Symphony announces Summer Chamberfest

Updated June 16

The Richmond Symphony has announced a Summer Chamberfest series of four concerts staged at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays from July 7 to 28 in a new venue, Rhythm Hall of Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets in downtown Richmond.

The programs, lasting about one hour, will feature members of the symphony and guest artists in music ranging from Bach, Mozart, Ravel and the 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc to contemporary composers Damien Geter, Missy Mazzoli, Eric Ewazen and Kenji Bunch.

The concerts will feature table seating, offering patrons access to drinks and snacks.

Series tickets are $100; single tickets are $25-$30. For more information, call the symphony’s patron services desk at (804) 788-1212 or visit http://richmondsymphony.com

Dates, artists and programs:

July 7 – Adrian Pintea & Ellen Cockerham Riccio, violins; HyoJoo Uh, viola; Jason McComb, cello; Peter Spaar, double-bass; Ingrid Keller, piano. “French Impressions:” Damien Geter: “Neo-Soul;” Louise Farrenc: Piano Quintet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 30; Ravel: Quartet in F major: II: Assez vif – très rythmé.

July 14 – Alison Hall, violin;Shannon Vandzura, flute; Brian Strawley, trumpet; Evan Williams, trombone; Russell Wilson, piano. “Bach + Mazzoli:” J.S. Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, for solo violin; Eric Ewazen: Trumpet Trio; Missy Mazzoli: work TBA.

July 21 – Richmond Symphony Woodwind Quintet: Mary Boodell, flute; David Garcia, oboe; David Lemelin, clarinet; Thomas Schneider, bassoon; Dominic Rotella, French horn; other members TBA. “Gentle Winds:” program TBA.

July 28 – Daisuke Yamamoto & Susy Yim, violins; HyoJoo Uh & Stephen Schmidt, violas; Ryan Lannan, cello. “The Genius of Mozart:” Mozart: String Quintet in C major, K. 515; Kenji Bunch: “String Circle.”

June calendar

Classical performances in and around Richmond, with selected events elsewhere in Virginia and the Washington area. Program information, provided by presenters, is updated as details become available. Adult ticket prices are listed; senior, student/youth, military, group and other discounts may be offered.

Each listing includes primary Covid-19 safety protocols for the event. Contact presenters and venues for updated, modified requirements.

June 2 (7 p.m.)
June 3 (8 p.m.)
June 4 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

Nino Rota: “La Strada” Suite
Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in B minor
Borodin: “Polovtsian Dances”

$15-$99
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 2 (7:30 p.m.)
June 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Opera Lafayette
Ryan Brown conducting

André Grétry: “Silvain”
Victor Sicard (Silvain)
Camille Ortiz (Helene)
Teresa Castillo (Lucette)
Samantha Louis Jean (Paulette)
Jehú Otero (Bazile)
Nathan Berg (Dolmon)
Tania Hernández Velesaco, stage director

in French
$30-$135
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 3 (7:30 p.m.)
June 5 (4 p.m.)
Attucks Theater, 1010 Church St., Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
John Duffy Institute for New Opera
conductor TBA
Nkeiru Okoye & Carmen Moore: “Bre’r Rabbit”
Rachel J Peters: “Companionship”

casts TBA
in English
$10-$25
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 4 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Lisa Edwards-Burrs, soprano
Ingrid Keller, piano
Mary Boodell, flute
James Wilson, cello

“Our Creativity”
Arthur Bergh: “The Raven,”
melodrama for piano & narrator
Undine Smith Moore: “Afro-American Suite”
for flute, cello & piano
free (seating limited)
live stream: https://rvalibrary.org/events/gellman-concerts/?mc_cid=1a1b44a54f&mc_eid=60612c9ff8
masks required
(804) 646-7223
http://cmscva.org

June 4 (2 p.m.)
Forest Hill Park, 4021 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond
Richmond Symphony ensembles
“Mile of Music”
chamber works TBA

free
masks recommended
(804) 788-1212
http://richmondsymphony.com

June 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Virginia Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Teens with a Purpose
Eric Jacobsen conducting

“A Symphonic Celebration of Water”
Debussy: “La Mer”
other works TBA
with poetry and spoken word readings

$25-$75
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 5 (4 p.m.)
Leslie Cheek Theater, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Arthur Ashe Boulevard at Grove Avenue, Richmond
Richmond Choral Society
Markus Compton directing

75th anniversary concert
Gwenyth Walker & Robert Lax: new work TBA (premiere)
other works TBA

$15
masks required
(804) 353-9582
http://richmondchoralsociety.org

June 5 (4 p.m.)
Bee Bee Cider, 1320 Summit Ave., Richmond
Classical Revolution RVA:
artists TBA
chamber works TBA
donation requested
masks recommended
(804) 231-0280
http://classicalrevolutionrva.com

June 5 (7 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
River Road Chancel Choir
Robert P. Gallagher directing
David Briggs, organ

Balfour Gardiner: “Evening Hymn”
Britten: “Jubilate Deo”
Hubert Parry: “Hear My Words, O ye people”
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor – IV: Finale
(organ transcription)
J.S. Bach: Concerto in D minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi)
Ravel: “Ma mère l’Oye” (organ transcription)
organ improvisation on submitted theme
free; tickets required via https://www.eventbrite.com/e/river-road-chancel-choir-organist-david-briggs-river-road-church-tickets-224715539227?aff=Seriesmailinglist
masks recommended
(804) 288-1131
http://rrcb.org

June 5 (3 p.m.)
Herter Hall, Garth Newel Music Center, 403 Garth Newel Lane, Hot Springs
Jeannette Fang, piano
“Folk Songs from Afar”
Bartók: Sonata, Sz. 80
Amy Beach: “Variations on Balkan Themes,” Op. 60
Karen Tanaka: “Techno Etudes II”

$25
masks recommended
(540) 839-5018
http://garthnewel.org

June 5 (3 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna
Steven Blier, piano & speaker
Filene Artists TBA
“Musical Mediterranean”
program TBA

