Category: articles

Grand Rapids Symphony remembers Helen DeVos, its dearest friend and greatest champion

  Helen DeVos, one of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s dearest friends, has died, but her love and support for the orchestra will last forever. It’s safe to say that without Helen DeVos, the Grand Rapids Symphony would not exist as we know it today. For nearly 50 years, Helen DeVos was the Grand Rapids Symphony’s biggest supporter, and its greatest champion. “Helen was a very special friend of the Grand Rapids Symphony,” said President and CEO Peter Perez. &ld... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Thursday, October 26, 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony holds annual Access to Music for residents of American House

As declining health nudges many seniors toward a move to assisted living communities, access to the arts, including orchestral performances, is important for residents who have always enjoyed going to the symphony. Faced with decreased mobility, some seniors simply forfeit their season tickets and visits to their local symphony orchestras. However, American House Senior Living Communities is working to ensure its residents don’t have to abandon their love of experiencing live, classica... Read More
Posted by Guest Blogger at Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony's audience grows by thousands, thanks to new opportunities with Symphony Scorecard

Lois Alexander, a lover of classical music and a Grand Rapids Symphony season subscriber for years, knows well the power of classical music, especially music performed live. “I find it such a peaceful and calming experience,” Alexander said. As a former Resident Services Specialist for Grand Rapids Housing Commission, she also knows it’s an experience that’s not available to everyone, particularly those with financial challenges. That’s what inspired the Grand... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony's Roger Nelson remembered as innovative, trusted, behind-the-scenes leader

As Grand Rapids Symphony’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Roger Nelson took no bows on stage and gathered no applause from enthusiastic audiences. But whenever the Grand Rapids Symphony over the past 13 years gave a great concert, it often was a result of Nelson’s work off stage and behind the scenes. “He was the man behind the curtain,” said Associate Conductor John Varineau. Nelson died Thursday, March 30, in his home in East Grand Rapids. He was 56 y... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, March 31, 2017

'It takes a lot of different hands' Grand Valley student learns behind the scenes as a Grand Rapids Symphony volunteer

The sights and sounds of a symphony orchestra that are most familiar and most recognizable are the musicians on stage and the music they make. Darwin McMurray, a junior at Grand Valley State University, who recently completed 25 hours of volunteer service with the Grand Rapids Symphony, discovered there’s a lot more happing out of sight and behind the scenes. “It’s a great organization,” said McMurray. “The things it’s doing with the community are often o... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony's audiences go wild for Harry Potter in DeVos Hall

Harry Potter came to town, and Pottermania descended on Grand Rapids. Your Grand Rapids Symphony welcomed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to DeVos Performance Hall this past weekend, the first movie in the Harry Potter Film Concert Series. More than 7,000 muggles came to three sold-out performances of the original 2001 film on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28, 2017. It was a magical experience any way you slice it. See our recap of the weekend's performances. “The Sor... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Grand Rapids Art Museum displays art and artistry of Marcelo Lehninger in photographs by Andrew Terzes

Grand Rapids Symphony Music Director Marcelo Lehninger is slowly becoming known in his future home of Grand Rapids. He returns to DeVos Performance Hall for concerts in the Richard and Helen Classical series in early February and in early March. But in the Grand Rapids Art Museum, a display of portraits of the Brazilian-born conductor opens next week. Grand Rapids photographer Andrew Terzes has captured the art and artistry of Lehninger in a selection of portraits on temporary display at t... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The life of a Grand Rapids Symphony musician is fulfilling and fun, but the pace is fast and furious

Professional baseball players play nearly every day for months on end during the baseball season. Professional symphony orchestra musicians live similar lives. The boys of summer play double headers. Concert musicians sometimes have two concerts and frequently have double rehearsals on the same day. In baseball, there’s a crowd every time the team plays. Not so for orchestras, which have audiences for concerts but not for rehearsals. But the time and effort, as well as the wear and te... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Violinist Larry Herzberg, Grand Rapids Symphony's 'chief morale officer,' reflects on 36 years with the orchestra

For decades, Grand Rapids Symphony’s Larry Herzberg played his violin, two to five hours a day, seven days a week. After 36 years with the orchestra, he decided it was time to retire in 2016. Herzberg, however, hasn’t retired from his other fulltime job as Director of Asian Studies at Calvin College. For many years, Herzberg has burned the candle at both ends, performing with the Grand Rapids Symphony and teaching both Chinese and Japanese at Calvin College. Beginning this past ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony’s Peter Kjome appointed as Baltimore Symphony President and CEO

Grand Rapids Symphony President and CEO Peter Kjome, who has led the orchestra through its international search for a new Music Director as well as to the successful conclusion of its $40 million Legacy of Excellence Campaign, has been named the new President and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Kjome, who became GRS President in 2008, leaves the orchestra positioned for future growth with Music Director Marcelo Lehninger on the podium, a recent five-year collective bargaining agreem... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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