World Class Artists Abound in the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2015-2016 Concert Season

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 4

Today the Grand Rapids Symphony announced its 2015-2016 Season, presenting world class soloists and conductors as the Grand Rapids Symphony continues its exciting search for a new Music Director. Larry Rachleff, the Symphony’s Music Advisor for 2015-16, will conduct three concerts this season. The Symphony’s 86th Season promises to be exhilarating and outstanding with renowned masterpieces, contemporary favorites and innovative presentations sure to thrill West Michigan audiences. 

At the core of the Symphony’s nine concert series is the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series, featuring timeless classic compositions as well as vibrant new works performed by the world’s finest conductors and soloists. The 2015-16 Season will open with a performance inspired by Shakespeare with selections of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” on September 18 and 19. Other concert highlights from the series include: “Brahms’ German Requiem” on November 20 and 21; “Debussy’s La Mer” on February 19 and 20; “Beethoven’s ‘Emperor Concerto’” on March 18 and 19; and “Pines of Rome” on April 22 and 23. The series will close on May 13 and 14 with a powerful performance of “Carmina Burana” featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus. Frequent Grand Rapids Symphony collaborator and award-winning German violinist Augustin Hadelich will return, as well as conductors Mei-Ann Chen and Marcelo Lehninger.

Audiences will enjoy top-notch talent, electrifying tributes and time-honored favorites with the Fox Motor Pops Series presented in DeVos Performance Hall. The series lineup kicks off with a celebration of hits from the ’30s to the ’90s with Pink Martini singer, Storm Large, October 2 – 4. Disney shares one of its crown jewels of feature animation as the Grand Rapids Pops orchestra accompanies high definition projections of “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” November 13 – 15. “Holiday Pops,” a West Michigan tradition led by newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor, Bob Bernhardt, returns December 3 – 6 while a dazzling tribute to Louis Armstrong, featuring trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, occurs January 22 –24. An orchestral program of Celtic classics will celebrate the Irish spirit March 11 – 13. The series will close with a tribute to John Williams on May 6 – 8, featuring a collaboration of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses with local high school choirs and violinist Benny Kim. 

The Nestlé Gerber SymphonicBoom three-concert series will bring out-of-the-box orchestral experiences to DeVos Hall stage, including: a symphonic presentation of J.J. Abrams’ acclaimed “Star Trek” (2009) in collaboration with Grand Rapids Comic Con on October 17; the return of an annual holiday tradition, “Fifth Third Cirque de Noël” with Cirque de la Symphonie on December 22 and 23; and “Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions,” a must-see video game event featuring music from the beloved franchise on February 5. 

The Symphony’s Crowe Horwath Great Eras Series will feature the Stulberg International String Competition winner for “The Romantic Concert” on November 6, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu for “The Classical Concert” led by Larry Rachleff on January 14, and guest conductor Stephen Stubbs for “The Baroque Concert” on March 4. The Porter Hills Coffee Classics Series returns, bringing one-hour morning concerts featuring selections from the Crowe Horwath Great Eras Series and free coffee and pastries. 

A special symphony event at Resurrection Life Church will ring in the holiday season with contemporary Christina music superstar, Michael W. Smith on Tuesday, December 8. 

Season ticket packages are on sale now with select concerts on sale to subscribers. “Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions,” is on sale now to the general public. Single tickets will be available Summer 2015. 


Tickets 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. 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 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 $5 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the Symphony’s Student Passport program. 

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.