$42
masks required
(703) 255-1868
http://wolftrap.org

June 5 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kennedy Center Chamber Players:
Ying Fu, violin
Daniel Foster, viola
David Hardy, cello
Lambert Orkis, piano

André Previn: Piano Trio No. 2
Poulenc: Violin Sonata
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25

$36
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 5 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting

Beethoven: “Missa solemnis”
Esther Heideman, soprano
Claudia Chapa, mezzo soprano
Norman Shankle, tenor
Kerry Wilkerson, bass-baritone
National Philharmonic Chorale

$69-$94
masks required
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

June 6 (7 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
St. Olaf Choir
Anton Armstrong directing

program TBA
$35, via https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-olaf-choir-at-river-road-church-baptist-richmond-tickets-253436775217
masks recommended
(804) 288-1131
http://rrcb.org

June 7 (7:30 p.m.)
lawn of The Historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club, 4200 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Helen Martell conducting

“Symphony on the Lawn”
program TBA

$60 (VIP seating); meals, $20-$30
free lawn seating
masks recommended
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

June 8 (7 p.m.)
St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond
Welcome Summer Recital Series:
Rosette String Quintet
program TBA
donation requested
masks recommended
(804) 355-1779
http://doers.org/st-jamess-music-schedule

June 8 (10:30 a.m.)
Hixon Theater, Barr Education Center, 440 Bank St., Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Olga Kern, piano
Emily Ondracek-Peterson, violin
Rebecca Gilmore, cello

Beethoven: Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 24 (“Spring”)
Rachmaninoff: piano works TBA
Schumann: “Fantasiestücke,” Op. 73

$20
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
St. Olaf Choir
Anton Armstrong directing

program TBA
$10-$65
masks required
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

June 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Trinity Episcopal Church, 500 Court St., Portsmouth
Virginia Arts Festival:
Olga Kern, piano
Emily Ondracek-Peterson, violin
Rebecca Gilmore, cello
Debra Wendells Cross, flute
Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe
Michael Byerly, clarinet
Laura Leisring, bassoon
Jacob Wilder, French horn

Poulenc: Sextet
George Hüe: Fantaisie for flute and piano
Rachmaninoff: piano works TBA
Rachmaninoff: Piano Trio in E minor (“Trio élégiaque”)

$20
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 9 (8 p.m.)
June 11 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Davis conducting

Delius: “A Village Romeo and Juliet” – “The Walk to the Paradise Garden”
Elgar: “Falstaff”
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
$36-$100
masks required
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

June 9 (7 p.m.)
June 11 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Marek Janowski conducting

Brahms: “Tragic” Overture
Brahms: Serenade No. 2 in A major
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major

Emanuel Ax, piano
$15-$99
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richmond
Music and Medicine – VCU Health Orchestra
Will Pattie conducting
Pablo Talamante, tenor
Alán Saúl Saucedo Estrada, cello
Daniel Sañez, organ

program TBA
free; registration required at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cathedral-concert-with-music-medicine-orchestra-tickets-88970359741
(804) 359-5651
http://richmondcathedral.org

June 10 (10:30 a.m.)
Hennage Auditorium, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, 325 Francis St. E
Virginia Arts Festival:
Olga Kern, piano
Debra Wendells Cross, flute
Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe
Michael Byerly, clarinet
Laura Leisring, bassoon
Jacob Wilder, French horn

Beethoven: Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 24 (“Spring”)
Georges Hüe: Fantaisie for flute and piano
Rachmaninoff: Piano works TBA
Poulenc: Sextet

$20
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Pops
conductor TBA
“The Music of ‘Star Wars’ ”
works TBA by John Williams

$36-$110
masks recommended
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

June 10 (8 p.m.)
Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons
National Symphony Orchestra
Marek Janowski conducting

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major
Emanuel Ax, piano
Brahms: Serenade No. 2 in A major
$39-$69
masks required
(800) 653-8000 (Ticketmaster)
http://capitalonehall.com/events

June 11 (8 p.m.)
Heritage Amphitheater, Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield
Richmond Symphony
Daniel Myssyk conducting

classical & pops program TBA
free; parking fee
masks recommended
(804) 788-1212
http://richmondsymphony.com

June 11 (8 p.m.)
Main Street, Gloucester
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
conductor TBA
“Symphony under the Stars”
program TBA

free
masks recommended
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

June 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Concert Spirituel aux Caraïbes
Pedro Memelsdorff directing

works TBA from 18th-century Caribbean colonies of France
$30-$110
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 15 (7 p.m.)
St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond
Welcome Summer Recital Series:
Cynthia McCard, soprano
Daniel Stipe, piano

program TBA
donation requested
masks recommended
(804) 355-1779
http://doers.org/st-jamess-music-schedule

June 16 (7 p.m.)
June 17 (11:30 a.m.)
June 18 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Kazuki Yamada conducting

Glazunov: “Concert Waltz” No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor

Stewart Goodyear, piano
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor
$15-$99
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Salem Civic Center, 1001 Roanoke Boulevard
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Pops
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Hotel California, guest stars

“A Salute to the Eagles”
$31-$56
masks recommended
(540) 343-9127
http://rso.com

June 18 (7:30 p.m.)
June 24 (7:30 p.m.)
June 26 (3 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna
Wolf Trap Opera
Lidiya Yankovskaya conducting

Weber: “Der Freischütz”
Alexandria Shiner (Agathe)
Sunwoo Park (Ännchen)
Robert Stahley (Max)
Cory McGee (Caspar)
David Weigel (Killian/The Hermit)
Tshgofatso Clement Baloyi (Ottokar)
Dylan Gregg (Cuno)
R.B. Schlather, stage director

in German
$38
masks required
(703) 255-1868
http://wolftrap.org

June 18 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
James Conlon conducting

Wynton Marsalis: Fanfare
Rachmanoniff: “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”

Beatrice Rana, piano
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 in C major (“Leningrad”)
$21-$90
masks required
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

