James Feddeck Joins Music Director Lineup for “Mahler’s Titan,” Oct. 23 and 24

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

Conductor James Feddeck is now among the exceptional candidates being considered for the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Music Director position. In his second appearance with the orchestra, Maestro Feddeck returns to Grand Rapids to conduct “Mahler’s Titan,” Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24, 8:00 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall. The performance is offered as part of the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series and is supported by the Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund. 

“We are delighted to welcome James Feddeck back to lead concerts by the Grand Rapids Symphony,” said Grand Rapids Symphony President and CEO Peter Kjome. 

Jahja Ling will not be conducting the Grand Rapids Symphony on October 23 and 24. Out of religious conviction, he has accepted a recent invitation to serve in a volunteer capacity for a simultaneous event in the Philippines.

Renowned German classical violinist Augustin Hadelich is also returning to perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony for the fifth time to perform Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5” during the concert. Hadelich has performed with nearly every major orchestra and chamber orchestra across the nation and currently performs on a nearly 300 year old violin, the Kiesewetter Stradivarius. The violin is on extended loan from the Arrisons through The Stradivari Society.

“I am very excited to return to the Grand Rapids Symphony - my fifth time playing this orchestra in the past 8 years!” said Hadelich. “After already performing Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms there, I am excited to play Mozart’s fifth concerto, a work that I’ve played practically all my life.”

The concert begins with a piece entitled “Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra)” by John Harbison, a celebration of the Roaring Twenties hero, Jay Gatsby. Audiences will hear a representation of Gatsby’s vision of the green light on Daisy’s dock in the beginning cantible passage, followed by a foxtrot and a ’20s tune, symbolizing one of the novel’s raucous party scenes. 

Mahler’s “Titan” will be preceded by Mozart’s renowned Fifth Concerto for violin, a work that not only epitomizes Mozart’s enviable abilities as a solo violinist, but his knack for composition as well. Hadelich will perform his own cadenza during the piece.  

“It’s amazing how much Mozart advanced the violin concerto form in a very short amount of time,” said Hadelich. “This work is unusual and groundbreaking in terms of its form and virtuosity. It is nicknamed ‘Turkish’ because the last movement (a civilized Menuet) is interrupted by a wild Turkish section to both delight and frighten the audience.” 

The centerpiece of the concert is Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1,” an earthy and sweeping symphony in four movements. Building from a quiet, reverant opening to an uninhibited and glorious final movement, the work features a love of depicting nature in music, a passion for squeezing a whole world into an hour of music and, most of all, a genius for creating a sense of exaltation at journey’s end.


Tickets start at $18 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 may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at GRSymphony.org 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. 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 Advisor Larry Rachleff, 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 GRSymphony.org.

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.