We recently attended a concert of the Virginia Symphony at the Sandler Performing Arts Center at Virginia Beach. As this orchestra is not on the usual tier 1 listing of the highest ranking orchestras in the country I was not expecting to be really blown away by the experience but I was wrong. The musical director, JoAnne Falletta, is a diminutive but intense and serious conductor who led a magical performance of Mahler's fifth symphony. This long work is exceedingly demanding (especially for the brass section) and I must say the quality of execution and interpretation was as good as any I have heard even at major cities with famous orchestras. The programming offered throughout the season speaks to a thoughtful approach illustrated by a Glazunov violin concerto played by a student at the Curtis school in Philadelphia. I say Bravo to all involved.
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