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Sean Jones, trumpet
Music and spirituality have always been fully intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, composer, educator and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, Sean switched from the drums to the trumpet upon his first exposure to Miles Davis at the age of 10. Twenty-five years later, he still cites Mile's overall artistic vision and purity of sound as his greatest personal influence. See him live on March 18.
Sat 3/18/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Sean Jones, trumpet


tenThing, brass ensemble
Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth has won rave reviews in recital and headlining orchestra concerts from the BBC Proms to Carnegie Hall. She also leads a unique all-female, ten-member ensemble of brass players in transcriptions of the classics that reveal new discoveries in every work. From witty embellishments to glorious new interpretations, listening to these surprising versions of classics is “a joyful blast from start to finish” (The Independent).
Thu 3/23/17 7:30PM Attucks Theatre tenThing, brass ensemble


Kathleen Battle
Hear the voice hailed as “one of the very few most beautiful in the world” (The Washington Post). Grammy® Award-winning soprano Kathleen Battle takes the audience on a journey of hope and salvation in this concert that combines traditional spirituals like He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, and Go Down Moses with the writings of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Ms. Battle’s performance is backed by the mighty Norfolk State University Choir, which has performed twice at the White House and is known for the beauty of its choral tone.
Sun 3/26/17 5:00PM Douglas Wilder Perf Arts Ctr Kathleen Battle


<i>Swan Lake</i>
<br>Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
<br><i> with Virginia Symphony Orchestra</i>
Granted its “Royal” title in 1953 by the just-crowned Queen Elizabeth II, this legendary troupe is one of the world’s oldest premier dance companies and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. The company has performed to rave reviews at home, throughout the U.S. and around the world, and now makes its Festival debut with its critically acclaimed Swan Lake, which “cast its spell over the entire audience…you could have heard a proverbial pin drop” (Winnipeg Free Press). Named a New York Times “Critic’s Choice,” the troupe has long been a favorite of ballet fans. See this breathtaking performance with the Tchaikovsky score performed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra!
Fri 3/31/17 7:30PM Chrysler Hall Swan Lake
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
with Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Sat 4/1/17 7:30PM Chrysler Hall Swan Lake
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
with Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Sun 4/2/17 2:30PM Chrysler Hall Swan Lake
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
with Virginia Symphony Orchestra


Pants Down Circus
This Australian company blends cirque-style acrobatics and quirky wit in a show that dares you not to laugh. In their Festival debut, the troupe brings its “Pants Down Circus Rock” show, inspired by and performed to classic rock by Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Queen, Metallica and Bon Jovi — and it’s “a winner of a show that zings from start to finish! Enough tricks up their sleeves to give any major circus company a run for their money” (Herald Sun).
Sat 4/8/17 2:00PM TCC Roper Perf Arts Center Pants Down Circus
Sat 4/8/17 7:00PM TCC Roper Perf Arts Center Pants Down Circus


Cecile McLorin Salvant
Classically trained, this award-winning jazz vocalist has seized the imagination of the audience with her “resoundingly eloquent” voice — “whether growling the blues or barely breathing, Salvant has inbuilt swing, an actor’s stagecraft, an instrumentalist’s precision…jazz-informed artistry of the highest class” (The Guardian). Hear a Grammy®-winning artist who tops the critics’ “best” lists.
Sun 4/9/17 7:00PM Robin Hixon Theater Cecile McLorin Salvant


David Russell, guitar
NPR calls this Grammy® Award-winning guitarist “a classical guitar god,” a title proven by the rush to the record store occasioned by his album releases. One of the most prolific and acclaimed classical guitarists performing today, David Russell has received shelves full of awards and honors; he’s even had a street named for him in Spain. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the world’s great guitarists in the Festival’s intimate Robin Hixon Theater; tickets are limited, so order early.
Wed 4/12/17 8:00PM Robin Hixon Theater David Russell, guitar


Itzhak Perlman, violin
<br><i>The Great Violin Film Scores</i>
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, National Medal of the Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, and 15 Grammy® Awards as well as the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award. In this eagerly anticipated Festival performance, Perlman’s program will include moving and beautiful violin music for film, including Schindler’s List, Casablanca, Scent of a Woman and more. “An unforgettable night embodying true Hollywood romanticism...Mr. Perlman played with vulnerability and love, sweeping concertgoers away to faraway places” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Thu 4/13/17 7:30PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Itzhak Perlman, violin
The Great Violin Film Scores


