Joy, Love and Sunshine in “Dvorák’s Seventh,” Jan. 29 & 30

Media Contact:
Denise Borton
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 114

Three works filled with joy, love and sunshine comprise the Grand Rapids Symphony’s program for “Dvorák’s Seventh,” part of the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series. Returning Music Director Candidate and Mei-Ann Chen will lead the orchestra in two performances at DeVos Performance Hall: Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m. Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, violinist Karen Gomyo will join the orchestra to perform one of the most beloved violin concertos. The Guest Artist Sponsor for the concert is the Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund.  

The program begins with Erich Korngold’s orchestral suite, “Much Ado About Nothing.” One of the most astonishing prodigies in the history of composition, Korngold was already a veteran at the age of 20 when he was invited to write music to accompany a production of Shakespeare’s play. Korngold’s gifts for quick characterization by means of melody, imaginative tone color, and harmonic lushness were a perfect match for Shakespeare’s “battle of the sexes,” and would later make him Hollywood’s leading soundtrack composer.   

Next, Karen Gomyo will take the stage to perform Max Bruch’s “Violin Concerto in G Minor” with the orchestra. Of the greatest solo violin works, Joseph Joachim (considered by many to be best violinist of the 19th century), called Bruch’s concerto “the richest and most seductive.” Gomyo’s performance of the virtuosic passages, particularly the heartbreakingly romantic second movement and the fiery, gypsy-like finale, is sure to dazzle DeVos Hall audiences.   

The concert ends with Antonin Dvorak’s deeply serious symphony in honor of his mentor and supporter, Johannes Brahms. While there is plenty of drama, the piece is filled with melodies and rhythms evoking his native Bohemia and the joy he felt as its first great international ambassador.   

Upbeat, a free pre-concert multi-media presentation, will be hosted in the Recital Hall before each performance at 7:00 p.m. Upbeat is sponsored by BDO USA. “Dvorák’s Seventh” will be rebroadcast on Sunday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m. on Blue Lake Public Radio, FM 88.9 or FM 90.3.   


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 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. 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 200,000. 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.