June 19 (5 p.m.)
St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond
Carl Haywood, organ
“Freedom Day Organ Recital”
spirituals, other works TBA, celebrating Juneteenth

donation requested
masks recommended
(804) 355-1779
http://doers.org/st-jamess-music-schedule

June 19 (4 p.m.)
Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons
McLean Symphony
Dingwall Fleary conducting
Bryan Jackson, baritone
New World Order Horns

“Remembering Juneteenth”
Gilbert Pryor: “March of Freedom”
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: “Danse nègre”
George Walker: “Lyric for Strings”
spirituals; works TBA by Ellington, Gershwin

$50
masks required
(800) 653-8000 (Ticketmaster)
http://capitalonehall.com/events

June 20 (8 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richmond
The Thirteen
Matthew Robertson directing

choral program TBA
free
(804) 359-5651
http://richmondcathedral.org

June 22 (7 p.m.)
St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond
Welcome Summer Recital Series:
Atlantic Chamber Ensemble
program TBA
donation requested
masks recommended
(804) 355-1779
http://doers.org/st-jamess-music-schedule

June 22 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Grove Avenue at Three Chopt Road, Richmond
Daniel Stipe, piano & organ
program TBA
free
masks recommended
(804) 288-2867
http://ststephensrva.org

June 22 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting

“John Williams at 90:”
“E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial,” film with live orchestral accompaniment

$29-$99
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 24 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting

“John Williams at 90:”
“Jurrasic Park,” film with live orchestral accompaniment

$69-$109
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 27 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Ludovico Einaudi, piano & composer
“Underwater Tour”
works TBA by Einaudi

$39-$250
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 30 (8 p.m.)
July 1 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Henry Panion conducting
India.Arie, guest star

“BLACK GIRLS ROCK! FEST”
$49-$139
masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

July 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Colonial Williamsburg Palace Green at Prince George Street
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Eric Jacobsen conducting
Simone Paulwell, soprano

John Stafford Smith: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Morton Gould: “American Salute”
John Williams: “The Patriot”
various: “What’s Up at the Symphony?”
(Jerry Brubaker arr.)
trad.: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” (Margaret Bonds arr.)
trad.: “This Little Light of Mine” (Hale Smith arr.)
Leonard Cohen: “Hallelujah” (David Kahne-Jeremy Turner arr.)
Louis Moreau Gottschalk: Symphony No. 2 (“Romantique; Montevideo) – II: Presto – maestoso
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major – IV: Allegro con brio
Ward & Bates: “America the Beautiful”
(Carmen Dragon arr.)
free
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

July 7 (7 p.m.)
July 8 (7 p.m.)
July 9 (7 p.m.)
July 10 (2 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Charlottesville Opera
Michael Slon conducting

Rodgers & Hammerstein: “The Sound of Music”
Maria Valdes (Maria)
Branch Fields (Captain von Trapp)
Claudia Chapa (Mother Abbess)

other cast members TBA
Cara Consilvio, stage director
in English
$25-$75
masks required
(434) 979-1333
http://charlottesvilleopera.org

July 8 (7:30 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano
Justina Lee, piano

Schumann: “Frauenliebe und Leben”
Fauré: “La chanson d’Ève”

$42
masks required
(703) 255-1868
http://wolftrap.org

July 9 (7:30 p.m.)
July 10 (3 p.m.)
Dunlop Pavilion, Wintergreen Resort, Nelson County
Wintergreen Music Festival:
Wintergreen Festival Orchestra
Erin Freeman conducting

Jessie Montgomery: “Starburst”
Stravinsky: Concerto in E flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”)
Wagner: “Siegfried Idyll”
Saint-Saëns: “Carnival of the Animals”

pianists TBA
$48
masks recommended
(434) 361-0541
http://wintergreen-music.org/events

Review: Richmond Symphony

Valentina Peleggi conducting
with April Martin, soprano
Stephanie Foley Davis, mezzo-soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
Damien Geter, bass-baritone
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin Freeman directing
May 21-22, Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center

(reviewed from online stream, posted May 25)

At its premiere in 1824, Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony (No. 9 in D minor) was a stand-alone musical event, and over most of the subsequent two centuries it remained so. In recent decades, though, the work increasingly has shared programs with shorter works by living composers, often styled as preludes or responses to the Ninth, but usually, in my experience, difficult for listeners to relate to the symphony.

In its Masterworks season-finale performance of the Beethoven, the Richmond Symphony adhered to that new tradition, preceding the Ninth with two contemporary pieces, Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja: Anthem of Unity” and Joel Thompson’s “An Act of Resistance,” that do relate.

As Valentina Peleggi, the orchestra’s music director, told the audience, all three works are emotionally driven by the human voice, evocatively in “Umoja,” literally in “An Act of Resistance” and the Ninth.

All three cast their song themes as resolution of contrasting material that is mournful or militant in tone and expression. They reach resolution differently: Beethoven in joyful outbursts of solo and choral voices, Thompson in an anthemic tune that might have stepped out of film-soundtrack music that’s heard when all is put right in the story, Coleman in a transition from what sounds like a 19th-century spiritual to an upbeat, jazzily rhythmic dance of joy.

Peleggi’s treatment of the Ninth presented the symphony’s lyrical orchestral content with shapely songfulness, using dynamics (especially long crescendos) and rhythmic flexibility to add depth of expression to otherwise linear melodies. She emphasized rhythmic precision and delineation of sectional voicings in the symphony’s faster, more turbulent or dramatic sections. This is a tricky contrast to pull off; it was largely successful (if, at times, episodic in effect) in the orchestral movements, but sounded more assertive than joyful in the choral finale.

The Richmond Symphony Chorus, prepared for the last time by Erin Freeman, who is relinquishing direction of choruses at the symphony and Virginia Commonwealth University to take over the City Choir of Washington, delivered a brisk, outgoing and alert account of Beethoven’s choral writing. Sectional balances were excellent throughout, and the choristers’ handling of quieter, more rarified sections – notably those following the full-throated “Ode to Joy” and preceding the skittering coda – gave striking displays of expressive sensitivity and vocal color.

