Neal Cary, cello

Ives: The Unanswered Question

Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, Opus 33

Clint Needham: Urban Sprawl

Haydn : Symphony No. 92 in G Major (“Oxford”)


February 21, 2016

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1

Steven Smith, conductor

Gustav Highstein, oboe

Stravinsky: Octet

Strauss: Oboe Concerto in D Major

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Opus 21


May 8, 2016

Mendelssohn: Scottish Symphony

Steven Smith, conductor

Fauré: Pelléas et Mélisande suite, Opus 80

Ravel: Mother Goose

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Opus 56 (“Scottish”)

Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series

The Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series is designed with the whole family in mind.  Performances include concerts that entertain, educate and most of all that are fun for children of all ages.  Each performance includes a pre-concert festival with a musical instrument petting zoo and other activities for young audiences. Concerts are designed for ages 5 and up.

*All Union Bank & Trust LolliPops concerts take place at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage unless otherwise noted.  Pre-concert festivals take place in Rhythm Hall one hour prior to concert.


October 31, 2015

Halloween Spooktacular

Keitaro Harada, conductor

Come in your favorite costume and listen to the RSO perform music from Frozen, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. Your special ghosts, goblins and princesses may even receive a special pre-concert Trick or Treat bag!


November 28, 2015

The Snowman (animated film)

Keitaro Harada, conductor

A perfect holiday show for your kids – enjoy the academy award winning movie: The Snowman accompanied by the Richmond Symphony. This charming animated film tells the story of a young boy’s magical friendship with a snowman.


January 30, 2016

Green Eggs and Ham

Keitaro Harada, conductor

Sara Valentine, actor and director

Kimberly Schroder, soprano

Michael Boudewyns, actor

Do you like Green Eggs and Ham?  Really Inventive Stuff’s fully-staged orchestral adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s beloved children’s classic is a feast for the ears!  The unstoppable Sam-I-Am serves up a banquet of surprises for a Seussical Diva in Robert Kapilow’s culinary cartoon-musical banquet.

Features Kimberly Schroder as Theodora Gieselevska, a Seussical soprano, and RVA favorite Michael Boudewyns as Sam-I-Am.


March 19, 2016

Carnival of the Animals with the School of Richmond Ballet

Keitaro Harada, conductor

Meet some of the wonderful members of the animal kingdom in Saint-Saëns famous Carnival of the Animals The School of Richmond Ballet.  Each musical movement captures the essence of a particular creature – can you recognize them all?  This beloved work is an all-time favorite for introducing children to classical music.


Casual Fridays – New in 2015-16

Sit back, relax, and join the Richmond Symphony to explore the world of classical music with our new Casual Fridays series.  These 60 minute concerts start at 6:30 and showcase great works from the classical repertoire.  Your host and conductor will provide a deeper look into the evening’s work.  After the performance, audience members are invited to join the RSO and its musicians for a post-concert happy-hour at a local establishment. Concerts will be held in the Carpenter Theatre.


October 16, 2015 – 6:30 pm

Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Opus 29 “The Inextinguishable”

Hosted by Steven Smith, conductor


November 13, 2015 – 6:30 pm

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 43   

Hosted by Steven Smith, conductor


February 5, 2016 – 6:30 pm

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B Minor, Opus 58

Hosted by Victor Yampolsky, guest conductor


April 1, 2016 – 6:30 pm

Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 73   

Hosted by Steven Smith, conductor


Rush Hour at Hardywood – Coming in Fall 2015

The RSO is taking its popular Rush Hour concerts on the road to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.  These one-hour informal concerts feature fantastic orchestral and chamber music and discussion in the Hardywood tasting room.  Grab a beer, hit the food trucks and enjoy a great concert at 6:30 on a Thursday.  Tickets are $15.


October 22, 2015

Bartók: Divertimento for String Orchestra

Keitaro Harada, conductor

Jared Davis, clarinet

Selections from Bartók, Weber and Mozart


January 14, 2016

Urban Sprawl

Steven Smith, conductor

Neal Cary, cello

Selections from Ives, Tchaikovsky, Needham and Haydn


February 18, 2016

Stravinsky, Strauss and Beethoven

Steven Smith, conductor

Gustav Highstein, oboe

Selections from Stravinsky, Strauss and Beethoven


May 5, 2016

Mother Goose

Steven Smith, conductor

Selections from Fauré, Ravel and Mendelssohn


Special Concerts and Partnerships

December 4, 2015 – 7:30pm

Handel’s Messiah

Erin Freeman, conductor

with the Richmond Symphony Chorus

For generations, Richmonders have been delighted by this magnificent holiday classic. Don’t miss the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus performing Handel’s Messiah.

Subscription and Ticket Information and Pricing

The Richmond Symphony offers the opportunity to experience the best in live music with exclusive benefits through subscription packages.