KING
Since their first recording, this R&B trio--discovered and mentored by the late musical megastar Prince--have caused a flurry of musical crushes among critics from Billboard to The New York Times. GQ called the album "Irresistible...the sound is voluptuous, vocal lines intertwine and rise to altitudes that are both euphoric and melancholy...one can't not adore this record," and seeing them live, Billboard raved: "KING called forth collective sighs of fulfillment when performing...together the ladies left the audience in love."
Fri 4/14/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre KING


International Bach Academy of Stuttgart
<br><i> St. John Passion- J. S. Bach</i>
One of the most glorious pieces of music ever written, Bach’s St. John Passion is a transcendent celebration of faith. Bach’s masterwork will be performed by the orchestra and chorus of this superb German ensemble — more than 60 performers — praised for their “emotional intensity, élan and virtuoso accuracy” (Opera News). From the explosive opening chorus that proclaims the glory of God, to the hushed and moving finale, Bach’s dramatic oratorio of the Passion story is the perfect addition to Easter weekend.
Sat 4/15/17 7:00PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts International Bach Academy of Stuttgart
St. John Passion- J. S. Bach


Yosvany Terry Quintet
In Cuba, music runs in the blood, and a number of musical dynasties have defined both tradition and innovation. Saxophonist/percussionist/composer Yosvany Terry comes from a family of music-makers and has seized and carried the standard forward to a brave new age. “Lyrical, complex and caffeinated, it combines the instrumentation and ground rules of the classic hard-bop quintet with the rhythmic savvy of Afro-Cuban music. This is physical, cerebral and spiritual music, with a lot of stories to tell” (DownBeat).
Thu 4/20/17 7:30PM Robin Hixon Theater Yosvany Terry Quintet


Les Violons du Roy
This acclaimed Montreal chamber orchestra has performed around the world, winning rave reviews for their musicianship and deeply researched, authentic performances of music from the 17th century to the contemporary. In their Festival debut, the orchestra will perform classics by Mozart, Stravinsky and more, with the renowned British violinist Anthony Marwood. Discover a “wondrous, elegant” ensemble The New York Times has called “a miracle of musical and dramatic inspiration.”
Fri 4/21/17 8:00PM Robin Hixon Theater Les Violons du Roy


Urban Bush Women
<br><i>WORLD PREMIERE</i>
Weaving contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora, this astonishing troupe performs innovative, exciting works that bring untold stories to life. In their Virginia Arts Festival debut, the company will perform the world premiere of Hair and Other Stories, an evening-length work that addresses matters of race, gender identity and economic inequality through the lens of physical appearance, including the cultural significance of African American women’s hair. Discover entertaining, thought-provoking dance that is “about searching, about remembering, about bringing the past out of the shadows, out of dreams… tough, brave, and sensual” (Dance Magazine)
Sat 4/22/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Urban Bush Women
WORLD PREMIERE


Scott Dettra, organ
Hailed as one of the leading American concert organists of his generation, Scott Dettra leads a vibrant music program as Director of Music and Organist at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, the country’s third largest Episcopal parish. Millions have heard him play on radio programs such as Pipedreams, Performance Today, and The New York Philharmonic This Week. Experience a virtuosic performance that is “dynamic and dazzling…pure euphoria for the audience” (The Washington Examiner).
Sun 4/23/17 4:00PM Christ & St. Luke's Church Scott Dettra, organ


Virginia International Tattoo
For centuries, the cry “Tattoo” echoed throughout Europe — first a call by to innkeepers to “Turn off the taps!” — and then as the name for a grand display of military bands and drill teams. The legendary Tattoos of Edinburgh and Nova Scotia are now rivaled by the largest Tattoo in the U.S. — our own Virginia International Tattoo. Mounting a mighty spectacle that changes every year, the Virginia International Tattoo summons more than 1,000 performers including fife and drum corps, bagpipers, military bands, precision drill teams, and performing ensembles ranging from step dancers to motorcycle stunt drivers. A salute to international friendship and an emotional call to the love of country in us all, the Tattoo is an unmissable celebration. See the show that America’s premier tourism organization has named the Number One U.S. destination for travelers (American Bus Association Best of the Top 100 Events in North America).
Thu 4/27/17 7:30PM Scope Arena Virginia International Tattoo
Fri 4/28/17 7:30PM Scope Arena Virginia International Tattoo
Sat 4/29/17 7:30PM Scope Arena Virginia International Tattoo
Sun 4/30/17 2:30PM Scope Arena Virginia International Tattoo


