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Alexandria Symphony Presents: Britten & Brahms with James Ross | News Release | Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Presents Second Music Director Candidate

James Ross Conducts Music by Britten, Brahms and Butterworth

Alexandria, VA—The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) continues its 74th Season, featuring four final candidates for Music Director who will conduct and program four pairs of concerts as their audition for the permanent position.  One final candidate will be chosen as the ASO’s next Music Director to conduct the 75th Anniversary season in 2018-2019.


James Ross’ program on October 21, 2017 (8 p.m. at Schlesinger Concert Hall) and October 22, 2017 (3 p.m. at the George Washington Masonic Memorial) evokes images of coastal shores and green pastures.  One of George Butterworth’s last works before he was killed in battle in WWI, The Banks of Green Willow incorporates folk songs from his native British countryside.  The poignant theme of love and loss and Butterworth’s own sacrifice has made the piece an anthem for all unknown soldiers.


Benjamin Britten derived Four Sea Interludes from his acclaimed opera Peter Grimes, an equally heartbreaking but serenely beautiful piece.  “The North Sea itself takes on the role of psychological underpinning and commentary on the tragic tale of an individual against society,” remarks Maestro Ross.  “The same craggy power and inwardness that infuses the Brahms Third Symphony is present in a raw from in the Sea Interludes.”


Ross is currently Director of Orchestras at the University of Maryland, Orchestra Director for the National Youth Orchestra-USA, Music Director-designate of the Orquesta Simfònica del Vallès and serves on the faculty at Juilliard.  He is internationally recognized for his work advancing the future of orchestras through cross-genre collaborations.


Closing the program is Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, hailed as equal to Beethoven’s Eroica in majesty and drama and described by critics as his most artistically perfect symphony.  “The symphony embodies a cycle of time; the first movement has the turbulent and explosive energy of springtime while the second is a summer pastorale with moments of quiet, disjointed contemplation,” notes Ross.  “The third movement is a clear example of Brahms’ autumnal, melancholy, inward-turning character of his later works.  The final movement is again full of turmoil—a storminess of fire and ice balancing between the major and minor with funeral chorales morphing into climaxes that sound like the day of reckoning.”


The fully-professional Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs Saturdays at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and Sunday matinees at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Adult tickets: $20- $80 with $5 youth, $10 student and military, senior and group discounts available. To order tickets and for more information, visit www.alexsym.org or call (703) 548-0885.




James Ross, guest conductor


BUTTERWORTH: The Banks of Green Willow

BRITTEN: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3 in F Major


Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

George Washington Masonic Memorial


Tickets: $20-$80 for adults. Student tickets $10 (with ID). Youth tickets $5 [goldstar.com](age 18 & under). Military, senior and group discounts available.  Purchase online at www.alexsym.org[alexsym.org] or call 703-548-0885.

Free parking provided by the ASO at both venues. The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is accessible by Metro bus lines 7A, 7B, 7F, 7Y, 25A, 25C and 25E, as well as DASH bus line AT6.  The George Washington Masonic Memorial is accessible by the Blue and Yellow metro line (King Street station), numerous Metro, Dash and Richmond Highway Express bus lines, and the King Street Trolley in Old Town, Alexandria.

James Ross is presently Orchestra Director of the National Youth Orchestra USA at Carnegie Hall, Music Director of the Orquesta Simfònica del Vallès (Barcelona), and conducting faculty at the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center and the University of Maryland.  Ross has served on the faculties of Yale University, the Curtis Institute of Music and Bryn Mawr College. He has conducted such diverse orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandwaus, the Utah Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and Orquesta Sinfònica de Galicia.

Maestro Ross is internationally recognized for his work advancing the future of orchestras through cross-genre collaborations.  As a renowned horn soloist, he was awarded Third Prize in the Munich International Horn Competition, the first American to do so.  Ross studied conducting with Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein.



José-Luis Novo, guest conductor


VERDI: Overture to Nabucco



SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major


Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

George Washington Masonic Memorial




Nicholas Hersh, guest conductor


BACH: Symphony in E-flat Major, H. 654

PIAZZOLLA: Tangazo: Variations on Buenos Aires

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major


Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

George Washington Masonic Memorial



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