The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra will perform contemporary and classical compositions at its Masterworks Concert this weekend.
“This concert is fantastic because it is an incredible variety of amazing music,” said Janna Hymes, music director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra.
“Each piece is very lively and shows off the strength of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra,” said Akemi Takayama, a violinist with the orchestra.
Takayama said other than the pops concert, the orchestra has not played together all winter because of the weather. She is looking forward to being reunited with her colleagues at the concert.
“It's like a love affair, we love to play with each other,” Takayama said.
The first piece of the evening will be “Go,” which was composed by Adam Schoenberg in 2014.
“(Schoenberg) is one of the prolific composers, he’s being performed all over the world right now,” Hymes said.
Hymes said the beginning of “Go” sounds like cars revving their engines. Players make this song by manipulating their strings. Takayama said after the revving, “Go” dives into strong rhythms for the rest of the piece.
“ ‘Go’ is really really appealing music, but it's modern and fresh and has its own voice and I love it,” Hymes said.
The concert also features some older pieces, such as the suite music for the drama “Masquerade” composed by Aram Khachaturian.
“It’s just wonderful and rich sounding,” Hymes said. “(Khachaturian) was born in Armenia and there’s a Russian influence to this music — it's almost like folk music with an edge.”
There will also be a musical tribute to Mike Williamson who died of cancer last year. Hymes said he was a local concert arranger who worked with the Williamsburg Symphony.
They will perform his piece “At Last,” which Hymes said Williamson arranged for the orchestra’s concert in Bermuda.
Sterling Elliott, a cellist and recent winner of the Sphinx Competition, will be a guest musician with the orchestra. He will perform “Variations on a Rococo Theme” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
“He’s a fantastic musician and I’m really looking forward to working with him,” Hymes said.
Takayama said Hymes booked Elliott to play before the Sphinx Competition. Takayama said this isn’t the first time a guest won a prestigious award before performing with the orchestra and credits the trend to Hymes staying current on rising talent in the music world.
“I think this concert is going to be pretty booked, maybe sold out — so if somebody can get tickets they’re lucky,” Takayama said.
Want to go?
The concert is at 8 p.m. March 3 and 4, Kimball Theatre, 428 W. Duke of Gloucester St. Tickets are $58-$48 and student tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, call 229-9857.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.