The Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is an American orchestra serving the Hampton Roads metro area. The orchestra performs more than 200 concerts throughout the region notably at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, PBK Hall at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg and at Regent University in Virginia Beach. The VSO also works closely with Virginia Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival as well as every school district in the region.
The orchestra was founded in 1920 as the Norfolk Symphony, and was for a time the only American orchestra between Baltimore and Atlanta. During the US economic crisis and recession of the 1970s, the Virginia Symphony assumed its present form in 1979 with the merger of the Norfolk Symphony, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Beach Pops Symphony.
Past music directors of the orchestra have included Henry Cowles Whitehead, Edgar Schenkman and Russell Stanger. In May 1991, JoAnn Falletta was appointed the orchestra’s eleventh music director. Its current President and Executive Director is Eric Borenstein.
- Walter Edward Howe (1921–?)
- W. Henry Baker
- Bart Wirtz
- Arthur Fickenscher
- Frank L. Delpino
- Henry Cowles Whitehead (1934–1948)
- Edgar Schenkman (1948–1966)
- Russell Stanger (1966–1980)
- Richard Williams (1980–1986)
- Winston Dan Vogel (1986–1990)
- JoAnn Falletta (1991–present)
- Allan Kozinn (17 April 1997). "A Consolidated Orchestra That's Thriving". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
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