VSO plans new assistant conductor's debut

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

As the Virginia Symphony Orchestra plans a return to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for the concert series, the organization also welcomes its new assistant conductor. The Symphony by the Sea concert series kicks off Thursday with Gonzalo Farias debuting in the role.

“In Gonzalo, we have found both a superb conductor and musician and a charismatic leader, and I am thrilled to have him as a colleague,” JoAnn Falletta, the VSO’s music director, said in a news release. “He is exceptional.”

The opening concert celebrates cinema with music from the likes of “The Incredibles,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Harry Potter” and more. Complimentary frozen treats will also be served.

A native of Santiago, Chile, Farias joins the VSO after two seasons in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s conducting fellowship position.

In a news release, Farias said that as he takes on his new title, he hopes to “establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust and cooperation among us.”

Th Symphony by the Sea series debuts 7:30 Thursday at Neptune’s Park, 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach. Subsequent concerts sound off 7:30 p.m. July 26, Aug. 16 and Sept. 6. All concerts free and open to the public, with VIP memberships also available at bit.ly/2zgoMXH.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by email at sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com, by phone at 757-790-3029 or on Twitter @sethbirkenmeyer.

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