Beethoven is notorious for torturing solo voices, especially in the Ninth and “Missa solemnis.” The quartet mustered for these performances was well-balanced, rhythmically acute and not audibly hard-pressed in ensembles peppered with high notes and precarious balances among the four voices.

Bass-baritone Damien Geter’s treatment of his oratorical admonition “O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!” (“O friends, not these tones!”) and his introduction of the “Ode to Joy” highlighted the contrast between sternness and aspiration. Rodrick Dixon brought Heldentenor tonality and fight-song tone to his “Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn” (“Brothers, run your course”) solo in the central “Turkish” march.

Coleman’s “Umoja” (Swahili for “unity”), written in 2002 for women’s choir, then recast for wind quintet (the composer is the flutist of Imani Winds) and finally, in 2019, in a longer, elaborated orchestral tone poem, invites comparison with Aaron Copland’s “Americana” music in an orchestration that presents its big tune on a wide sonic vista and that seems to evoke times past. Coleman, however, is more emotionally engaged and romantically expressive than Copland was.

“Umoja’s” soulful main theme is introduced by solo violin – played here with a nostalgic sensibility by Daisuke Yamamoto, the orchestra’s concertmaster – but then is given largely to woodwinds, at key points to the very high-register piccolo and relatively low English horn. Bass clarinet further enlarges the winds’ palette of tone colors and range of vocal characters. Coleman’s writing for bowed vibraphone adds an otherworldly overtone to string passages. The work’s more upbeat and cross-rhythmic concluding section filters the African drum-circle genre through a more modern, urban American lens.

From the soulful to the high-stepping, Peleggi and the orchestra gave “Umoja” an account that delivered the goods, from big moments to finer details of orchestration.

Thompson’s “An Act of Resistance” (2017) is a more straightforward contrast of thematic material, with a bluntly propulsive war march (recalling “Mars” in Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”) giving way to a hymn-like tune that gradually fades into peaceful resolution in a wordless vocalization by orchestra members.

On their instruments and through their voices, the symphony musicians gave the piece a high-definition but warmly expressive reading.

The online stream of the performance may be accessed through June 30. Access: $30. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); http://www.richmondsymphony.com

You think groceries and gas are expensive?

Updated

The “Da Vinci ex-Seidel” Stradivarius violin is expected to fetch a record bid of $20 million when it goes on auction next month.

If you’re a fan of classic films, you’ve probably heard this instrument. It belonged to Toscha Seidel (1899-1962), a Ukrainian-born émigré who was a film-studio musician during Hollywood’s glory years. He is known to have played his Strad in the soundtracks of “Intermezzo” and “Melody for Three,” and he may have been the violinist who accompanied Judy Garland as she sang “Over the Rainbow” in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Seidel was one of the group of Jewish violinists born in the tsarist Russian Empire, a contemporary of Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Mischa Elman and Efram Zimbalist Sr. – all students of the great pedagogue Leopold Auer – who profoundly influenced modern violin technique and performance, especially in the US.

Dating from 1714, the Strad was named for Leonardo da Vinci by an auction house in the 1920s. Seidel purchased it in 1924 for $25,000, telling The New York Times that he and the instrument “precisely suit each other, and I am convinced it is one of the finest examples of the famous violin maker.” (The article in which he was quoted ran on The Times’ front page. They don’t make violins or news editors like that anymore.)

Although Seidel was a celebrity in his time – he gave Albert Einstein violin lessons, performed in many concerts and was host of a CBS Radio show, as well as playing for films – “today he is all but forgotten,” Smithsonian Magazine’s Antonia Mufarech writes in an article on the coming sale of the famous fiddle:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/this-308-year-old-violin-could-mark-a-new-world-record-180980051/

(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

Here’s Seidel playing his Strad, with pianist Max Rabinowitsch, in a 1927 recording of the “Méditation” from Jules Massenet’s “Thaïs.”

UPDATE (June 10): The violin fetched $15.34 million, well short of the record, in the auction on June 9. “This may indicate a slight cooling of Strad prices,” Norman Lebrecht comments on his Slipped Disc blog.

Navajo composer wins Pulitzer for music

Raven Chacon, an Albuquerque, NM-based artist and composer who is a member of the Navajo Nation, has been awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Music for “Voiceless Mass,” a piece for pipe organ with strings, winds and percussion.

The work, which was introduced in November 2021 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, is described by Chacon as “giving voice to the voiceless, when ceding space is never an option for those in power.”

In an interview with The New York Times’ Javier C. Hernández, the composer said that he was able during the Covid-19 pandemic “to focus on some of the cries of people who were feeling injustices around them. Lockdown was this time of quietness where there was an opportunity for those sounds and cries to emerge.”

The Pulitzer judges describe “Voiceless Mass” as “a mesmerizing, original work for organ and ensemble that evokes the weight of history in a church setting, a concentrated and powerful musical expression with a haunting visceral impact.”

The prize “was an unexpected honor for an artist who has worked across genres – music, video, printmaking – to shine light on the struggles facing Indigenous people,” Hernández writes in a profile of Chacon:

May calendar

Classical performances in and around Richmond, with selected events elsewhere in Virginia and the Washington area. Program information, provided by presenters, is updated as details become available. Adult ticket prices are listed; senior, student/youth, military, group and other discounts may be offered.

Each listing includes primary Covid-19 safety protocols for the event. Contact presenters and venues for updated, modified requirements.

