Grand Rapids Symphony Presents All-French Program, Jan. 11 & 12

Fri, 12/21/2012

The Grand Rapids Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series starts the New Year with a fast-moving collage concert featuring French music favorites. The program titled “Symphonie Fantastique” presents seven musical works by notable French composers such as Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy and Ravel. Listeners can expect a night of beautiful melodies, three flashy works for violin soloist, a brass fanfare and a performance of Berlioz’s cinematic “Symphonie fantastique.” Two concerts will be presented, Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12, 8:00 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall.

French-Canadian Guest Conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni will lead the orchestra through the program that opens with Dukas’ brass fanfare from his Ballet “la Peri,” and continues with Fauré’s “Pavane,” and Debussy’s “Fêtes.” Zeitouni is currently music director of the Columbus Symphony and has been called one of Canada’s brightest young conductors.

Twenty-five-year-old Yossif Ivanov has established himself as one of the most exciting violinists of his generation. Ivanov will mesmerize with Saint-Saëns “Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso,” Massenet’s “Meditation” and Ravel’s “Tzigane.” Born into a musical family, the rising star has played violin since age 5. He has made acclaimed debuts in all the major European halls, playing with orchestras including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Berlioz’ epic orchestral work “Symphonie fantastique” caps off the evening. “Symphonie fantastique” tells a story of Hector Berlioz’s self-destructive passion for a woman through five movements and is heralded as a breakthrough in the composer’s career.

“He broke every single rule when he wrote this,” said Music Director David Lockington.

Concert tickets start at $18 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100 (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616/454-9451, Ext. 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800/982-2787, online at, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include at Ticketmaster service fee. This is a student passport concert.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grammy-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. Led by Music Director David Lockington, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony sponsors the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, and also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit

These concerts are made possible with support from the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts