Relive the Grand Rapids Symphony’s triumphant return to Carnegie Hall with WOOD TV8’s special broadcast

Nearly 13 years after setting foot on the storied stage of Carnegie Hall for the first time, the Grand Rapids Symphony returned in April with an exciting evening of Brazilian and Spanish music.

Music Director Marcelo Lehninger led the orchestra and Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus with special guest pianist Nelson Freire in music, some of which hasn’t been heard in Carnegie Hall since 1959.

WOOD TV8 traveled to the Big Apple with the Grand Rapids Symphony and captured the highlights for a special-event broadcast that aired on Sunday, June 5.

You can see the show, “Grand Rapids Symphony at Carnegie Hall,” on WOOD TV8’s website, commercial free.


Eva Aguirre Cooper, Community Affairs Director at WOOD TV8, accompanied the Grand Rapids Symphony to New York City for the two-day trip that takes viewers behind the scenes from rehearsals to receptions, including interviews with musicians, conductors, audience members and a brief appearance by members of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus on NBC-TV’s “Today Show” with Hoda Kotb.

Hundreds of supporters, patrons and fans traveled from Grand Rapids to New York City for the Carnegie Hall performance on Friday, April 20. Hundreds more from the New York City area were special guests of the Grand Rapids Symphony thanks to its Symphony Scorecard program.

Special guests also included Mauro Vieira, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, and Frederico S. Duque Estrada Meyer, Deputy Permanent Representative, both based in New York City.

GR Symphony at Carnegie Hall 2018

Brazilian-born pianist Nelson Freire, who has performed in Carnegie Hall with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, made his fifth appearance in the 127-year-old auditorium, performing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Momoprecoce and Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

The Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, whose director, Pearl Shangkuan, has conducted and sung previously in Carnegie Hall, made its debut singing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Chôros No.10 “Rasga o Coração” (It Tears your Heart).

The 134-voice chorus also joined the orchestra to sing Gabriel Faure’s Pavane in F-sharp minor as an encore for the audience of over 2,300. The encore was in memory of Grand Rapids Symphony Vice President Roger Nelson who organized the orchestra’s return to Carnegie Hall prior to his sudden, unexpected death in March 2017.

Follow the Grand Rapids Symphony on WOOD TV8’s Connecting with Community page.

Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at 9:00 AM
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