May 1 (2:30 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
John Tibbetts, baritone
Raymond Chenault, piano

program TBA
free; ticket reservation required
masks recommended
(804) 288-1131
http://rrcb.org/e-carl-freeman-concert-series/

May 1 (3 p.m.)
Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Richmond Symphony
Nicholas Hersh conducting

Haydn: Symphony No. 60 in C major (“Il Distratto”)
Mozart: Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K. 191

Thomas Schneider, bassoon
Anna Clyne: “Sound and Fury”
Alberto Ginastera: “Variaciones concertantes”

$22.50
masks recommended
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

May 1 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Opera
VCU Symphony
Daniel Myssyk conducting

Mozart: “The Impresario”
Gian Carlo Menotti: “The Old Maid and the Thief”

casts TBA
free
live online stream accessible via http://go.vcu.edu/concerthall
masks recommended
(804) 828-1169
http://arts.vcu.edu/events

May 1 (2 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Cavalier Symphony Orchestra
conductor TBA
“Song and Dance”
program TBA

$15
masks recommended
(434) 979-1333
http://theparamount.net

May 1 (2:30 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 540 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Opera Roanoke:
Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
Tyshawn Sorey, piano & percussion
Terrance Hayes, poet

“Cycles of My Being”
$20-$120
masks recommended
(540) 982-2742
http://operaroanoke.org

May 2 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Digitalis Festival
computer-generated & audio-visual works TBA
free
masks required
(434) 924-3052
http://music.virginia.edu/events

May 4 (7:30 p.m.)
KingsWay Community Church, 14111 Sovereign Grace Drive, Midlothian
Richmond Symphony
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

Beethoven: “Coriolan” Overture
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor

Sungu Flottman, violin
Louise Farrenc: Symphony No. 3 in G minor
free
masks recommended
(804) 788-4717
http://richmondsymphony.com

May 5 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Christian Reif conducting

Heinz Werner Henze: “The Bassarids” – “Mänadentanz”
Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543
Jessie Montgomery: Piano Concerto

Awadagin Pratt, piano
Richard Strauss: “Der Rosenkavalier” Suite
$35-$90
proof of vaccination & masks required
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

May 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richmond
Cathedral Schola Cantorum
Three Notch’d Road: the Virginia Baroque Ensemble
Daniel Sañez conducting

J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor
free; ticket registration required via http://eventbrite.com
masks recommended
(804) 359-5651
http://richmondcathedral.org/concerts/

May 6 (8 p.m.)
May 7 (2 & 7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting
Christy Altomare, Susan Egan, Courtney Reed, Syndee Winters & Adam J. Levy, guest stars

“Disney Princess – the Concert”
$29-$99
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 7 (11 a.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony LolliPops
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Really Inventive Stuff’s Michael Boudewyns, narrator

Prokofiev: “Peter and the Wolf”
$10-$20
masks recommended
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

May 7 (3:30 p.m.)
Marburg House, 3102 Bute Lane, Richmond
Belvedere Series:
Karen Johnson, violin
Danielle Wiebe Burke, viola
Schuyler Slack, cello
Ingrid Keller, piano

“Rückblick”
John Corigliano: “Fancy on a Bach Air”
Bohuslav Martinů: Viola Sonata
Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60

$30
masks required
(540) 604-0689 (Marburg House)
http://belvedereseries.org

May 7 (4 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting
Youth Concert Orchestra
Sandy Goldie conducting
String Sinfonietta
Christie-Jo Adams conducting
Camerata Strings
Melissa Jones conducting
Samantha & Sungu Flottman, violins

program TBA
free
masks recommended
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

May 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Berglund Performing Arts Theatre, Orange Avenue at Williamson Road, Roanoke
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
David Stewart Wiley conducting

Arthur Benjamin: “Jamaican Rhumba”
Brahms: Double Concerto in A minor

Akemi Takayama, violin
Zuill Bailey, cello

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
$34-$56
masks recommended
(540) 343-9127
http://rso.com

May 7 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting

Chopin: “Fantasia on Polish Airs”
Chopin: “Rondo à la krakowiak”

Brian Ganz, piano
Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”)
Aleksandra Kurzak, soprano
$64-$89
proof of vaccination & masks required
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

May 8 (4 p.m.)
Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 560 W. Olney Road, Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Amanda Mole, organ
program TBA
masks recommended
$25
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

May 8 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
José-Luis Novo conducting

Jessica Hunt: work TBA (premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor
Olga Kern, piano
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
$10-$64
proof of vaccination & masks required
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

May 12 (7 p.m.)
May 13 (8 p.m.)
May 14 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Cristian Măcelaru conducting

Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Tale of Tsar Sultan” Suite
Mason Bates: “Philharmonia Fantastique”
Dvořák: Symphony No. 6 in D major

$15-$99
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 13 (8 p.m.)
May 14 (8 p.m.)
May 15 (2 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Rob Fisher conducting

Rodgers & Hammerstein: “The Sound of Music”
Mikaela Bennett (Maria Rainer)
Edward Watts (Captain Georg von Trapp)
Aundi Marie Moore (Mother Abbess)
Carlyn Connolly (Elsa Schraeder)
David Foley Jr. (Max Detweiler)
Kiara Lee (Liesl von Trapp)
Stephen Culpepper (Friedrich von Trapp)
Alitheia West (Louisa von Trapp)
Rhys West (Kurt von Trapp)
Avelyn Bollen (Brigitta von Trapp)
Rainier Treviño (Marta von Trapp)
Stormie Treviño (Gretl von Trapp)
Conor Crowley (Rolf Gruber)
Matt Kunkel, stage director

in English
$29.25-$110
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

May 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Academy Center for the Arts Historic Theater, 600 Main St., Lynchburg
Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
David Glover conducting
Charles Billingsley, vocalist

“The Shadow of Your Smile”
American pop standards TBA

$40-$60
masks recommended
(434) 845-6604
http://lynchburgsymphony.org

May 13 (7:30 p.m.)
May 15 (2:30 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 540 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Opera Roanoke Orchestra & Chorus
Steven White conducting

Verdi: Requiem
soloists TBA
$20-$120
masks recommended
(540) 982-2742
http://operaroanoke.org

May 13 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, East Capitol and First streets SE, Washington
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009 (transcribed for violin)
Olivia Davis: “Steeped”
Clarice Assad: “O”
Anjna Swaminathan: “Surrender to the Adventure”
Rhiannon Giddens: “New to the Session”
Marika Hughes: “From J with Love”

free; registration required at http://host.nxt.blackbaud.com/registration-form
masks required
(202) 707-5502
http://loc.gov/concerts

