Category: Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series

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Recap: Marcelo Lehninger returns to Grand Rapids Symphony stage with sensational performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Gustav Maher insisted that, to him, to compose a symphony was to compose “a world.” If so, it’s a world on paper, on the drawing board, that still must be brought into being. And in the case of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, it’s created, not in seven days, but in 75 minutes. That’s a pretty big hill to climb. Music Director Marcelo Lehninger and the Grand Rapids Symphony were up to the challenge with a sensational performance of... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, February 4, 2017

Recap: Grand Rapids Symphony's David Lockington leads concert well-matched to the mood of the day

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Every concert the Grand Rapids Symphony gives in DeVos Performance Hall is planned a long time in advance. One year ago, when the orchestra prepared the program for this week’s concerts, it was a natural fit to give the world premiere of a piece of music inspired by the fall harvest just before Thanksgiving. On the other hand, recent events such as the outcome of November’s Election, which left half the country elated and the other half in mourning,... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grand Rapids Symphony's Music Director Laureate David Lockington returns to podium with music of hope for Thanksgiving

The Grand Rapids Symphony is thankful this season not only for its new Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, but also for the return of David Lockington , the orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate, on Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19 in DeVos Performance Hall. Lockington stepped down as the music director at the end of the 2014-15 season after 16 innovative and memorable seasons with the organization as the longest serving music director in Grand Rapids Symphony history. ... Read More
Posted by Marketing Intern at Friday, November 18, 2016

Mathias Alten painting inspires cellist/composer to write new work for Grand Rapids Symphony

Mathias Alten arguably is the most important artist Grand Rapids ever has produced, and his work has inspired composer Jeremy Crosmer, not once, but twice. Alten, though born in Germany, came to Grand Rapids with his family in 1889 at age 17. Over the next 49 years, his body of more than 2,500 works was collected widely and exhibited in major galleries in the United States and abroad. By the time of his death in 1938 in Grand Rapids, he was referred to as the “dean of Michigan... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Recap: Grand Rapids Symphony's Marcelo Lehninger, with fire in his belly and a magic wand in his hand, makes debut as Music Director

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - A new era begins for the Grand Rapids Symphony . Marcelo Lehninger , the new Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, ascended the podium in DeVos Performance Hall for the first time to lead his orchestra. He descended to enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation. Not once, but twice. That’s not entirely a surprise. After all, it’s been 17 years since DeVos Hall saw the first appearance of a new Grand Rapids Symphony Music Director. ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, October 29, 2016

From 'Down Under' to downtown, Marcelo Lehninger makes his debut as Grand Rapids Symphony music director this week

Music Director Marcelo Lehninger makes his long-awaited debut as Grand Rapids Symphony’s music director this week. Appointed in June, the 37-year-old conductor returns to Grand Rapids, if not well-rested, then well-prepared. In September, he traveled to Australia for the first time in his career with another eminent Brazilian musician, pianist Nelson Freire. Together, the boys from Brazil appeared with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House and with the... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Recap: Rachmaninoff Rhapsody delights, but Concerto for Orchestra delivers brilliant Grand Rapids Symphony performance

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk -- One of the great pleasures of art is the delights and discoveries you encounter along the way. Grand Rapids Symphony’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini   easily transported its listeners to another time and place. How could it not with the elegant and engaging Joyce Yang at the piano, sailing the ship, and the irrepressible guest conductor Perry So, navigating the voyage? No doubt, the music that led... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, October 8, 2016

Travel 'Somewhere in Time' with pianist Joyce Yang, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and Rachmaninoff's Paganini Variations

When Sergei Rachmaninoff composed his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , a set of 24 variations for solo piano and orchestra, the Russian composer knew he had a hit on his hands. He didn’t know it would become a launch pad for one of the most enduring “cult classic” films of all time. The enchanting 18 th variation in the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini sets the scene for the tragic love story, Somewhere in Time , starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Recap: Great music, great musicians, open Grand Rapids Symphony's 2016-17 season with 'Rhapsody in Blue'

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The great ones make it seem so easy. Pianist Ralph Votapek, Gold Medalist at the 1962 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, breezed his way through a rhapsodic performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on Friday, September 16, to open the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2016-17 concert season in DeVos Performance Hall. “Great ones” applies to the Grand Rapids Symphony as well. Earlier, on Blue Lake Public Radio,... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, September 17, 2016

Grand Rapids Symphony welcomes music director Marcelo Lehninger

Marcelo Lehninger, Grand Rapids Symphony’s new music director, has conducted orchestras throughout the world, from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, not once but twice. Two appearances over two seasons sealed the deal as well between the Brazilian-born conductor and the Grand Rapids Symphony . One word comes to mind when Lehninger recalls his first appearance with the Grand Rapids Symphony – “flexibility.” ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Thursday, June 2, 2016
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