Enjoy Grand Rapids Symphony playing romantic serenades by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky

Media Contact
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk
Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations
616.454.9451 ext. 139

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., December, 22, 2017 – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Antonin Dvořák flourished in another time and place, in a world before cars and planes, telephones and television.

In the very same era, nine prominent women of Grand Rapids banded together in 1883 to found St. Cecilia Music Center, to promote the study and appreciation of music.

Grand Rapids Symphony returns to historic 19th century St. Cecilia Music Center and the elegant splendor of Royce Auditorium for The Romantic Concert: Dvořák & Tchaikovsky on Friday, Jan. 5.

Music Director Marcelo Lehninger leads the Crowe Horwath Great Eras concert at 8 p.m. in St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NW

Highlights of the evening concert will be given at 10 a.m. that morning for The Romantic Coffee Concert, part of the Porter Hills Coffee Classics series, a one-hour program held without intermission. Doors open at 9 a.m. for complementary coffee and pastry.

The Grand Rapids Symphony itself is the star of the show with music including Dvořák’s Serenade for Wind Instruments, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, and a Brass Sextet in E-flat minor by Oskar Böhme.

“It shows off each section of the orchestra, strings, winds and brass,” Lehninger said.    

Dvořák, who drew from folk music of his native Bohemia, was inspired by the Old-World atmosphere of the late 18th century when he composed his Serenade for Wind Instruments in 1878.

An excerpt from its third movement is heard in the 2004 film Iron Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank as suffragist leader Alice Paul along with Frances O’Connor, Julia Ormond and Anjelica Huston

Tchaikovsky, who loved the music of Mozart above all other composers, paid homage to the German composer in the first movement of his Serenade for Strings, composed in 1881, two years before St. Cecilia Music Society was founded.

The waltz in its second movement was adapted for singer and orchestra and used in the 1945 MGM film Anchors Aweigh. Kathryn Grayson sang the song titled “From the Heart of a Lonely Poet.”

The complete The Romantic Concert: Dvořák & Tchaikovsky program will be rebroadcast on Sunday, April 1, 2018, at 1 p.m. on Blue Lake Public Radio 88.9 FM or 90.3 FM.


Tickets start at $26 for the Great Eras series and $16 for Coffee Classics and are available at the GRS ticket office, weekdays 9 am-5 pm at 300 Ottawa Ave. 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. - 6 p.m., or at the door on the day of the concert prior to the performance. Tickets also may be purchased online at GRSymphony.org

Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the GRS Student Tickets program, sponsored by Comerica and Calvin College. This is a MySymphony360 eligible concert.   

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, 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 given each year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities all reached through extensive education and community service programs. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus; Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra; and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. GRS provides the orchestra for performances by Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet and sponsors the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival, which was held in March 2017 and returns in 2019.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit the website or

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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.