Why Subscribe?

Enjoy the best in live music with exclusive benefits available only to subscribers!


Savings on the Best Seats in the House

  • Save up to 15% off on the price of single tickets
  • Receive up to 25% off ticket purchases to additional series concerts
  • Priority Seating – choose you seats before the general public and receive them every 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 RSO staff

 Subscriber Rewards

  • 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

Full Series Subscriptions:

Altria Masterworks Saturday: eight Saturday night concerts*

Altria Masterworks Sunday: four Sunday matinee concerts

Genworth Symphony Pops: four Saturday night concerts

Union Bank & Trust LolliPops: four Saturday morning concerts

Metro Collection: four Sunday matinee concerts

Casual Fridays: four Friday night concerts

*One free child (18 and under) subscription with each adult Altria Masterworks series subscription


Compose Your Own Subscription: Choose three or more concerts from any series (excluding special concerts and Casual Fridays) to compose your own subscription and save 10% off single ticket prices.


Subscription Pricing for Series:

Full Subscription Compose Your Own*
Masterworks Saturday Adult* Child (per ticket)
Mezzanine $522 $522 n/a
Front Orchestra $400 $96 $54
Rear Orchestra $367 $96 $50
Side Orchestra $294 $96 $41
Front First Dress $367 $96 $50
Rear First Dress $294 $96 $41
Front Second Dress $171 $96 $23
Masterworks Sunday Adult* Child (per ticket)
Mezzanine $261 $261 n/a
Front Orchestra $200 $48 $54
Rear Orchestra $184 $48 $50
Side Orchestra $147 $48 $41
Front First Dress $184 $48 $50
Rear First Dress $147 $48 $41
Front Second Dress $86 $48 $23
Pops Adult* Child (per ticket)
Mezzanine $261 $261 n/a
Front Orchestra $200 $48 $54
Rear Orchestra $184 $48 $50
Side Orchestra $147 $48 $41
Front First Dress $184 $48 $50
Rear First Dress $147 $48 $41
Front Second Dress $86 $48 $23
Casual Fridays Adult* Child
Mezzanine $180 $180 N/A
Front Orchestra $144 $48 N/A
Rear Orchestra $126 $48 N/A
Side Orchestra $90 $48 N/A
Front First Dress $126 $48 N/A
Rear First Dress $90 $48 N/A
Metro Collection Adult* Child (per ticket)
General Seating $68 $40 $18
LolliPops Adult* Child (per ticket)
General Seating $42 $34 $15


*Child compose your own tickets are $11 for LolliPops and $12 for all other series.


Single Ticket Pricing:

Masterworks & Pops Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child
Mezzanine $78 $78 $78
Front Orchestra $60 $54 $12
Rear Orchestra $55 $50 $12
Side Orchestra $45 $41 $12
Front First Dress $55 $50 $12
Rear First Dress $45 $41 $12
Front Second Dress $25 $23 $12
Rear Second Dress $10 $9 $10
Casual Fridays Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child
Mezzanine $50 $50 $50
Front Orchestra $40 $36 $12
Rear Orchestra $35 $32 $12
Side Orchestra $25 $23 $12
Front First Dress $35 $32 $12
Rear First Dress $25 $23 $12
Front Second Dress $15 $14 $12
Rear Second Dress $10 $9 $10
Metro Collection Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child
General Seating $20 $18 $10
Rush Hour at Hardywood Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child
General Seating $15 n/a $12
LolliPops Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child
General Seating $17 N/A $12
Messiah Single Tickets
Section Adult Senior Child Student
Mezzanine $50 n/a $50 n/a
Front Orchestra $45 n/a $12 n/a
Rear Orchestra $35 n/a $12 n/a
Side Orchestra $25 n/a $12 n/a
Front First Dress $45 n/a $12 n/a
Rear First Dress $35 n/a $12 n/a
Front Second Dress $25 n/a $12 n/a
Rear Second Dress $20 n/a $12 n/a


Group Sales:

The Richmond Symphony offers a range of group sale discounts starting at 10% off single ticket prices for as few as 8 people. Discounts vary by concert and by the size of the group.


The RSO is offering college students best available seating and unlimited access to any Altria Masterworks series concert in the 2015-16 season for just $25!

For more information on pricing and subscriptions, please contact Patron Services: patronservices@richmondsymphony.com or (804) 788.1212

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 270 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy concerts, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach programs by the Richmond Symphony. 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 has included most of the standard repertoire for chorus and orchestra: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion and Mass in B Minor, 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, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony and all of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe. Over the years they have also sung shorter choral-orchestral works by Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Delius, Debussy, Barber, Britten, Richard Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen and Luigi Dallapiccola. Recent projects have included a 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., and a recreation of the Chorus’s inaugural performance of Missa Solemnis.


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