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The Richmond Symphony opens the 2015-16 Season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y

Celebrate the opening of the 2015-16 Season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

August 24, 2015 – Richmond, Virginia
The Richmond Symphony will kick off the 2015-16 Season with two performances of one of the most beloved works of all time: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Saturday, September 12 at 8pm and Sunday, September 13 at 3pm at Richmond CenterStage’s Carpenter Theatre. It’s a celebration not to be missed when Music Director, Steven Smith leads a collaborative performance featuring the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Symphony Chorus and soloists Kishna Davis-Fowler (soprano), Susan Platts (mezzo-soprano), Marco Panuccio (tenor), and Kevin Deas (bass).

“Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is one of the greatest achievements of Western culture. Beethoven’s powerful and dramatic music combined with the text of Schiller’s “Ode to joy” and its message of the universal brotherhood of humanity remains a potent declaration of a vision for the world that continues to resonate today.”
– Richmond Symphony Music Director, Steven Smith

As Erin Freeman, Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, prepares the vocalists for the concert, she states:
“Working on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a grueling pleasure. Beethoven expected a lot out of his singers, asking all parts to explore their entire range – altos singing in the soprano range, basses become tenors, and sopranos consistently soaring at the top of their register. Because this is a staple of our repertoire – we perform it around every 5 years – it is one of those pieces that we can use to push ourselves musically and vocally. We know the notes and the text. The question becomes: what can we do this year to make it even better, even more inspiring, even more in line with Beethoven’s vision of brotherhood and peace? Answering that question is one of the most exhilarating parts of our rehearsal process. This year, we’re also excited to invite the VCU Commonwealth Singers to join us on stage.”

The performers will unite on-stage to celebrate the timeless themes of humanity, brotherhood, and joy in this special opening concert—expressed in the familiar melody Ode to Joy and in John Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine. These themes are especially relevant because on Friday, September 18, the Richmond Symphony will help to welcome visitors from around the world during the Opening Ceremony of the UCI Road World Championships on Brown’s Island.

Tickets start at only $10 online at richmondsymphony.com or by calling 1.800.514 ETIX. Altria Masterworks are free for children 18 and under with a paid adult ticket. College student single tickets are $7 and Soundwave college student subscriptions are available for $25.

The Masterworks Series is sponsored by Altria. The concert is sponsored by Covington Travel, guest artists are sponsored by Riverfront Investments.

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, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach programs. 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.