ASO Announces 2017-2018 Season with Four Music Director Finalists

Posted Jul 26, 2017 | ASO News, Press Releases, 

Alexandria, VA—The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announces its 74th Season, featuring four final candidates for Music Director who will conduct and program four pairs of concerts as their audition for the permanent position.  In 2016, the Alexandria Symphony reviewed more than 170 candidates from around the world.  Through extensive interviews and evaluations, the four final candidates emerged as the front-runners, one of which will lead the orchestra starting with the celebration of the ASO’s 75th Anniversary in 2018-2019.

The finalists are diverse, conducting symphonies from Xalapa, Mexico to Lucena, Spain—from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Washington National Opera.  Michael Rossi is the founder and Artistic Director of the Miami Summer Music Festival. James Ross is currently Director of Orchestras at the University of Maryland, Orchestra Director for the National Youth Orchestra – USA, Music Director-designate of the Orquesta Simfònica del Vallès and serves on the faculty at Juilliard.  Nicholas Hersh serves as Associate Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  José-Luis Novo leads the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra as Music Director and Conductor.

Recognized as a rising star among young conductors, Maestro Michael Rossi opens the season on September 23 and 24, 2017 with a program of love and longing.  Richard Strauss’ signature tone poem, Don Juan, features the ASO’s stellar brass section.  Wagner’s star-crossed lovers shine in excerpts from Tristan und Isolde.  A signature of Beethoven himself, at his stormiest and most heroic, the program concludes with his Symphony No. 5 in C Minor.

James E. Ross’ program on October 21 and 22, 2017 evokes images of coastal shores and green pastures.  One of George Butterworth’s last works, The Banks of Green Willow incorporates folk songs from his native British countryside. From his opera Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes paints the tragic story of psychological torment of the fisherman and his apprentice.  Closing the program is Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, hailed as equal to Beethoven’s Eroica in majesty and drama and described by critics as his most artistically perfect symphony.

Enjoy a world tour exploring themes of nationalism, led by Maestro José-Luis Novo on February 10 and 11, 2018.  A delicate collection of French dances originally written for two pianos, the ASO presents Debussy’s Petite Suite.  Dropping by Italy for a little opera, Maestro Novo will conduct the Overture to Verdi’s epic Nabucco.  Commissioned by Polish radio and complete with a polka movement, the program continues with Lutosławski’s Mała Suita.  Admittedly a “confession of the soul” and written on the heels of his acclaimed Finlandia, the concert ends with Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2, proclaiming the grandeur of his homeland and the struggle for Finland’s independence.

Journey through time as three centuries collide when the ASO and Maestro Nicholas Hersh present the season finale on April 7 and 8, 2018.  The program begins with C.P.E. Bach’s Baroque Symphony in E-Flat Major followed by Piazzolla’s modern tango-inspired Tangazo: Variations on Buenos Aires.  Rounding out the program is Brahms’ Romantic, melancholy and pastoral Symphony No. 2.