May 13 (7:30 p.m.)
May 15 (2 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Maryland Lyric Opera
Louis Salemno conducting

Verdi: “Don Carlo” (concert presentation)
Arturo Chacón-Cruz (Don Carlo)
Elaine Alvarez (Elisabetta)
Andrea Silvestrelli (King Filippo)
Mark Delavan (Rodrigo)
Catherine Martin (Princess Eboli)
Kenneth Kellogg (Grand Inquisitor)

in Italian, English captions
$25-$150
proof of vaccination & masks required
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

May 14 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets, Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
artists TBA
“Our Pictures”
works TBA by Antonio Garcia, Anthony Smith, Zachary Wadsworth, Donovan Williams
(premieres)
free
masks recommended
(804) 646-7223
http://cmscva.org

May 14 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting

Jonathan Leshnoff: Symphony No. 4 (“Heichalos”)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)

Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Daryl Freedman, mezzo-soprano
Cameron Schutza, tenor
Mark S. Doss, bass-baritone
Fairfax Choral Society
Morgan State University Choir

$45-$70
proof of vaccination & masks required
(703) 993-2787
http://cfa.gmu.edu

May 14 (7 p.m.)
May 15 (2 p.m.)
May 16 (7 p.m.)
May 20 (7:30 p.m.)
May 22 (2 p.m.)
May 25 (7:30 p.m.)
May 27 (7:30 p.m.)
May 28 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington
Washington National Opera
Evan Rogister conducting

Bizet: “Carmen”
Isabel Leonard (Carmen)
Michael Fabiano (Don José)
Ryan Speedo Green (Escamillo)
Vanessa Vasquez (Micaëla)
Francesca Zambello, stage director

in French, English captions
$25-$299
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 15 (3 & 7:30 p.m.)
Altria Theater, Main and Laurel streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

“Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back,” film with live orchestral accompaniment
$40-$100
masks recommended
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

May 15 (4 p.m.)
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1000 Blanton Ave. at the Carillon, Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Suliman Tekalli & Christopher Whitley, violins
Celia Hatton, viola
Seth Parker Woods, cello
Andrew Sommer, double-bass
David Lemelin, clarinet
Thomas Schneider, bassoon
Kevin Newton, French horn

Shuying Li: “Eight Immortals and the Sea” (premiere)
Schubert: Octet in F major, D. 803
$30
masks required
(804) 304-6312
http://cmscva.org

May 15 (4 p.m.)
Ryan Recital Hall, St. Christopher’s School, Fergusson and Henri roads, Richmond
Richmond Philharmonic
Peter Wilson conducting

Kevin Puts: “Millennium Canons”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)

Anne O’Byrne, soprano
Erin Stuhlman, alto
Lynn Atkins, tenor
Joshua Michael Brown, bass
Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale
Richmond Concert Chorale

free
masks recommended
pre-concert talk by Wilson & Mike Goldberg, 3 p.m.
(804) 556-1039
http://richmondphilharmonic.org

May 15 (8 p.m.)
Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall St., Richmond
Classical Revolution RVA
program TBA
donation requested
proof of vaccination & masks recommended
(804) 678-8863
http://classicalrevolutionrva.com/events

May 15 (2 & 4 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Cristian Măcelaru conducting

Mason Bates: “Philharmonia Fantastique,” with animated film
Jim Capobianco, animator
Gary Rydstrom, director

$18-$20
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 18 (7 p.m.)
Seacobeck Hall, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg
ArtsLive! Chamber Music Festival:
Peter Zazofsky & Julia Glenn, violins
Nathaniel Farny, viola
Sara Stalnaker, cello
Carol Wincenc, flute
Pavel Nersessian, piano

J.S. Bach: Sonata in B minor, BWV 1030, for flute and piano
Beethoven: String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25

$35
masks recommended
(540) 374-5040
http://artsliveva.org

May 19 (7 p.m.)
Seacobeck Hall, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg
ArtsLive! Chamber Music Festival:
Peter Zazofsky & Julia Glenn, violins
Nathaniel Farny, viola
Sara Stalnaker, cello
Carol Wincenc, flute
Kathleen Reynolds, bassoon
William Schamburg, French horn
Pavel Nersessian, piano

Carl Stamitz: Trio in E flat major for horn, violin and cello
Beethoven: Trio in G major, WoO 37,
for piano, flute and bassoon
Dvořák: Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87

$35
masks recommended
(540) 374-5040
http://artsliveva.org

May 19 (7 p.m.)
May 20 (11:30 a.m.)
May 21 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Louis Langrée conducting

Debussy: “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”
Joan Tower: “A New Day”

Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Ravel: “La valse”
Ravel: “Boléro”

$15-$99
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 21 (8 p.m.)
May 22 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Valentina Peleggi conducting

Valerie Coleman: “Umoja”
Joel Thompson: “An Act of Resistance”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)

April Martin, soprano
Stephanie Foley Davis, mezzo-soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
Damien Geter, bass-baritone
Richmond Symphony Chorus

$10-$100
masks recommended
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

May 21 (3:30 p.m.)
private home, Fredericksburg
ArtsLive! Chamber Music Festival:
Bayla Keyes & Peter Zazofsky, violins
Nathaniel Farny, viola
Sara Stalnaker, cello
Paul Glenn, double-bass
David Jones, clarinet
Kathleen Reynolds, bassoon
William Schamburg, French horn

Bartók: duos for two violins
Beethoven: Septet in E flat major, Op. 20,
for strings & winds
$50
masks recommended
(540) 374-5040
http://artsliveva.org

May 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Academy Center for the Arts Historic Theater, 600 Main St., Lynchburg
Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
David Glover conducting

