The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) announces their 2015-2016 season celebrating 15 years of excitement, energy, and excellence under the direction of Maestro Grant Cooper. “I was hoping to use the 15th year as a way of looking back and forward simultaneously at the amazing range of repertoire that is available to the modern symphony orchestra,” Maestro Cooper said. The mission of the WVSO is to enrich the lives of West Virginians of all ages in communities across the state. Through symphonic, pops, chamber music, and award-winning education programs, the WVSO has an exciting year planned for audiences in the Mountain State.
What’s different this year?
The WVSO will return to Symphony Saturdays in the 2015-2016 season. Changes to ticketing include the introduction of $10 “Tweet Seats” where the audience is encouraged to interact with the WVSO via social media during the performance. During the April symphonic concert, the West Virginia Youth Symphony will perform in a side-by-side concert with the WVSO. For the first time, the young musicians of West Virginia will be able to sit next to their mentors and teachers in a professional orchestral setting. The WVSO will be expanding state-wide reach with a new home in Morgantown. A three concert series will take place in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Lyell B. Clay Theatre. Tickets will be free to all students and faculty with any school ID and a discount will be given to West Virginia citizens with a valid driver’s license. More ticket information on the Morgantown series can be obtained at events.wvu.edu.
The Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series features a wide variety of classical works performed by the WVSO. The orchestra kicks off Opening Night 2015 with a powerful program on Sept. 19, that features guest cellist, Julian Schwarz performing the iconic Dvořák Cello Concerto. October brings a “suite” collection of Orchestral Sweets with works of Respighi, Ravel, Hahn, and Mozart. An eclectic program in November will showcase the different influences of American culture through time as guest pianist, William Wolfram performs jazz-inspired pieces, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s Piano Concerto. The orchestra completes the From the New World program with Dvořák’s interpretation of America in Symphony No. 9 and Capriccio Concertante by living American composer, Byron Adams. On Mar. 5, the orchestra will perform Brahms Reqiuem with the WVSO, WVU, WVSU, and FSU choral ensembles. Maestro Cooper stated, “One of the great glories of an orchestra is when it collaborates with the human voice and this particular piece is one where everyone on stage says, ‘Wow. This is why I’m a musician.’” All Sibelius brings an interesting perspective for the audience as the WVSO performs a program consisting only of music composed by Jean Sibelius. Guest violinist, Luosha Fang from Astral Artists, joins to perform the famed violin concerto. For the season finale and in honor of Maestro Cooper’s 15th anniversary, he was asked to program the concert of his wildest dreams. Curious on what it will be? There’s only one way to find out.
The ZMM Architects and Engineers Pops Series is sure to delight and entertain audiences with an exciting season of classic favorites and new shows never before seen to the WVSO. An annual tradition, Home for the Holidays kicks off the pops season in December. Music of the acclaimed composer John Williams returns to the Clay Center stage in February but this time, the WVSO is bringing only the biggest hits from the movies in John Williams: The Blockbusters! In March, the audience will be captivated in BBC Earth’s: The Blue Planet where the orchestra will play the soundtrack alongside a big screen featuring footage from the acclaimed BBC Earth series. A special treat is in store for audiences in April where the WVSO brings guest artists who are making their debut in West Virginia: Time for Three. This classically trained trio is taking the world by storm as they join symphonies all over the world making themselves the epitome of a classical crossover show performing bluegrass, pop, folk, and indigenous mash-ups.
The Montclaire String Quartet (MSQ) Series returns to Erma Byrd Gallery at the University of Charleston for their 26th season. Now the Resident String Quartet of West Virginia State University, MSQ will perform four concerts during the 15-16 season on Sept. 6, Jan. 17, Mar. 13, and Apr. 3. All Montclaire String Quartet performances are on Sundays at 3 p.m.
The WVSO and The Charleston Ballet will present The Nutcracker on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. This annual partnership is a WVSO audience favorite for all ages. Attending The Nutcracker is a wonderful way to support two local performing arts organizations and to hear Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic performed the way it was intended – with a live symphony orchestra.
Subscription and Single Ticket information
2015-2016 Grand Series subscriptions range in price from $170 to $465; Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series subscriptions range from $112 to $327; ZMM Pops Series subscriptions from $75 to $222; and the Montclaire String Quartet Series from $40 adults and $20 for students and children. New single ticket prices now range from $10 to $60 and include a new section: the WVSO “Tweet Seats” where the audience is encouraged to interact with the WVSO via social media during the performance. Tickets for The Nutcracker start at $12 for children and $24 for adults. Single tickets went on sale Wednesday, Aug. 26, and can be purchased online at wvsymphony.org or by calling the Box office at 304-561-3570. For more information on season tickets, please call 304-957-9880. Artists, programs and prices are subject to change.