Mariachi los Camperos
Get an early start on your Cinco de Mayo celebration! The world's leading mariachi band, this Grammy Award-winning ensemble won fame for their performances with Linda Ronstadt, particularly on her milestone Cancione de Mi Padre album. Discover the “deep and complex beauty of mariachi…imbued with the passion it deserves: lots of strings and trumpets, full-throated singing and lyrics about broken hearts that invite singalongs” (NPR).
Tue 5/2/17 7:30PM Norfolk Academy Mariachi los Camperos


Chanticleer
Their soaring vocals thrill in ancient madrigals that echo with history and passion, seduce with unforgettable renditions of standards from the Great American Songbook, and rev up crowds with hits like Queen’s Somebody to Love. Close your eyes and you’ll scarcely believe this extraordinary sound comes from just a dozen male voices. “Otherworldly harmonies and aching, unresolved melodies. The adoring throng demanded an encore” (The New York Times).
Wed 5/3/17 7:30PM Peebles Theatre, Ferguson Ctr Chanticleer
Thu 5/4/17 7:30PM Christ & St. Luke's Church Chanticleer


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
For jazz lovers and anyone who appreciates great performance, this ensemble of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players and arrangers is the cream of the crop. Led by the legendary Wynton Marsalis, whose record-breaking Grammy® wins accompany his many other awards and accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the National Medal of Arts and many more, the Orchestra brings new life to every age of jazz, winning new audiences as they thrill faithful jazz fans in performances around the world. Don’t miss this chance to hear “the finest big band in the world today” (The Daily Telegraph).
Fri 5/5/17 8:00PM Chrysler Hall Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis


Richard Alston Dance Company
Ask a dance critic to name the great living choreographers, and Richard Alston’s name comes at the top of the list. This British master is acclaimed for his unparalleled musicality and his “ravishing, arrestingly theatrical” (The New York Times) dance. His hand-picked troupe of dancers is his instrument, astonishing audiences with their fleet grace: “Even in a season full of excellent dancers…it’s a tonic to watch the Richard Alston Dance Company….[They] take to the air with heart-catching immediacy” (The New York Times).
Sat 5/6/17 8:00PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Richard Alston Dance Company


American String Quartet
Individually, the players of this renowned quartet are each stars in their own right, their resumes studded with orchestral and ensemble performances, competition victories, and accolades; together, they create a sound that has entranced some of the world’s most demanding critics. “They play together with a sense of ease that lets each piece of music unfold like a living organism,” wrote the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The American String Quartet is the Virginia Arts Festival chamber ensemble in residence in 2017, and will perform in multiple concerts as well as leading master classes in area schools.
Tue 5/9/17 7:30PM St. John's Episcopal Church American String Quartet


André-Michel Schub, piano
<p> <i>with</i> American String Quartet
Artistic Director of the Festival’s Chamber Music Series, pianist André-Michel Schub has been described by The New York Times as “pianistically flawless.” A student of the great Rudolf Serkin, he was the 1981 grand prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; he has performed with the world’s most prestigious orchestras and is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Wed 5/10/17 7:30PM Robin Hixon Theater André-Michel Schub,piano

with American String Quartet



Coffee Concert I: American String Quartet and André-Michel Schub
This is chamber music as it was meant to be heard: the communion of gifted artists in an intimate, beautiful setting, among music lovers and friends. At the Festival’s Coffee Concerts, the performance is so close you hear every note, and witness the interactions of the artists with each other and with the music. After the performance, patrons can mingle with the performers, a lovely postscript to a perfect performance experience.
Thu 5/11/17 10:30AM Williamsburg Winery Coffee Concert I: American String Quartet and André-Michel Schub


Rob Fisher's Coffee Club Orchestra
Broadway’s go-to for classic musical revivals (An American in Paris, Chicago, and the Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series), Rob Fisher is an award-winning conductor, music director and pianist; he’s also beloved by millions as the leader of A Prairie Home Companion’s Coffee Club Orchestra. Hear Fisher and his hand-picked big band perform irresistible arrangements of your favorite melodies from the Great American Songbook and the golden age of musical theater. “An intuitive understanding of the optimistic spirit fueling much of the American songbook is one of many qualities that set Rob Fisher above and apart…S’wonderful….” (The New York Times).
Thu 5/11/17 7:30PM Robin Hixon Theater Rob Fisher's Coffee Club Orchestra


