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W&M, Virginia Symphony Announce Series at Phi Beta Kappa Hall

The College of William & Mary and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra today announced the inauguration of a series of classical performances by the orchestra at Phi Beta Kappa Hall in 2011-2012. The four-concert series debuts in October and will feature concerts in December, February, and March. The concerts will be conducted by VSO Music Director JoAnn Falletta, VSO Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous, and guest conductor Robert Franz.

Concerts begin at 8pm.

“The Virginia Symphony has real ties to William & Mary,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Nine VSO musicians belong to our music faculty, and the Symphony annually performs a free outdoor concert at Lake Matoaka every September. It will be good for the campus and the community to have the VSO performing in PBK Hall.”

The opening performance of the classical concert series, to be conducted by Benjamin Rous, takes place on  Oct. 6, 2011 and features Jefferson in his Own Words, a commissioned work by Judith Shatin.  The piece for narrator and orchestra was written by a composer at the University of Virginia and will be performed at William & Mary, appropriately linking both educational worlds of Thomas Jefferson. The opening concert repertoire also includes Beethoven’s Violin Concerto performed by VSO Concertmaster Vahn Armstrong.

The repertoire for the concert series incorporates audience favorites and popular classical composers. Handel’s Messiah will be performed on Dec. 8, 2011 with guest conductor Robert Franz and features the Virginia Symphony Chorus.

Beethoven, Dvorak, and Mozart, conducted by Benjamin Rous will be performed on Feb. 2, 2012 with violinist Simon LaPointe.

The series concludes with Mozart’s Coronation Mass, March 1, 2012, conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

“We feel privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate on this new series with William & Mary,” said VSO Executive Director Eric Borenstein. “It provides a chance for us to make our concerts more accessible to William & Mary students as well as community residents and visitors to the historic area.”

Borenstein noted that the Symphony will offer $10 tickets to William & Mary students who bring a student ID to the PBK box office the evening of the concert, and will provide a 15-percent discount to faculty and staff.

For the past several years, The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has been performing concerts at St. Bede Catholic Church.

“We have enjoyed our relationship with the church leadership,” said Borenstein, “and they have been most gracious with us. The move to Phi Beta Kappa Hall will allow us to perform in a venue that is more centrally located and provides a more traditional concert experience. We hope that our St. Bede subscribers will be as excited about our new venue as we are and that they will renew their subscriptions for the new season.”

Subscriptions for the four-concert series range from $69 to $165 and go on sale Friday, Jan. 21, 2011. They may be purchased from the Symphony Box Office, or by phoning 757-892-6366. Single tickets for individual concerts in the series will go on sale on August 1, 2011.