“That’s Entertainment: Sounds from the Cinema”
film music TBA

$40-$60
masks recommended
(434) 845-6604
http://lynchburgsymphony.org

May 21 (3 p.m.)
Herter Hall, Garth Newel Music Center, 403 Garth Newel Lane, Hot Springs
Lucia Brighenti, piano
Scarlatti: Sonata in D minor, K. 1
Scarlatti: Sonata in G major, K. 427
Scarlatti: Sonata in A major, K. 113
Rossini: “Pèches de Vieillesse” – “Une caresse à ma fémme,” “Mon Prélude hygienique du matin,” “Une pensé à Florence”
Liszt: “Années de Pèlerinage: Italie” – “Sposalizio,” “Sonetto 47 del Petrarca”
Liszt: “Réminiscences de ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ ”
Chopin: Ballade in F minor, Op. 52
Nino Rota: 15 préludes – Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13

donation requested
masks recommended
(540) 839-5018
http://garthnewel.org

May 21 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Peter Oundjian conducting

Vivian Fung: “Dust Devils”
Debussy: Nocturnes
Holst: “The Planets”

women of University of Maryland Concert Choir
$35-$90
proof of vaccination & masks required
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

May 23 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Resonance Ensemble
NEWorks Voices of America & Philharmonic
Nolan Williams Jr. conducting

Damien Geter: “An African American Requiem”
Jacqueline Echols, soprano
Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano
Kenneth Overton, baritone

$15-$69
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Hixon Theater, Barr Education Center, 440 Bank St., Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Olga Kern, piano
Alexandre Da Costa, violin
Thomas Mesa, cello

Debussy: Cello Sonata
Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
Ravel: “Ma mère l’Oye”
Brahms: Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 40

$26.25-$35
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

May 25 (8 p.m.)
May 26 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Vince Mendoza conducting
Renée Fleming, Lalah Hathaway, Raul Midón, Aoife O’Donovan & Moses Sumney, vocalists

“Love: a Joni Mitchell Songbook”
$29-$89
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 26 (7 p.m.)
May 27 (8 p.m.)
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4103 Monument Ave., Richmond
Commonwealth Concert Opera
James Taylor conducting

Mozart: “Così fan tutte” (semi-staged presentation)
George Revill (Ferrando)
James Myers (Guglielmo)
Chris Mooney (Don Alfonso)
Sarah Kate Walston (Fiordiligi)
Hannah Magnelli (Dorabella)
Keely Borden (Despina)
Doug Brown, piano
Reese Williams, narrator

$15
masks recommended
(804) 355-6885
http://commonwealthconcertopera.com

May 26 (10:30 a.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Virginia Arts Festival:
Brendon Elliott & Maithena Girault, violins
Beverly Kane Baker, viola
Sterling Elliott, cello
Vladislav Kern, piano

Dvořák: Quartet in F major, Op. 96 (“American”)
Johan Halvorsen: Passacaglia
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)

$15-$20
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

May 26 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
NOW (New Orchestra of Washington)
Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez conducting

Takashi Yoshimatsu: “Threnody to Toki”
Joseph Turrin: “Equinox”

David Rockefeller Jr., narrator
Turrin: “That, which makes the vastness bearable”
Laura Choi Stuart, soprano
Copland: “Appalachian Spring”
$29-$59
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

May 27 (10:30 a.m.)
Hennage Auditorium, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, 325 Francis St. E
Virginia Arts Festival:
Olga Kern, piano
Alexandre Da Costa, violin
Thomas Mesa, cello

Debussy: Cello Sonata
Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
Brahms: Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 40

$20
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

May 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

Carlos Simon: “Fate Now Conquers”
Barber: Violin Concerto

Paul Huang, violin
John Keltonic: “Our Wings Have Caught the Wind”
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”

$55 (in person), $25 (view from home)
masks optional
(757) 229-9857
http://williamsburgsymphony.org

May 27 (5 p.m.)
May 28 (5 p.m.)
Herter Hall, Garth Newel Music Center, 403 Garth Newel Lane, Hot Springs
Garth Newel Piano Quartet
Kathryn Votapek, viola

Rebecca Clarke: Piano Trio
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47

$25 (concert), $44-$64 (concert with meal [May 28 only])
masks recommended
(540) 839-5018
http://garthnewel.org

May 28 (7 p.m.)
Chimborazo Park, 3215 E. Broad St., Richmond
Richmond Symphony
VCU Health Orchestra
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Valentina Peleggi conducting

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor – IV. Finale (“Ode to Joy”)
other works TBA

free
rain date: 7 p.m. May 29
masks recommended
(804) 788-4717
http://richmondsymphony.com

May 29 (2 p.m.)
Herter Hall, Garth Newel Music Center, 403 Garth Newel Lane, Hot Springs
Teresa Ling, violin
Isaac Melamed, cello
Jeannette Fang, piano

Beethoven: Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”)
$25 (concert), $15-25 (meal added)
masks recommended
(540) 839-5018
http://garthnewel.org

May 29 (3 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
U.S. Air Force Orchestra
Memorial Day Festival Chorus
Craig Jessup & Col. Donald Schofield conducting

2022 National Memorial Day Choral Festival
patriotic choral works TBA

free; tickets required
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 2 (7 p.m.)
June 3 (8 p.m.)
June 4 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

Nino Rota: “La Strada” Suite
Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in B minor
Borodin: “Polovtsian Dances”

$15-$99
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 2 (7:30 p.m.)
June 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Opera Lafayette
Ryan Brown conducting

André Grétry: “Silvain”
Victor Sicard (Silvain)
Camille Ortiz (Helene)
Teresa Castillo (Lucette)
Samantha Louis Jean (Paulette)
Jehú Otero (Bazile)
Nathan Berg (Dolmon)
Tania Hernández Velesaco, stage director

in French
$30-$135
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 3 (7:30 p.m.)
June 5 (4 p.m.)
Attucks Theater, 1010 Church St., Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
John Duffy Institute for New Opera
conductor TBA
Nkeiru Okoye & Carmen Moore: “Bre’r Rabbit”
Rachel J Peters: “Companionship”

casts TBA
in English
$10-$25
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Eric Jacobsen conducting

