Richmond Symphony to perform Beethoven’s Fifth

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Richmond Symphony (RSO) will return to the Jarman Auditorium stage at Longwood University next month for a special performance featuring one of the best-known compositions in classical music — Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The Masterworks series concert will be held on Friday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. As part of Longwood’s arrangement with the RSO, proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a photo ID will be required at the door. All attendees must wear a face covering.

The program will begin with music by the English neo-Romantic composer Ruth Gipps (1921-99). The romantic, exquisite Second Symphony and Oboe Concerto in D Minor will feature Katherine Needleman as soloist. The centerpiece of the evening will be the magnificent Symphony No. 5 in C Minor by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).

“We are thrilled to be bringing back this world-class orchestra for this program that features one of the most famous pieces of music ever composed and a cornerstone of Western music,” Dr. Charles Kinzer, professor of music at Longwood said. “This is the piece with the instantly recognizable four-note opening of ‘Fate Knocking on the Door.’ Hearing and seeing such a work of music in a live setting is a rare bucket list experience, and I hope that many in the Farmville community will come out and join us.”

The Richmond Symphony will perform under the baton of its new musical director, Valentina Peleggi. Described by BBC Magazine as a rising star, Peleggi began her tenure with the RSO in the summer of 2020. She has led orchestras around the world, most recently the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra of Wales. The first Italian woman to enter the conducting program at the Royal Academy of Music in London, she graduated with distinction and went on to conduct the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil for several seasons before coming to the United States.

For the past decade, the RSO has performed at Longwood through a partnership established by the late Dr. John Cook, a 1952 alumnus and benefactor of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences. The endowed partnership provides for one performance each academic year. The concert is hosted by Longwood’s Department of Music and underwritten in part by grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Longwood’s All Together Lancers initiative.

The All Together Lancers program provides grants to campus and student organizations to support being together and encouraging safe, in-person gatherings in every corner of Longwood life.

“Students and our campus community look forward to hosting the Richmond Symphony at Longwood as one of the cultural highlights of the academic year,” Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV said. “Being together is a top priority this year. This is a great example of an All Together Lancers grant being used for just that purpose — to bring students together with members of the broader Farmville community. Bringing world-class musicians to campus and being able to experience the majesty of the orchestral experience with our students, friends and neighbors is a deeply enriching gift for which we are grateful.”

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be a vaccination card or a photo image of a vaccination card. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and parking is available in the Wheeler Lot on Griffin Boulevard. For more information about this concert, please call the Longwood Department of Music at (434) 395-2504 or email music@longwood.edu.