Four Pillar Arts Organizations and 1,500 Performers Collaborate for One Night on One Stage

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

Surprisingly, a collaboration between the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids and Broadway Grand Rapids together on one stage has never occurred. However, on April 24, 8:00 p.m. at the Van Andel Arena, these four organizations will come together with over 1,500 performers for LiveArts, an once-in-a-lifetime arts experience that will entertain, inspire and enliven the senses. This spectacular performance will present selections from iconic musical works, including “Carmina Burana,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9,” “Tosca,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and many more as part of an epic storytelling adventure. Both contemporary and classical, LiveArts will infuse immersive sound with visual adrenaline as a colossal screen projects stunning visuals and animation above the performers on stage. 

Commenting on the significance of LiveArts at a press event on March 23, Michael Kaiser, the Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, said, “This is the kind of event people will never forget.” 

A talented and dynamic team has been working for months to create a captivating and unforgettable performance. LiveArts Artistic Director Jeffrey Buchman, who is no stranger to large-scale productions, has crafted a relatable story: the dreams of youth and the desire to create and express. LiveArts will open with “The Swan” by Saint-Saens as a young boy is inspired by the music and yearns to create his own. What follows is a personal journey that will carry the audience through the evening in a magical way, bringing a sense of wonder, imagination and surprise. 

“Through its journey, LiveArts will at times hit the audience hard with the sheer size, scope and power of what is happening in the arena, and at other times will pull down so intimately so that the experience for the audience is multi-layered, emotional and visceral,” said Buchman.  

The story of LiveArts conveys a universal experience, but it is also strongly focused on the unique vitality and character of the West Michigan arts community. “Certainly one of the things that is central to LiveArts is collaboration, specifically between these four pillar arts organizations in Grand Rapids,” said Buchman.  “The participants brought to the table really accomplish this feeling of honoring the Grand Rapids community in what we are doing.”

This theme of local collaboration is not only represented by the performing arts organizations involved, but also by the vast number of area schoolchildren involved in the production. Young musicians from the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, and the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company will perform along with children from over 20 area schools. A youth processional led by East Kentwood and Grandville marching bands at the top of the second half is sure to be a program highlight. 

Proceeds of LiveArts will benefit programs of the Grand Rapids Symphony. LiveArts is made possible by the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation and is presented by the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation.


Tickets start at $24.50 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available by phone in the evening and on Saturday by calling 616.885.1241. Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets will also be available at the Van Andel Arena Box Office 10:00 a.m. through intermission on the day of the concert. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee. Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $7.50 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the Symphony’s Student Passport program. This is a MySymphony360 eligible concert.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony 

The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director David Lockington, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit 

 This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.