PANFest 17
Fri 5/12/17 8:00PM 24th Street Park Virginia International PANFest
Sat 5/13/17 8:00PM 24th Street Park Virginia International PANFest


<i> Dido and Aeneas</i>
<p> Mark Morris Dance Group
When this masterwork premiered 27 years ago, critics hailed the provocative work as "a tour de force of artistic storytelling...that smashes and rewrites boundaries" (Los Angeles Times). In revival, Morris's Dido and Aeneas still entices the eye and raises the pulse, with Morris conducting the orchestra, choral ensemble and soloists in the 17th-century score. "Delight defines Mark Morris' Dido and Aeneas. Delight in sex, in music, in pathos, in mischief and even evil. Delight...and joy" (Chicago Tribune). Music lovers will delight in the live music, as legendary opera star Stephanie Blythe sings the roles of the love-dazed Dido and the evil Sorceress. "That astonishing voice--dark, vehement, burning...to hear Ms. Blythe sing...is to hear the roles anew" (The New York Times).
Sat 5/13/17 8:00PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Dido and Aeneas

Mark Morris Dance Group



Coffee Concert II: 
<br> Jinjoo Cho, violin
<br> Eric Wong, violin
<br> Fitz Gary, viola
<br> Madeline Fayette, cello
This is chamber music as it was meant to be heard: the communion of gifted artists in an intimate, beautiful setting, among music lovers and friends. At the Festival’s Coffee Concerts, the performance is so close you hear every note, and witness the interactions of the artists with each other and with the music. After the performance, patrons can mingle with the performers, a lovely postscript to a perfect performance experience.
Wed 5/17/17 10:30AM Robin Hixon Theater Coffee Concert II:
Jinjoo Cho, violin
Eric Wong, violin
Fitz Gary, viola
Madeline Fayette, cello


Coffee Concert III: 
<br>André-Michel Schub, piano
<br>Debra Wendells Cross, flute
<br>Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe
This is chamber music as it was meant to be heard: the communion of gifted artists in an intimate, beautiful setting, among music lovers and friends. At the Festival’s Coffee Concerts, the performance is so close you hear every note, and witness the interactions of the artists with each other and with the music. After the performance, patrons can mingle with the performers, a lovely postscript to a perfect performance experience.
Thu 5/18/17 10:30AM St. John's Episcopal Church Coffee Concert III:
André-Michel Schub, piano
Debra Wendells Cross, flute
Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe


Ask Me Another
Be a part of the hit radio show from NPR and WNYC! Ask Me Another is the rambunctious live show that blends brainteasers, pub trivia, comedy and music into an hour of mind-bending fun. Host Ophira Eisenberg invites guests and audience alike to stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones and be serenaded by house musician Jonathan Coulton, together with a celebrity V.I.P. – that's Very Important Puzzler!
Thu 5/18/17 7:30PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Ask Me Another


Lula Washington Dance Theatre
Lula Washington’s choreography has been seen in films including Avatar and The Little Mermaid, but perhaps this indefatigable choreographer’s greatest gift to the future lies in the hearts and minds of the more than 45,000 South Central Los Angeles children who have found inspiration in her dance school. Her dances, which are rooted in the African-American experience, are joined in the company’s repertoire by works from Donald McKayle, Christopher Huggins, Donald Byrd and Rennie Harris. See dance distinguished by power, grace, and “a sure theatricality that is captivating” (The New York Times).
Fri 5/19/17 8:00PM Peebles Theatre, Ferguson Ctr Lula Washington Dance Theatre


Virginia Beer Festival
The Mid-Atlantic’s largest and longest running beer festival celebrates its 16th year with a diverse selection of more than 150 local and international beers and ciders, local food, and live music. Experience the beautiful downtown Norfolk waterfront as Virginia’s explosive craft beer scene meets brews from around the world in an event named “one of the Best Beer Festivals” by USA Today. The Virginia Beer Festival is produced in partnership with Virginia Arts Festival and Norfolk Festevents.
Sat 5/20/17 2:00PM Town Point Park Virginia Beer Festival
Sun 5/21/17 2:00PM Town Point Park Virginia Beer Festival



Sat 5/20/17 4:00PM City Center at Oyster Point World Arts Celebration


Berlioz Requiem
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster
The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Scott Tucker, Artistic Director


