Alexandria Symphony Presents Rite of Spring & Grieg Piano Concerto



James Ross, Music Director

Natalia Kazaryan, piano

LÒPEZ-GAVILÀN: Mojito con saoco

STRAVINSKY: Rite of Spring

GRIEG: Concerto for Piano in A minor

Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will present its season finale entitled Awaken, on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center.

The program opens with Mojito con saoco by Cuban composer Guido Lòpez-Gavilàn. López-Gavilán was commissioned to write an overture by the Cuban American Youth Orchestra as a gift from CAYO to the city of Havana in honor of its 500th anniversary. The world premiere debuted in May 2019 prepared by ASO’s Music Director James Ross.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was commissioned as one of three ballet scores for the 1913 season of the Ballets Russe. While its premiere created nothing short of a riot — complete with vegetables thrown at the musicians and dancers — today it is considered one of symphonic music’s most significant works. Stravinsky’s combination of complex rhythm, dissonance and Russian folk elements influenced later 20th century composers. It is frequently recorded and performed both with and without dancers; ASO’s April performance features only the music.

“There are so many ways of thinking about the Rite of Spring,” says Maestro James Ross. “I’m asking myself, ‘What am I willing to lose to allow my future to thrive? What needs to go and what does that expulsion sound like?’ Stravinsky dreamed of an ancient tribal ritual. I hear a renewed future calling to us bracingly through notes that are still hard to predict even 110 years after they were penned.”

Edvard Grieg’s only completed piano concerto will culminate the program. Among his earliest compositions, the composer incorporated motifs from his native Norway; its main theme has made it one of the most recognized and performed in the piano repertoire.

Internationally renowned pianist Natalia Kazaryan will bring this passionate and unforgettable work to life. Kazaryan is dedicated to giving equal platform to female composers in her public appearances and notably curated and performed a recital of all women composers at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. A frequent collaborator with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, Kazaryan often appears at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and in partnership with the orchestra’s performances at Howard University. She holds an adjunct piano faculty position at Howard University, is a board member of the International Alliance for Women in Music and co-founded the Washington Arts Ensemble.

Adult prices for single tickets start at $20, and all tickets for youth are priced at $5, making ASO concerts affordable for families. Military, senior and group discounts are also available in select sections. This is a one-night-only event, so book your tickets early. Visit or call (703) 548-0885 for more information.