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Richmond Symphony kicks off 2023-2024 season with Gladys Knight

The Empress of Soul joins the Richmond Symphony for season kickoff on September 9th.




A September to Remember

  • Gladys Knight performs for one night only with the Richmond Symphony
  • The Designer House is back – on Monument Avenue
  • The Richmond Symphony & Chorus with the Richmond Ballet join forces for an epic Carmina Burana
  • A new world premiere is commissioned for Concert Master Daisuke Yamamoto’s 10th anniversary

Further highlights

  • Modernized presentations include Mahler mash-up with iconic rap music to Black Panther the movie
  • Virginia focus culminates in three world premieres by living Virginia based composers
  • Richmond-Multi-Choir gospel night in appreciation of Richard Smallwood
  • Menuhin Richmond 2021 junior winner Keila Wakao tours Richmond
  • Principal Pianist Russell Wilson celebrates Rhapsody in Blue’s 100th birthday
  • Richmond Symphony Chorus closes the season with Verdi’s Requiem

The Richmond Symphony’s gem studded 2023-24 season is underscored by passion and quality – focusing on diverse artistry, increased concerts, inclusive education and community activities and innovative artistic collaborations with local and international artists. The Richmond Symphony’s significant growth coming out of Covid has placed it in the top 5% of orchestras in the United States as recognized by the League of American Orchestras.

Gladys Knight launches the season on September 9th with a sparkling gala performance that confirms the Pops programming as a dynamic and growing series. Music Director Valentina Peleggi will conduct the Richmond Symphony alongside Ms. Knight performing her greatest hits. Further into the series the program introduces groundbreaking concerts such as Resurrection Mixtape in which conductor Steve Hackman coolly fuses Mahler with music by Tupac and Biggie and a tribute gospel night honoring the moving music of Richard Smallwood will be presented by multiple choirs from the Richmond area. The movies with music this season welcome Ghostbusters (the original) and Black Panther at the Altria Theater.

Adding to the season’s September fundraising program will be the famous Designer House event. This interior design takeover is a bi-annual fundraising event run by the Symphony’s dedicated volunteers called the Richmond Symphony League. This year the host house is the stunning  Italian Renaissance Revival home, located at 2325 Monument Avenue. The house boasts dazzling, elaborate ceilings in the public rooms, along with exquisite detailing throughout and will be temporarily re-designed by over 19 local designers. The house is open for ticketed visits from September 8th to October 9th.

This season marks the 10th anniversary of violinist and Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto leading the Symphony. His great tenure will be celebrated with a new violin concerto commissioned especially for him by Italian composer Andrea Portera.

Music Director Valentina Peleggi has built an intricate program for the year that has themes and concepts that interlink the artists and composers from America’s William Dawson to Mexico’s Silvestre Revueltas. The season’s core Symphony Series program reveals four fabulous world premieres including two major symphonies by living Virginia based composers of color and one choral piece also by a living Virginian composer. Adolphus Hailstork is no stranger to the Richmond Symphony and his newly commissioned First Piano Concerto will premiere in November with Lara Downes as the guest pianist. Composer-in-Residence Damien Geter will reveal his hotly anticipated symphonic work in January and Zachary Wadsworth will premier his adventurous new piece for Chorus in late February.

In a powerful co-presentation between the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Ballet the two companies bring Carl Orff’s exhilarating Carmina Burana to the Carpenter Theatre with John Butler’s iconic choreography. Audiences will be transfixed by this immersive experience as the Richmond Symphony Chorus performs “surround sound” in the auditorium. Decades after its creation, Carmina Burana remains a bold and astonishing audience favorite. The show is double billed with Thrive, a beautiful work choreographed by the Ballet’s Associate Artistic Director Ma Cong.

Rising star and junior prize winner of the Menuhin Richmond 2021 violin competition, Keila Wakao, will guest in a triple weekend of concerts at Perkinson Center in Chesterfield, St Christopher’s School in West End Richmond and Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. Keila is a perfect example of a rising international star who was discovered by the Richmond Symphony. In fact, one of her winning performances was performing a piece of music by Richmond composer Mason Bates.

