Charlottesville Symphony Concert

Saturday, April 20 - 7:30 PM

The Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia concludes its local 2023-24 season on Saturday, April 20, 7:30pm, at Old Cabell Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and Sunday, April 21, 3:30pm, at Charlottesville High School’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center.    

Music Director Benjamin Rous conducts an eclectic program, titled Academic Festival, that showcases composers and guest artists from the University of Virginia’s Music Department.  “The orchestra has to play in a wide variety of styles on this program”, he notes.  “I think this is both a celebration of the amazing musicians we have here in Charlottesville and also a study in how versatile an orchestra can be." 

Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story sets the stage for a modern-day take on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the timeless story of forbidden love and the rivalry between two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the Jets and the Sharks. 

Boléro is one of Maurice Ravel’s most well-known and colorful orchestral works, catapulted to even greater fame in the soundtrack for 10, the 1979 American romantic comedy film starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews and Bo Derek.  The hypnotic, ever-expanding theme builds to a volcanic climax in a special arrangement created by Benjamin Rous for the full orchestra and all the guest artists appearing on the program.

These audience favorites bookend works by four versatile UVA-based composers and teaching artists.  Nicole Mitchell’s Flight for Freedom for Creative Flute and Orchestra celebrates the courage of Civil War heroine Harriet Tubman and features Mitchell as the flute soloist.  The Free Bridge Quintet joins the Charlottesville Symphony in John D’earth’s Concerto for Quintet and Orchestra.  Quintet members – all favorites in the local jazz community – include John D’earth, trumpet; Jeff Decker, saxophone; Peter Spaar, bass; Calvin Brown, piano; and Robert Jospé, drums.

A performance of Matthew Burtner’s Threnody (Sikuigvik) for orchestra and glacier ecoacoustics is accompanied by a video made of images Burtner took inside the glacier.  “Creation”, “Embryo” and “Birth” are three tracks from JoVia Armstrong’s 2023 “Inception” album, also arranged for this program by Benjamin Rous.  Armstrong solos on bongos and a cajon, a box-shaped percussion instrument of African origin.    



The concerts are underwritten in part by Pamela and William Calary.  Major support has been provided by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, lead sponsor of the Charlottesville Symphony’s 2023-24 season. 

Free parking is available in the UVA Central Grounds Parking Garage, located on Emmet Street South on Saturday nights and at Charlottesville High School’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center on Sunday afternoons.  The Charlottesville Free Trolley stops at McCormick Road near the UVA Amphitheater, in close proximity to Old Cabell Hall.  Both venues are wheelchair accessible.                                                               

Tickets are $10-$46 for adults and $10 for students, and may be purchased at the University of Virginia Arts Box Office, (434) 924-3376, 12:00-5:00pm, Tuesday through Friday in the lobby of the UVA Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road, or online at

Groups of 12 or more receive a 20% discount.  All tickets must be ordered together. 

All University of Virginia employees (faculty and staff of all UVA departments and professional schools) are entitled to a 20% discount on tickets to individual performances.  This offer does not apply to subscriptions, the December Family Holiday Concerts, Pops at the Paramount or previously purchased tickets.

Co-sponsored by UVA|Northern Division and UVA Arts, the program will be repeated at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, on Sunday, April 28 at 3:00.  Tickets for this concert are available only through the Capital One Hall box office.




Old Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Event Type


Charlottesville Symphony Society

Date / Time

Saturday, April 20, 2024
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM


UVA Arts Box Office
(434) 924-3376
More Info: