Youthful Genius on Display at “The Romantic Concert,” Friday, Nov. 6

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

What do Schubert, Mendelssohn and Stulberg International String Competition winner Yaegy Park have in common? Audiences at “The Romantic Concert” will find out when they hear iconic works celebrating youthful genius at the first Crowe Horwath Great Eras series concert of 2015-16. Great Eras, a three-concert series, is designed to explore the different periods of orchestral music. On Friday, November 6 at 8:00 p.m., Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead “The Romantic Concert” in the intimate setting of the Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center. 

Schubert’s “Overture to Rosamunde” will start the program. Schubert was merely in his 20s when he composed the piece capturing his trademark simple joy. The score begins with a dark and brooding introduction featuring the solo oboe and woodwinds. It is followed by the main body of the work written in sonata form, with an energetic first theme followed by one of Schubert’s most recognizable and beautiful melodies. A rousing coda concludes the piece.  

Next, the orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor” with Stulberg Competition winner Yaegy Park. Ms. Park, a 17-year-old violinist who won her first competition at the age of 4, has racked up numerous honors.

“The Symphony continues to demonstrate a dedicated investment to the community and to young people by bringing artists like Yaegy Park to the stage. She’s 17 and already a world-class performer; she demonstrates a drive and sense of artistry that we can all learn from,” says Peter Kjome, Grand Rapids Symphony President and CEO.

Career highlights for Ms. Park include performing with NPR’s “From the Top” where she was selected for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, and invitations to perform with the Moscow Symphony and Hawum Chamber Orchestras at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, among others. Ms. Park’s youthful talent will be on display on this lyrical and flowing work. 

“I am delighted to be performing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto alongside the Grand Rapids Symphony. Mendelssohn, being only 29 when he wrote the piece, exhibits a kind of youthful talent and brilliance within the piece that I appreciate, being a young person myself,” says Park. 

Selections from Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will follow the intermission. The overture, set to Shakespeare’s popular play, was written when the composer was only 17, but was turned into a full work 16 years later. The work contains the world famous “Wedding March” that can be heard in wedding ceremonies around the world. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” brings to life the playful sprites, braying donkey, and young love of the play through chattering winds and dancing strings. 

Audiences interested in daytime concerts can enjoy selections from the above works during “The Romantic Coffee Concert,” Friday, November 6 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia’s Royce Auditorium. The Coffee Classics series is sponsored by Porter Hills. The one-hour concert will be preceded by a complimentary coffee and donut reception beginning at 9:00 a.m. 

St. Cecilia’s Music Center and the Grand Rapids Symphony are collaborating throughout the 2015-16 Season to offer their supporters access to new musical opportunities. Subscribers to the Crowe Horwath Great Eras series can receive 10% off at St. Cecilia’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series concerts, including “The Golden Age of the Violin” on November 12, “Piano Extravaganza” on January 21, and “Virtuosity” on March 17. 

For a reprise of “The Romantic Concert,” tune into Blue Lake Public Radio on FM 88.9 or FM 90.3. The program will be rebroadcasted on Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. 


Tickets start at $26 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 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 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

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.