For the traditionalist the season is well peppered with Mahler, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Ravel, Mozart and Gershwin. It is the 100th anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue which will be played by the Symphony’s very own Russell Wilson. Music Director Valentina Peleggi conducts Giuseppe Verdi’s thundering Requiem to close the season with the unmitigated energy of the full Chorus and orchestra – an experience not to be missed!


An expanded offering of Metro concerts now includes a popular Holiday Brass series in December. The triple weekends comprise St Christopher’s School, Randolph-Macon College and Perkinson Center for the Arts. This season they feature violin, oboe and piano recitals from Symphony principal musicians as well as chamber works from Vivaldi, Mozart and Piazzola.

Innovative concerts continue at Hardywood – introducing more experimental works alongside lesser known and mixed media pieces. Paired with Hardywood’s delicious beers and pizzas these evenings usually require advanced booking.

Throughout the season there will be free and outdoor concerts including Mile of Music, Pocahontas State Park, 4th July and other Big Tent events.

Full Schedule Below


Subscription packages are on-sale for the Symphony and Pops series with Compose Your Own and Metro series opening in June. Subscribers enjoy a variety of benefits, including priority seating, priority booking, no booking fees, up to 20% off single ticket prices, flexible ticket exchanges, pre-sale opportunities for special events and concerts, and much more. 

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

Single tickets will be on sale by August 1st. Contact Patron Services as above.

Tickets to the gala experience are on sale now. Contact Sarah Yount for more details: [email protected]


The Richmond Symphony gratefully acknowledges the support of the following lead season sponsors: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Altria, VAMAC, Chesterfield County and the Windsor Foundation. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts; CultureWorks & the Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium — supported by the City of Richmond and the Counties of Hanover and Henrico. 


Concert Listing from September to December

*concerts denoted without venue will be performed at Dominion Energy Center

 Pocahontas State Park

Saturday, September 2 at 7.00pm

Conductor Daniel Myssyk

Free outdoor concert in Pocahontas State Park. 


Gladys Knight with the Richmond Symphony

Saturday, September 9 at 3pm

Valentina Peleggi, Conductor

Gladys Knight’s greatest hits at the Altria


Designer House

September 11 to October 9 daily

2325 Monument Avenue

Carmina Burana 

Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 24 at 2:00 pm

Music by Carl Orff

Choreography by John Butler

Erin Freeman, Conductor


Mahler’s First (Opening weekend celebrating Daisuke Yamamoto’s 10th Season!)

Saturday, September 30 at 8pm

Sunday, October 1 at 3pm

Valentina Peleggi, Conductor

Daisuke Yamamoto, violin

Works by Portera and Mahler


Music at Hardywood

Thursday, October 5 at 6:30pm at Hardywood, Ownby Lane


Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique

Saturday, October 21 at 8pm

Sunday, 22 October at 3pm

Valentina Peleggi, Conductor 

Paul Neubauer, viola

Works by Strauss, Bartok and Tchaikovsky


Ghostbusters (Movie with live orchestra)

Saturday, October 28 at 8pm

Chia-Hsuan Lin, Conductor

Halloween Special at the Altria


Negro Folk Symphony by William Dawson

Saturday, November 11 at 8pm

Sunday, November 12 at 3pm

Valentina Peleggi, Conductor 

Chia-Hsuan Lin, Conductor

Lara Downes, piano

Richmond Symphony Chorus 

Woks by Dawson, Panufnik and Hailstork


Music at Hardywood

Thursday, November 16 at 6:30pm at Hardywood, Ownby Lane


Let it Snow!

Saturday, November 25 at 8pm

Sunday, November 26 at 3pm

Chia-Hsuan Lin, Conductor

Holiday favorites with Soul Santa and Chorus


Holiday Brass!

Friday, December 1 at 7.30pm at Perkinson Center for the Arts, Chesterfield

Saturday, December 2 at 7.30pm at St Christopher’s School

Sunday, December 3 at 3pm at Randolph-Macon College

Full brass holiday favorites

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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.