Richmond Symphony 2023-24

Four premieres, two major symphonies and a new concerto by Black composers and a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem highlight the 2023-24 Symphony Series, the mainstage programs of the Richmond Symphony.

In addition to the Verdi, familiar repertory in the coming season includes Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, Johannes Brahms’ Second Symphony, Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony (No. 6), Ludwig van Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé” Suite No. 2 and George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”

Concertos and soloists include the premiere of a Violin Concerto by the contemporary Italian composer Andrea Portera, featuring Daisuke Yamamoto, the symphony’s concertmaster; Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto, played by Paul Neubauer; the premiere of a Piano Concerto by the Virginia-based composer Adolphus Hailstork, played by Lara Downes; Ferrucio Busoni’s Violin Concerto in D major, played by Francesca Dego; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, played by Dinara Klinton; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4, played by Dominic Rotella, the orchestra’s principal French horn player.

The premieres, in addition to the Portera and Hailstork concertos, are as as-yet untitled works by Zachary Wadsworth and Damien Geter, both natives of Chesterfield County. Geter is currently in residencies with the symphony and Virginia Opera.

The Hailstork concerto joins Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 and William Levi Dawson’s “Negro Folk Symphony” among works by Black composers on the season’s schedule.

Guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto will lead a program that presents the Gershwin tone poem and “Three Dance Episodes from ‘On the Town’ ” by Leonard Bernstein along with works by three Latin-American composers, Argentina’s Alberto Ginastera and Mexico’s Silvestre Revueltas and José Pablo Moncayo.

Ticket subscriptions for the 2023-24 Symphony Series are now open for renewal. For more information, call (804) 788-1212 or visit

Sept. 30 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 1 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi conducting
Andrea Portera: Violin Concerto (premiere)
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major

Oct. 21 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 22 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi conducting
Richard Strauss: “Don Juan”
Bartók: Viola Concerto

Paul Neubauer, viola
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathétique”)

Nov. 11 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 12 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi & Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Roxanna Panufnik: “Across the Line of Dreams”
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Adolphus Hailstork: Piano Concerto (premiere)
Lara Downes, piano
William Levi Dawson: “Negro Folk Symphony”

Jan. 20 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 21 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi conducting
Damien Geter: new work TBA (premiere)
Ferruccio Busoni: Violin Concerto in D major
Francesca Dego, violin
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major

Feb. 24 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 25 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi conducting
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor
Dinara Klinton, piano
Zachary Wadsworth: new work TBA (premiere)
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Ravel: “Daphnis et Chloé” Suite No. 2

April 6 (8 p.m.)
April 7 (3 p.m.)
Carlos Miguel Prieto conducting
Gershwin: “An American in Paris”
Silvestre Revueltas: “Redes” Suite
Bernstein: “Three Dance Episodes from ‘On the Town’ ”
Alberto Ginastera: “Estancia” Suite
José Pablo Moncayo: “Huapango”

May 4 (8 p.m.)
May 5 (3 p.m.)
Anthony Parnther conducting
Florence Beatrice Price: Symphony No. 3
Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495

Dominic Rotella, French horn
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major

June 1 (8 p.m.)
June 2 (3 p.m.)
Valentina Peleggi conducting
Verdi: Requiem
Jennifer Rowley, soprano
Guadalupe Barrientos, mezzo-soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
David Leigh, bass
Richmond Symphony Chorus

Dudamel tapped to lead New York Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel, the conductor who became a worldwide celebrity leading the young musicians of Venezuela’s Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, leading to the then-26-year-old’s appointment as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007, has been named music and artistic director of the New York Philharmonic.

The New York appointment is effective in the 2026-27 season, after Dudamel’s Los Angeles contract expires. (He will serve as the New York Philharmonic’s music director-designate in 2025-26.) He also is music director of Opéra national de Paris, contracted to lead the ensemble until 2027.

The son of musicians who took up the violin when he was 10 and began to study conducting at 14, Dudamel, now 42, has led the Venezuelan youth orchestra since 1999. He won the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2004, following a stint as Simon Rattle’s assistant when Rattle was chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Dudamel spent the 2007-08 season as principal conductor of Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and guest-conducted a number of major ensembles, including the Vienna Philharmonic and La Scala, the opera company in Milan, before his appointment in Los Angeles.

The New York Philharmonic’s president and CEO, Deborah Borda, who was the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s administrative chief when Dudamel came to LA, had actively courted the conductor to take over in New York since Jaap van Zweden, the philharmonic’s current music director, announced that he would leave after the 2023-24 season, The New York Times’ Javier C. Hernández reports.

Dudamel’s work in Los Angeles has extended from its classical concert venues to performances at popular events such as the 2016 Super Bowl and in films, notably “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” and Stephen Spielberg’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” He also built an LA analogue to El Sistema, the Venezuelan training and mentoring program for young musicians. (Dudamel is the program’s most prominent alumnus.)

The conductor said that in New York “he would champion new music and work to develop the orchestra’s sound,” Hernández writes. “There are no limits, especially in an orchestra with such a history,” Dudamel said. “I see an incredible infinite potential of building something unique for the world.”