Why Grand Rapids Symphony's 'Peter and the Wolf' remains a popular show for children of all ages

“Peter and the Wolf,” Sergei Prokofiev's tale of a brave, young boy who captures a big, bad wolf, is a story most any young children will enjoy, even without a video game. With the Grand Rapids Symphony plus dancers from Grand Rapids Ballet, no video screens or soundbars are needed. The hand-held controller is wielded by Associate Conductor John Varineau, leading performances of the classic Russian tale, featuring narrator Edye Evans Hyde. Public performances of the ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | 0 comments

The life of a Grand Rapids Symphony musician is fulfilling and fun, but the pace is fast and furious

Professional baseball players play nearly every day for months on end during the baseball season. Professional symphony orchestra musicians live similar lives. The boys of summer play double headers. Concert musicians sometimes have two concerts and frequently have double rehearsals on the same day. In baseball, there’s a crowd every time the team plays. Not so for orchestras, which have audiences for concerts but not for rehearsals. But the time and effort, as well as the wear and... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 10, 2017 | 1 comments

Recap: Music Director Marcelo Lehninger makes momentous debut with Grand Rapids Symphony in St. Cecilia Music Center.

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - A new artistic leader’s arrival in a new home is a series of firsts. There’s the first announcement, first public appearance, first performance and on it goes. Friday’s first was Music Director Marcelo Lehninger’s debut in St. Cecilia Music Center, home of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Great Eras Series and Coffee Classics Series. It was no less exciting than the rest of the Brazilian-born conductor’s firsts ever since he... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, January 7, 2017 | 1 comments

Violinist Larry Herzberg, Grand Rapids Symphony's 'chief morale officer,' reflects on 36 years with the orchestra

For decades, Grand Rapids Symphony’s Larry Herzberg played his violin, two to five hours a day, seven days a week. After 36 years with the orchestra, he decided it was time to retire in 2016. Herzberg, however, hasn’t retired from his other fulltime job as Director of Asian Studies at Calvin College. For many years, Herzberg has burned the candle at both ends, performing with the Grand Rapids Symphony and teaching both Chinese and Japanese at Calvin College. Beginning this... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 3, 2017 | 5 comments

National Endowment for the Arts awards Grand Rapids Symphony $10,000 grant for 'Symphony with Soul'

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Grand Rapids Symphony a $10,000 grant for its annual “Symphony with Soul” concert and gala. Three-time Grammy Award winning singer Lalah Hathaway , who is nominated for two more awards at the 59 th annual Grammy Awards,  will be special guest for the 16 th annual “Symphony with Soul” in February in DeVos Performance Hall. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s award is its third consecutive grant in six... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 27, 2016 | 0 comments

Christmas truly is in the air with Grand Rapids Pops' annual 'Cirque de Noël' show

Christmas is in the air. You can see it in the eyes of a child, gazing on holiday decorations. You can hear it in the voices of carolers. In DeVos Performance Hall this week, you really will be able to see it and hear it in the air. The Grand Rapids Pops , for its seventh holiday season, presents Cirque de Noël in DeVos Performance Hall with aerial acts, juggling, magic and more with special guests, Cirque de la Symphonie, plus live music from the Grand Rapids Symphony . ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 20, 2016 | 0 comments

Grand Rapids Symphony enriches Grand Rapids Ballet's annual productions of The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Ballet is one of the most enduring of all American holiday traditions. Never mind that the original story was written by a German, that the music was composed by a Russian or the choreography was created by a French choreographer and his Russian assistant. Nor that a Russian ballet master introduced the mostly forgotten ballet to audiences in the 1950s. George Balanchine’s version of The Nutcracker for New York City Ballet, which the company continues to... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 13, 2016 | 0 comments

Grand Rapids Symphony’s Peter Kjome appointed as Baltimore Symphony President and CEO

Grand Rapids Symphony President and CEO Peter Kjome, who has led the orchestra through its international search for a new Music Director as well as to the successful conclusion of its $40 million Legacy of Excellence Campaign , has been named the new President and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Kjome, who became GRS President in 2008 , leaves the orchestra positioned for future growth with Music Director Marcelo Lehninger on the podium, a recent five-year collective bargaining... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | 1 comments

Recap: It's the most wonderful time of the year at the Grand Rapids Symphony's Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - When the holidays beckon, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to be a musician. It’s even better to be in the audience at the Grand Rapids Pops . The weather outside wasn’t frightful, but the music sure was delightful for the Grand Rapids Symphony to open the Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops in gaily decorated DeVos Performance Hall on Thursday, Dec. 1. The sounds of the season filled the program with favorite carols, popular melodies,... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, December 2, 2016 | 3 comments

MercyMe Launches 2016 Christmas Tour with Grand Rapids Symphony at Resurrection Life Church

MercyMe guitarist Mike Scheuchzer knew he had hit pay dirt when he could quit his day job. The Christian rock group, for several years, lived together in one house, splitting the rent, sharing the expenses, and driving themselves to their own gigs. “Making it up as we go,” Scheuchzer said with a laugh. After six years and six independent recording projects, a record deal with INO Records in 2001 launched MercyMe into the front ranks of Contemporary Christian music. ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | 0 comments