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Richmond Symphony Announces its 2020-2021 Season

Rush Hour at Hardywood, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, and a world-premiere work for trumpet by Richmond native Trey Pollard are just a few of this year’s highlights.




The Richmond Symphony announced its 63rd Season today, highlighting a range of programming, renowned guest artists, and commemorations as part of its five concert series:  Altria Masterworks, Metro on the Move, Rush Hour at Hardywood, Symphony Pops, and Atlantic Union Bank Lollipops.

The announcement comes as the Symphony wraps up its Music Director search with five candidates being considered to replace former Music Director Steven Smith. The announcement of the new Music Director and his/her participation in the 2020-21 season is anticipated later this Spring.

“Our 2020-21 season marks the beginning of a fresh, new chapter in the Symphony’s great story,” said David Fisk, executive director of the Richmond Symphony. “Not simply are we celebrating our heritage by honoring the major anniversaries of Beethoven and of our Richmond Symphony Chorus; we are excited to be programming works by some of today’s most dynamic composers and presenting diverse guest artists. Leading the orchestra in the year ahead will be our new Music Director, whom we look forward to introducing to our audiences next season, with the warmest of welcomes.”


The eight-program Altria Masterworks series, performed at the Dominion Energy Center’s Carpenter Theatre, is comprised of new and traditional symphonic repertoire, engaging some of the best classical artists in the industry today. The following are highlights of the 2020-21 Masterworks season:

  • The Symphony’s Opening Weekend will take place on Sept. 19-20, 2020, with A Century of American Sound,” showcasing musical contributions that helped define American classical music. Aaron Diehl, known for classical and jazz piano, will perform Gershwin, alongside works by Ellington; William Grant Still, a groundbreaking black composer and conductor; and acclaimed Leonard Bernstein Award recipient Jessie Montgomery.
  • The Symphony will celebrate the 250th Birthday of Beethoven by performing the composer’s iconic Symphony No. 9 (Nov. 14-15, 2020) and Symphony No. 5 (April 17-18, 2021) on the Altria Masterworks series.
  • The Symphony will honor the 50th anniversary and contributions of the Richmond Symphony Chorus through the performance of beloved choral works, including Faure’s Pavane (Nov. 14-15, 2020); Dvorak’s Te Deum (Feb. 6, 2021); and Haydn’s The Creation (May 15, 2021).
  • The Symphony will perform contemporary works from five of today’s most cutting-edge composers on this series, including Coincident Dances by Jessie Montgomery (Sept. 19-20, 2020); Oscillate by Andy Akiho (Oct. 17, 2020); Umoja, Anthem for Unity by Valerie Coleman (Jan. 16, 2021); Maslenitsa by Guillaume Connesson (March 6-7, 2021); and Abstractions by Anna Clyne (April 17-18, 2021).
  • Altria Masterworks will feature classical music favorites, including Ravel’s Bolero (Jan. 16, 2021); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (April 17-18, 2021); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Nov. 14-15, 2020); Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 “Organ” (Feb. 6, 2021); Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites, Nos. 1 and 2 (Jan. 16, 2021); Barber’s Violin Concerto (April 17-18, 2021); Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (March 6-7, 2021); among others.
  • Exciting guest artist debuts with the Richmond Symphony will happen on Altria Masterworks, including pianist Aaron Diehl (Sept. 19-20, 2020); violinist Melissa White (Oct. 17, 2020); pianist Gabriela Martinez (Mar. 6-7, 2021); and violinist Rachel Barton Pine (April 17-18, 2021).


The four-program Metro on the Move series is made up of chamber orchestra favorites, featuring Richmond Symphony musicians as soloists in more intimate settings.  The following are highlights from the 2020-21 Metro on the Move series:

  • In addition to Sunday performances at Randolph-Macon College’s Blackwell Auditorium, the Symphony will perform three Saturday concerts at the new Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts & Education in Chester, Va.  The first concert will be on Jan. 23, 2021.
  • The Metro on the Move series will feature Richmond Symphony musicians Thomas Schneider, principal bassoon, performing Rossini’s Bassoon Concerto (Oct. 25, 2020), and Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto (Feb. 20-21, 2021), leading Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 1 and 3.
  • This series will include contemporary works from four of today’s most dynamic composers, including Harp of Nerves by Hilary Purrington (April 24-25, 2021); Variations on an Unheard Theme by Zachary Wadsworth (April 24-25, 2021); Little Moonhead by Melinda Wagner (Feb. 20-21, 2021), and Entr’acte by Caroline Shaw (Jan. 23-24, 2021).
  • Classical favorites will be heard on this Metro on the Move series including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (April 24-25, 2021), honoring Beethoven’s 250th birthday; Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 1 and 3 (Feb. 20-21, 2021); Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian,” (Oct. 25, 2020) and more.
  • Acclaimed guitarist JIJI will make her Richmond Symphony debut with Purrington’s Harp of Nerves (April 24-25, 2021).


The four-program Rush Hour series is made up of casual, one-hour concerts that take place at 6:30 p.m. in the tasting room of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery- Scott’s Addition. Patrons can relax and enjoy craft beer and food, while listening to small-ensemble favorites by the Richmond Symphony. Rush Hour at Hardywood will continue this season, incorporating programs similar to those of the Metro on the Move series (see highlights above).


The four-program Symphony Pops series features popular guest artists performing favorites in pop, jazz, classical, Broadway repertoire, and more, alongside the Richmond Symphony at the Dominion Energy Center’s Carpenter Theatre.

Highlights from 2020-21 Symphony Pops series include:

  • VCU Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Rex Richardson will debut a world-premiere work for trumpet by Richmond native Trey Pollard. The premiere is part of a program celebrating the 100th birthdays of Charlie “Bird” Parker and Dave Brubeck (Feb. 27, 2021).
  • Warner Bros. presents BUGS BUNNY AT THE SYMPHONY, 30th Anniversary Edition-LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements © & TM Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20). This concert will bring the world’s favorite classic LOONEY TUNES projected on the big screen, while the Richmond Symphony performs the exhilarating, original Carl Stalling scores LIVE! (Oct. 3, 2020 at Altria Theater). The program is conducted by George Daugherty, created by George Daugherty & David Ka Lik Wong.
  • “Frank & Ella: A Night of Jazz” will feature vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare, reliving the magic of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald (April 10, 2021).
  • Family favorite Let it Snow! is back again to celebrate the start of the holiday season (Dec. 5-6, 2020).


The four-program Atlantic Union Bank LolliPops series is made up of short, sensory-friendly concerts for the entire family.  Taking place at Dominion Energy Center’s Carpenter Theatre, the LolliPops series includes pre-concert activities for kids, including an instrument petting zoo.

The following are highlights from the 2020-21 Atlantic Union Bank LolliPops series:

  • The Symphony will celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) by performing works honoring the tradition, in collaboration with a performance by the Latin Ballet of Richmond (Oct. 31, 2020). The concert will be presented in both English and Spanish.
  • The Symphony will also bring back LolliPops favoritesThe Snowman (Nov. 28, 2020), “The Life and Times of Beethoven” (Feb. 27, 2021), and the timeless tale of Peter and the Wolf (April 10, 2021).


Subscription packages are now on-sale for the Richmond Symphony’s Altria Masterworks, Metro on the Move, Rush Hour at Hardywood, Symphony Pops, and Atlantic Union Bank LolliPops series concerts.

Subscribers enjoy a variety of benefits, including priority seating, 20% off single ticket prices, flexible ticket exchanges, pre-sale opportunities for special events and concerts, and much more.

To renew your subscription or to become a new subscriber, please call 804-788-1212, or visit



Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Arts & Entertainment

Three Sheets to the Wind playing drive-in concert at City Stadium June 13th

Enjoy smooth ’70s and ’80s yacht rock from Three Sheets to the Wind on June 13th at City Stadium – in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle.




Yacht rock tribute band Three Sheets to the Wind, known for their smooth and sultry soft rock vocals and ’70s and ’80s covers, will play a drive-in concert in collaboration with The Broadberry in the parking lot of City Stadium June 13th, it was announced this past weekend.

Tickets, which went on sale this morning, are good for up to four people in one vehicle. In order to maintain social distancing, no one will be allowed outside of their vehicles except to use the restroom at portable toilets, which will be on-site and cleaned often.

Audio from the show will be broadcast live via a lower power FM transmitter to those in attendance.

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Rules and regulations from The Broadberry staff follow below.

𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐓 𝐑𝐔𝐋𝐄𝐒 & 𝐑𝐄𝐆𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 In order to provide the safest and best Drive-In Concert Experience, we require each participant to observe the following rules:

1. If you are sick, running a fever or have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home until you are healthy.
2. For the safety of yourself and others, you should ONLY attend this event with people in your immediate quarantine circle.
3. Tickets can be purchased online only, there will be no box office onsite.
4. All attendees must arrive within a vehicle that is two axles and holding a maximum of 4 people, including children. No campers, motorcycles, buses, or extremely large vehicles will be admitted. No jeeps without doors or convertibles with tops down. No vehicles towing trailers will be admitted.
5. Absolutely no sitting on your car, standing on your car or exiting the vehicle before, after or during the event. NO LAWN OR CAMPING CHAIRS PERMITTED! NO SITTING IN THE BED OF A PICKUP TRUCK.
6. There is absolutely no leaving your vehicle unless there is an essential need, i.e. bathroom breaks. If you must leave your car to use the restroom – WEAR A MASK.
7. Portable toilets will be available on site. Strict guidelines will be provided to ensure safety and cleanliness. Gloves and sanitizer will be available for use.
8. Absolutely no standing outside of the venue or gatherings on the sidewalks of the venue will be allowed and will be enforced by security.
9. Emergency communication options will be provided both in advance of the event as well as upon arrival to the concert.
10. For the safety of concertgoers directly adjacent to your vehicle, refrain from rolling down your car windows more than two inches from the top.
11. Food can be brought from home and eaten in your vehicle. Please only dispose of trash in proper receptacles or bring all trash back home. Please don’t litter!
12. At the conclusion of the concert, please remain in your parking space until directed by event staff to exit the lot. In the case of an emergency, please remain in your space until directed by event staff. Drive slowly and follow all directions.
13. The parking lot will open one hour prior to the start of the show. We suggest arriving early — parking is first-come-first serve.
14. All audio will be streamed via FM transmitter. Please make sure to arrive with a working FM radio in your vehicle or you will not be able to listen to the show. Portable boomboxes and stereos are permissible for vehicles without a functional car stereo.
15. Absolutely no alcohol and/or illegal substances will be permitted at the event or inside your vehicle and violators will be held accountable and prosecuted by state and federal law.
16. No pets are allowed.
17. Absolutely no illicit goods, no fireworks, weapons or guns, knives or laser pointers.
18. Drivers caught concealing other persons or items in their vehicle will be turned away or asked to leave without a refund. All vehicles subject to search.
19. Big trucks and SUVS may be directed to the back of the lot so as to not block the sightlines of other concert-goers.
20. No refund requests or ticket transfers will be granted. This event is rain or shine.



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Arts & Entertainment

Byrd Theatre curates “Cinematheque Virtuelle” French film series

Knowing how many people missed seeing the French Film Festival in March and look forward to March 2021, the programming committee saw an opportunity to bring a little “Je ne sais quoi” to the Byrd Theatre’s virtual screening room.

RVAHub Staff



The Byrd Theatre’s virtual movie series continues with an all-new theme. Cinematheque Virtuelle is the Byrd Theatre’s newest virtual series. Knowing how many people missed seeing the French Film Festival in March and look forward to March 2021, the programming committee saw an opportunity to bring a little “Je ne sais quoi” to the Byrd Theatre’s virtual screening room.

Many of the films are new releases and others are new to being available for screening. The Alliance Francaise Richmond has graciously partnered with the Byrd Theatre to bring this French Film Series to life.

Cinematheque Virtuelle French Film Series opens May 27th, 2020 with “On a Magical Night” and opens 2 films on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and additional film each day through June 2nd. The complete series will run through June 9th.


May 27

On a Magical Night, French Rom-Com

May 28

New French Shorts 2020, a collection of short films

The Perfect Nanny, From Rendezvous with French Cinema 2020/Acclaimed Thriller

May 29

Papicha, Cannes Film Festival and Cesar-Award Winning Drama

Deerskin, Black Comedy/Thriller

May 30

Someone Somewhere, From Rendezvous with French Cinema 2020/Acclaimed Indie Drama

Alice, South By Southwest Grand Jury Prize Winner

May 31

Tezzeka, Comedy/Drama for Moroccan/French Cuisine Foodies

June 1

Rififi (1955), Classic: French Film Noir

June 2

Band of Outsiders (1964), Classic: Godard’s Unofficial Sequel to Breathless

The Byrd Theatre launched the Virtual Screening Room in March and has been looking for interesting films to share with its patrons. The screening room allows people to rent the films, view from the comfort of their own home during Virginia’s Stay at Home order, and help the Byrd Theatre monetarily. The individual distribution companies are splitting the net revenues from rentals with the Byrd Theatre. Win-Win.



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Arts & Entertainment

Dominion Energy Riverrock announces Virtual Experience with virtual trail events, streaming content to celebrate 2020 festival

“Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond.

RVAHub Staff



Dominion Energy Riverrock is planning its first Virtual Experience to bring the sights and sounds of the festival, which was originally scheduled for May 15-17 before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated restrictions on large events, directly to viewers and participants. The Virtual Experience will include trail running and mountain bike events for participants to take part in virtually on their own before enjoying the streaming festival highlights show on Saturday, May 16, at 5 p.m.

The virtual races will encourage participants to bring the celebratory spirit home to them. Participants can choose 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon trail running distances, or 10-mile or 20-mile mountain bike distances, then select their own course and complete their race any time before May 31. Participants can also upload and compare their times on an online leaderboard. Virtual event registration is now open at, and the registration fee of $20 includes a Dominion Energy Riverrock trucker hat with an event entry. As part of the celebration, festival organizers are also hosting a drawing for a prize pack featuring items from event partners including YETI, Sierra Nevada, ENO, nuun, Virginia Lottery, and Capital One, among others. No purchase is necessary to win the prize pack and anyone aged 21 and over can enter to win here.

“Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond. “We believe that the Virtual Experience will be a great way for Dominion Energy Riverrock enthusiasts to engage with the things that make the festival so unique and exciting.”

The streaming highlights show will feature music from several artists originally scheduled to perform during the 2020 Dominion Energy Riverrock, including the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The Hot Seats, and The Northerners, as well as interviews with Dominion Energy Riverrock athletes, demos on mountain biking, slacklining, kayak, and bouldering, and plenty of other festival-related content. The livestream will premiere at 5 p.m. on May 16 on the Dominion Energy Riverrock YouTube channel ( and on Facebook Live (, and be available for on-demand streaming immediately after. A trailer for the special can be viewed at the Dominion Energy Riverrock Instagram page, @RiverrockRVA.

“We know that Dominion Energy Riverrock is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year in Richmond, so it’s important for us to bring the spirit of the festival to our dedicated community with this Virtual Experience,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We especially would like to thank Dominion Energy for their support to bring this concept to reality so we can all take part in the festival in our own way.”



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