In this towering masterwork, the huge orchestra is augmented with additional players in every section, plus brass choirs in the four corners of the hall and a chorus of 140 singers, making it a once-in-a-lifetime event for music lovers. Berlioz dreamed of creating an “awesome musical cataclysm…which will, I hope, live on as a great landmark in our art.” His music heightens the dramatic story, as the soul confronts the Day of Judgment and emerges in glory; the score shifts from a mighty wall of sound that engulfs the listener, to moments of utterly beautiful simplicity. Hear the Virginia Symphony Orchestra perform this great work for the first time!
Sat 5/20/17 8:00PM Chrysler Hall Berlioz Requiem


Olga Kern, <i>piano</i>
One of the most sought-after pianists performing today, Olga Kern’s star power is only exceeded by her extraordinary musical gifts. Her headline-making wins at the great piano competitions sealed her fate, from her triumphant First Prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen, to her Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the first woman to take that prize in more than thirty years. Mark this performance down as one of the must-hear musical moments of the Festival. “Her electricity at the keyboard is palpable, as though she generates from the music itself, as it flows through her fingers it takes on fresh voltage that is unmistakably hers”

(The Washington Post).

Wed 5/24/17 7:30PM Wells Theatre Olga Kern, piano


Coffee Concert IV: Olga Kern and Vladislav Kern, piano
One of the most sought-after pianists performing today, Olga Kern’s star power is only exceeded by her extraordinary musical gifts. Her headline-making wins at the great piano competitions sealed her fate, from her triumphant First Prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen, to her Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the first woman to take that prize in more than thirty years. Mark this performance down as one of the must-hear musical moments of the Festival. “Her electricity at the keyboard is palpable, as though she generates from the music itself, as it flows through her fingers it takes on fresh voltage that is unmistakably hers” (The Washington Post).
Thu 5/25/17 10:30AM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Coffee Concert IV: Olga Kern and Vladislav Kern, piano


<b>WORLD PREMIERE OPERA</b>
<br>KEPT: a ghost story
Kristin Kuster: composer
Megan Levad, librettist
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Mary Birnbaum, stage director
William Burden, tenor


Be among the first to hear this new opera! The Festival’s John Duffy Institute for New Opera seeks and supports the work of opera composer and librettist teams, providing mentors and shepherding new works to the stage. This spring, one of those carefully tended nestlings will fly, with the world premiere of Kept — the 19th-century story of a wild young woman, the lighthouse keeper she marries, and the dark secrets they share. Kept marks the first operatic collaboration between composer Kristin Kuster and poet Megan Levad, whose haunting score and vivid poetry illuminate the hearts of these ill-fated lovers.
Thu 5/25/17 7:30PM Attucks Theatre WORLD PREMIERE OPERA
KEPT: a ghost story
Sun 5/28/17 3:00PM Attucks Theatre WORLD PREMIERE OPERA
KEPT: a ghost story


Reduced Shakespeare Company: </br>
William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)
Welcome back the troupe that’s been skewering Shakespeare and other assorted subjects for decades, as they stage the Bard’s “first play,” discovered in a parking lot and, at 3,000 pages, too long to stage in its entirety. So the “bad boys of abridgement,” as “the other RSC” has come to be known, have whittled the imaginary masterpiece down to a breakneck 90 minutes of hilarity. A hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, the show is “A romp of epic proportions…bright, fast, outrageous fun!” (Edinburgh Guide).
Fri 5/26/17 8:00PM Wells Theatre William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)
Sat 5/27/17 8:00PM Wells Theatre William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)
Sun 5/28/17 3:00PM Wells Theatre William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)


Joey Alexander Trio
This 13-year-old phenom has caught fire in jazz circles and beyond in recent months, with television appearances on Today and 60 Minutes, the cover of DownBeat and features The New York Times and People magazine. He began playing at the age of 5, picking out Thelonius Monk tunes on an electric keyboard. At 9, he won a major international competition, and by 11 he was playing the major jazz festivals including Newport and Monterey. His second album garnered two Grammy® nominations — making him the youngest jazz artist ever nominated. His mentor, Wynton Marsalis says: “I love everything about his playing — his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music.” Don’t miss this chance to hear this exciting young artist!
Sat 5/27/17 8:00PM TCC Roper Perf Arts Center Joey Alexander Trio



Mon 5/29/17 7:30PM City Center at Oyster Point Memorial Day TRADOC Band