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Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra to film virtual spring season at the Michigan Theater

Cellist Benjamin Francisco performs at the Michigan Theater.
Cellist Benjamin Francisco performs at the Michigan Theater. (Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra)

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will be releasing performances recorded live this season at the Michigan Theater.

Starting this week, A2SO’s full string orchestra will perform three concerts at the iconic theater, which will be available for on-demand streaming through June 30.

The performances will feature additional virtual chamber concerts and will be paired with takeout meals from local restaurants.

“This is a moment for celebration,” A2SO Executive Director Tyler Rand said in a statement. “The symphony has been unable to gather a group of this size for almost a year now, and we’ve all been missing making live symphonic music in our venues.”

The virtual spring concerts are a result of a comprehensive safety plan developed by A2SO’s COVID-19 taskforce consisting of musicians and board members.

“We’re fortunate to have some brilliant medical professionals on our board that have been instrumental in developing our safety protocols,” Rand said in a statement.

A2SO musicians rehearse at the Michigan Theater. (Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra)

The symphony also consulted with Washtenaw County Health Department’s medical director Dr. Juan Marquez on how to safely perform during the pandemic.

“All of our musicians, stagehands, and production teams were tested prior to rehearsals and recordings and wore CDC-recommended face coverings at all times,” Rand explained in a statement.

“We also modified our rehearsal schedules to include a 30-minute room rest to allow for outside air to circulate in the theater. We owe CEO Russ Collins and the whole Michigan Theater team a debt of gratitude -- it was fantastic to collaborate with them again on this virtual program and on keeping our community safe.”

The first concert will be available for streaming on Saturday, Feb. 20. It features one of A2SO’s candidates for music director, Jacob Joyce, who will conduct music by Stravinsky, Mozart and Jessie Montgomery. An Ann Arbor native, Joyce, 28, attended Pioneer High School and studied violin with the symphony’s Concertmaster Aaron Berofsky. He went on to Yale University where he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in violin performance and later studied conducting at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.

Joyce is currently Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Associate Conductor.

Virtual concert tickets are now on sale. Passes are $50 for households and $10 for students.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tickets.a2so.com.

Below is the full A2SO Virtual Spring 2021 Season lineup:

February 20, 2021: Filmed Live at the Michigan Theater

Sponsored by Rebecca Horvath

MOZART & FRIENDS

Jacob Joyce, conductor

  • MOZART Divertimento in D major, K. 136
  • Jessie MONTGOMERY Strum 
  • STRAVINSKY Concerto in D “Basel”
  • MOZART A Little Night Music

March 27, 2021: Filmed Live at the Michigan Theater

TCHAIKOVSKY & MENDELSSOHN

Earl Lee, conductor

  • BACH Chorale: Schmücke dich o liebe seele
  • MENDELSSOHN Sinfonia No. 10 
  • BYRD Ave Verum Corpus
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings

May 1, 2021: Filmed Live at the Michigan Theater

BEETHOVEN, BARTÓK, & BIBER

Perry So, conductor

  • BEETHOVEN Grosse Fugue 
  • BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, & Celeste 
  • BIBER Battalia à 10

These programs are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.