“The Goode Project: a Symphonic Celebration of Water”
works TBA, with poetry and spoken word readings

$25-$75
masks recommended
(757) 282-2822
http://vafest.org

June 5 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kennedy Center Chamber Players:
Ying Fu, violin
Daniel Foster, viola
David Hardy, cello
Lambert Orkis, piano

André Previn: Piano Trio No. 2
Poulenc: Violin Sonata
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25

$36
proof of vaccination, photo ID & masks required
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

June 5 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting

Beethoven: “Missa solemnis”
Esther Heideman, soprano
Claudia Chapa, mezzo soprano
Norman Shankle, tenor
Kerry Wilkerson, bass-baritone
National Philharmonic Chorale

$69-$94
proof of vaccination & masks required
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

Radu Lupu (1945-2022)

Radu Lupu, the eminent Romanian pianist whose introspective performances of Brahms, Schubert and other music in which expressive depth outweighs virtuosity, has died at 76.

A pupil of Florica Musicescu, the teacher of Dinu Lipatti, and Heinrich Neuhaus, whose students also included Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter, Lupu launched an international career after winning top prizes in two major competitions, the Van Cliburn in 1966 and the Leeds in 1969.

“He is somewhat different from the regulation contest winner, in that he is not primarily a brilliant and impeccable technician,” wrote Raymond Ericson in The New York Times after Lupu’s Carnegie Hall debut in 1967, a review quoted in David Allen’s obituary in The Times. “Mr. Lupu reportedly said that he would have liked to have made a career playing ‘nothing but slow movements,’ ” Allen writes.

Lupu maintained a high-profile but limited performance schedule, and was disinclined to make recordings. His discography of concertos and solo and chamber works, filling fewer than two dozen compact discs, most recorded in the 1970s and ’80s, is among the smallest of major pianists’ of his generation.

Suffering from chronic ill health, he retired in 2019.

Allen’s Times obituary:

For Easter, Amsterdam’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote most of his religious music for St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where he served as cantor from 1723 until his death in 1750. It was for St. Thomas that Bach wrote most of his cantatas and other choral works, including that Easter staple, the “St. Matthew Passion,” believed to have been introduced on Good Friday in 1727.

The most distinguished tradition of modern revivals of the work belongs to Amsterdam, where Easter-season performances date back to the 1870s. Annual presentations by the city’s Concertgebouw Orchestra were inaugurated in 1899 by its longtime conductor, Willem Mengelberg, and have continued ever since.

For this Easter weekend, here’s the 2012 Concertgebouw “St. Matthew Passion,” conducted by Iván Fischer:

Review: Richmond Symphony

Erin R. Freeman conducting
Maria Brea, soprano
Miles Mykkanen, tenor
Michael Dean, bass-baritone
Richmond Symphony Chorus

April 9-10, Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center
(reviewed from online stream, posted April 13)

Erin R. Freeman began wrapping up 15 years as director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus (doubling as the orchestra’s associate conductor for the first seven of those years) with a staple of the choral-orchestral repertory that, despite its stature, is not often programmed by symphony orchestras: Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation.”

The work had been scheduled last season to mark the 50th anniversary of the Symphony Chorus, but was delayed because of the pandemic.

During Haydn’s visits to England in the early 1790s – occasions for his 12 “London” symphonies, plus a pile of chamber and vocal works – he heard performances of Handel’s oratorios “Messiah” and “Israel in Egypt,” which inspired him to write an oratorio of his own.

He returned to Vienna with “The Creation of the World,” an English text by an unknown author, drawn from the biblical Book of Genesis and Psalms and John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Haydn gave the text to Gottfried van Swieten, a prominent composers’ patron who was fond of oratorios – in 1789, he had commissioned Mozart to produce a re-orchestrated, German-language version of “Messiah.” Van Swieten translated “The Creation” into German (“Die Schöpfung”) and advised Haydn on its composition. The work was introduced in 1798 and published two years later, with both German and English texts.

These performances, in English, boasted one of the finest ensembles of solo voices to perform with the orchestra and chorus in recent years: soprano Maria Brea, tenor Miles Mykkanen and bass-baritone Michael Dean, portraying the angels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, respectively, in parts 1 and 2, and Adam (Dean) and Eve (Brea), with Mykkanen in a narrative (recitative) role, in Part 3.

Well-balanced in duets and trios, the singers conveyed distinctive vocal characters in their solos. Brea’s bright coloratura was heard to best effect in ornamented numbers such as “The marv’lous work beholds amazed.” Mykkanen’s leaner, more focused tone and characterful projection of texts enhanced every piece in which he sang. Dean, whose tone production was consistently fine from deep bass to near-tenor, proved to be a commanding yet nuanced angelic narrator (some of those nuances may not have carried to the back rows of the Carpenter Theatre), as well as a contented spouse when he and Brea repaired to the Garden of Eden in Part 3.

The Symphony Chorus, whose full complement hasn’t had many chances to perform in the two years of the pandemic, sounded warmly expressive but rather soft-grained in massed vocal texture, at least as it came across in the audio of the online stream. Even with microphones in place and an audio mix made for the stream, the chorus sounded almost as distant relative to the orchestra as it so often does to listeners in the hall.

The ensemble’s best work came in numbers with more differentiated voice parts, notably the fugal “Glory to His name forever” that concludes Part 2 of the oratorio.

Freeman set moderate tempos and sounded to concentrate more on melody than drama or evocations of nature – not, to my ears, the way to do full justice to this work. Haydn wrote some good tunes, but none of his best made it into “The Creation.” The representational effects in his orchestration and his emotively assertive solo-vocal and choral writing are the qualities that sell this piece. Here, they were mostly undersold.

The orchestra, more populated than usual with substitute musicians, played like a capable pick-up ensemble, turning in a dutiful account of Haydn’s score – all the right notes at the right times, but without much inflection or animation.

The stream of the program remains accessible through June 30. Single-concert access: $30. Full Masterworks season access: $180. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); http://www.richmondsymphony.com