CHARLESTON, W.Va. (04/08/17) –The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s (WVSO) 2017-2018 season will take audiences on a fantastic musical journey into outer space, into an elegant church for a Baroque concert and through the prehistoric wilds of Jurassic Park.
Some of West Virginia’s best musical talent also will share the stage with the symphony during the upcoming season, including The Bob Thompson Unit, Lewisburg pianist Barbara Nissman and Qiet, a Charleston band that describes its sound as “the musical culmination of this wild and wondrous world, infused with every culture on the planet and refined in the mountains of West Virginia.”
“This season is going to be incredible,” said WVSO President Joe Tackett. “Not only are we excited about bringing a new conductor on board, but we will be performing some amazing music featuring a variety of renowned instrumentalists. Our extremely talented musicians also played a huge role in selecting this year’s music so it’s going to be an extra special treat for everyone.”
The new season is titled “Hand Picked | Season of Firsts” because it will be the first season in 16 years the symphony will be led by a new maestro. That person also will have a hand in selecting some of the pieces to be played later in the season. Five of six finalists vying to replace retiring Maestro Grant Cooper have completed week-long interviews in Charleston. The final candidate is scheduled to be in Charleston the first week in May, and the WVSO expects to have a new music director on board before the 2017-2018 season begins.
The WVSO’s Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series kicks off Sept. 23 at the Clay Center in Charleston with the works of American composers Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland and will feature Alexandre Moutouzkine on piano. The WVSO will repeat the concert on Sept. 24 at Blennerhassett School in Parkerburg.
Next up, an Oct. 21, Cooper will serve as guest conductor for the “Go for Baroque” concert, which is being held at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston to take advantage of its magnificent organs. Works by Handel and Giovanni Gabrieli will be performed as authentically as they were written using the church’s balcony for call and response. Also part of that concert, guest violinist Charles Morey will join the orchestra in performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The WVSO will take this concert on the road for an Oct. 23 concert at Colebank Hall in Fairmont.
In collaboration with the West Virginia Symphony Chorus and choirs from Fairmont State University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University, the symphony will perform Verdi’s majestic Requiem on Nov. 10 at the WVU Creative Arts Center in Morgantown and on Nov. 11 at the Clay Center in Charleston.
Astral Artist and cellist Christine Lamprea will be a guest artist on March 3, 2018, at the Clay Center for “A Night of ‘Great’ Music” featuring Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great,” and again on March 4, 2018, at Blennerhassett School in Parkersburg.
The April 13 “Northern Lights” concert at the WVU Creative Arts Center and April 14 “Northern Lights” concert at the Clay Center will feature Erik Ralske on French horn playing Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2. Ralske is principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City.
Lewisburg Pianist Barbara Nissman will be the guest artist for the May 5, 2018, concert at the Clay Center and a May 6, 2018, concert at Blennerhassett School. Those two nights the WVSO also will perform Gustav Holst’s The Planets, Op. 32, which features dynamic music with large-screen visuals of the planets provided by NASA.
The ZMM Architects and Engineers Pops Series kicks off Dec. 1 with a traditional favorite, Home for the Holidays,at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, followed on Dec. 2 at the Clay Center in Charleston, Dec. 3 at Blennerhassett School in Parkerburg and Dec. 4 at the WVU Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.
The WVSO will perform iconic Star Wars music as part of “The Music of John Williams: May the Force Be With You” concert set for Feb. 17 in Charleston, Feb. 18 in Parkersburg and Feb. 19 in Fairmont.
On March 17, the orchestra will perform the score to Jurassic Park live as the classic film appears on the big screen at the Clay Center.
The WVSO will close its Pops Series on May 19 at the Clay Center by sharing the stage with The Bob Thompson Unit, Qiet and The Company Stores, all of West Virginia. The Bob Thompson Unit features West Virginia Music Hall of Famer Bob Thompson of Mountain Stage fame on piano, Doug Payne on saxophone, Ryan Kennedy on guitar, John Inghram on bass, and Tim Courts on drums. Qiet features the musical talents of Steve Barker, James Maddox, Christopher Vincent, Max Venoy and Jared Layman. The Company Stores is a Charleston band featuring vocalist Casey Litz that blends elements of many genres of southern music, including Appalachian folk, Delta blues, rock, jam band, and hip hop layered in modern styles and rhythms.
Two special event concerts include the WVSO’s annual collaboration with the Charleston Ballet on the holiday classic, The Nutcracker on Dec. 8 and 9 at the Clay Center. New this year, the WVSO will join with the West Virginia Symphony Chorus to present Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 17 at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston.
Season tickets for the Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series start at $112. Season tickets for the ZMM Architects and Engineers Pops Series start at $96. The starting price for the Grand Subscription Series, which includes the Symphonic Series and the Pops Series, is $195. Sales to current season ticket holders begin April 8 and for new subscribers on July 1. Single ticket sales will begin in August.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. Currently in its 78th season, the WVSO is a proud member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.
ALL-AMERICAN OPENING NIGHT
Bernstein: Candide Overture
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F with Alexandre Moutouzkine, piano
Copland: Symphony No. 3
Sept. 23, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
Sept. 24, 2017 @ 3 p.m., Blennerhassett School, Parkersburg
GO FOR BAROQUE
Gabrieli: Sonata Pian'e Forte
Handel: The Cuckoo and the Nightingale
Gabrieli: Canzon in Double Echo
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons with Charles Morey, violin
Grant Cooper, conducting
Oct. 21, 2017 @ 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Charleston
Oct. 23, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Colebank Hall, Fairmont
With the West Virginia Symphony Chorus and choirs from Fairmont State University,
Marshall University, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University
Nov. 10, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., WVU Creative Arts Center, Morgantown
Nov. 11, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
A NIGHT OF “GREAT” MUSIC
Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture
Haydn: Concerto in D Major with Christine Lamprea, cello and Astral Artist
Schubert: Symphony No. 9, “The Great”
March 3, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
March 4, 2018 @ 3 p.m., Blennerhassett School, Parkersburg
Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 2 with Erik Ralske, French horn
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
April 13, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., WVU Creative Arts Center, Morgantown
April 14, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Theodore Wiprud: Sinfonietta
Liszt: Totentanz with Barbara Nissman, piano
Gustav Holst: The Planets
May 5, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
May 6, 2018 @ 3 p.m., Blennerhassett School, Parkersburg
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Dec. 1, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg
Dec. 2, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
Dec. 3, 2017 @ 3 p.m., Blennerhassett School, Parkersburg
Dec. 4, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., WVU Creative Arts Center, Morgantown
JOHN WILLIAMS: MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Feb. 17, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
Feb. 18, 2018 @ 3 p.m., Blennerhassett School, Parkersburg
Feb. 19, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m., Colebank Hall, Fairmont
JURASSIC PARK: MOVIE WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
March 17, 2018 @ 1p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
LISTEN WHERE YOU LIVE
Featuring The Bob Thompson Unit, Qiet and The Company Stores
May 19, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m., Clay Center, Charleston
Dec. 8 @ 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 9 @ 2 p.m. at the Clay Center, Charleston
Dec. 17, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston