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Richmond Symphony announces celebrated Italian conductor as first female Music Director

Peleggi’s engagement comes after a two year search to replace former Music Director Steven Smith, who stepped down at the end of the 2018-19 season after a distinguished decade of service.

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Even amidst these turbulent times, the Richmond Symphony is looking to the future and the return to a sense of normalcy when the music will once again play. The symphony has announced the appointment of award-winning Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi as the organization’s next Music Director. Peleggi will begin her role on July 1, 2020, for an initial four-year period conducting at least ten weeks a season, making Peleggi the sixth Music Director, and first woman in that leadership role.

Peleggi’s engagement comes after a two year search to replace former Music Director Steven Smith, who stepped down at the end of the 2018-19 season after a distinguished decade of service. The Search Committee, comprised of symphony musicians and board members, unanimously selected Peleggi after she spent two weeks with the Symphony in early March, garnering overwhelming support from the orchestra.

Peleggi’s repertoire for the masterworks concert included Rossini’s Overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie), Tchaikovsky’s  Francesca da Rimini, Opus 32, Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 2, C. Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 7 and Respighi’s Pines of Rome with guest artist Angela Cheng, pianist.

Peleggi will conduct eight weeks of concerts in the 2020/21 Season, including opening the Symphony’s season with a ‘Big Tent’ open-air community festival, four Masterworks concert weeks, and chamber orchestra concerts in the Symphony’s Rush Hour and Metro Series.

“The passion, enthusiasm and profound musical sensitivity of the musicians of the Richmond Symphony impressed me enormously from our very first rehearsal,  said Peleggi. “Making music with these wonderful artists is truly a privilege. I look forward to creating exciting new projects, sharing inspiring music with our community, and working with the Symphony’s staff and the orchestra’s innovative educational and choral programs. We will get through these challenging times as we focus on shaping and imagining the future together. I believe we will be a great team and I can’t wait to call Richmond my new home.”

Described by the BBC Music Magazine as “rising star”, Peleggi has led orchestras from around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Orchestra of Wales, Norrkoping Symphony (Sweden), Orchestra della Toscana and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and will shortly release her first CD on Naxos.

Originally from Florence, Peleggi was the first Italian woman to enter the conducting program at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and was recently honoured with the title of Associate. Currently a Mackerras Fellow with the English National Opera and Guest Music Director with the Theatro São Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil, Peleggi previously served as Resident Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the São Paulo Symphony Chorus and as Music Director for ten years of the University Choir of Florence, where she now holds the position of Honorary Conductor after receiving a special award from the Italian Government in recognition of her work. She won the 2014 Conducting Prize at the Festival International de Inverno Campos do Jordão, the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Prize at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California, and the 2015-2017 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship under Marin Alsop.

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Arts & Entertainment

2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival Dates Announced

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Two of Virginia’s largest and most beloved events return this fall to Downtown Richmond.

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, is October 1-2, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts and the City of Richmond, is October 7-9, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront.

“Venture Richmond Events is proud to produce these two festivals that have brought so much attention to two Downtown neighborhoods – Jackson Ward and the Riverfront,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events for Venture Richmond. “Both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival are economic drivers bringing a combined 200,000+ people Downtown and generating $39.5 million in economic impact annually. With six stages along the Riverfront and four stages in Jackson Ward, these two events that are only a week apart, showcase world class entertainment, food, arts and culture in Downtown.”

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia Union University, Brown Distributing, CoStar Group, and Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., CarMax, CoStar Group, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia is for Lovers, National Council for the Traditional Arts, Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the Children’s Museum.

Check out pictures from last year’s Folk Festival here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Tonight’s Friday Cheers is Cancelled Due to Weather

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

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This is the first time that I can remember that Friday Cheers has pulled the plug due to weather concerns. Understandable due to the forecast of high winds.

Hot off the press release printing press.

For the safety of our patrons, artists and staff we must unfortunately cancel tonight’s Friday Cheers with Japanese Breakfast and Abby Huston. We understand this is a tremendous disappointment, and we share that sentiment.

“We’ve produced hundreds of outdoor events and have hosted hundreds of thousands of patrons, but I don’t believe that we have ever had a more definitive forecast predicting unsafe weather as we have for this evening,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We have been advised by several meteorologists that severe weather is certain and, frankly, cancelling is our only choice.”

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

Thank you for understanding this difficult decision.

Website: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/friday-cheers-2022/

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Arts on the Lawn returns to Hermitage Richmond for second year May 14th

Open to all residents, families, team members, and community friends who share a love of art and creating.

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Retirement community Hermitage Richmond is hosting its second annual Arts on the Lawn event on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The event is free and will be held outdoors on Hermitage Richmond’s front lawn at 1600 Westwood Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talent we have here at Hermitage Richmond,” said Amy Chapman, Hermitage Richmond’s Executive Director. “Our resident artists are excited to share their work with the community and invite other artists to do so as well. We want everyone to know that the fine arts are alive and thriving at Hermitage Richmond. It is such a great way to kick off the summer and have our residents and community come together.”

More than 50 local artists and creators will feature their paintings, photography, pottery, fiber art, handmade jewelry, woodwork, and more. All artists will benefit 100% from their sales.

There will also be three food trucks and live music from Chris and Suzi of Thorp Jenson plus GreenSpring International Academy of Music student performers at the event.

Net proceeds at Arts on the Lawn will benefit Hermitage Richmond’s Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, which is an evidence-based intergenerational art-making program benefiting people with dementia.

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