Experience VAF virtually, from home.
WHRO TV 15 will broadcast a number of past Virginia Arts Festival events in April and May. WHRO Media President and CEO Bert Schmidt explained “At WHRO we have been fortunate to partner with the Virginia Arts Festival for many years, and one of the great benefits of that partnership is the number of Festival performances and events that we have been able to record and broadcast. We are reaching into our archives to bring back some great memories of the Festival and to share performances by extraordinary artists.”
Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants
Friday, May 8, 9:30pm
In 2019, together with 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, Virginia Arts Festival commissioned a new ballet from Dance Theatre of Harlem. The work was created by an all-female creative team including award-winning choreographer Claudia Schreier and composer Jessie Montgomery. For months, WHRO film crews documented the process of bringing the new work to the stage, from the earliest rehearsals in the New York studios of Dance Theatre of Harlem, where the choreographer shaped the steps for each dancer, to the dress rehearsals with full orchestra in Chrysler Hall, to the triumphant world premiere performance. Complemented by interviews with the creative team and leaders of the history-making ballet company, this documentary gives a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of a new ballet—equal parts inspiration, perspiration, frustration and joy.
Sunday, June 14, 5:30-7:00pm
In 2011, Virginia Arts Festival co-commissioned (with the Virginia Opera, Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond, and Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Austin) a new work by award-winning composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Mark Campbell, to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. A theatrical song cycle, the piece is drawn from diaries, letters and personal accounts and explores the impact of the war from secession to defeat, on a community of Virginians, black and white, rich and poor, soldiers, nurses, widows and survivors. Enhanced by projections of Matthew Brady’s renowned Civil Wr photography, illustrations, documents and other visuals, the performance features five principal singers performing more than 30 roles, backed by an orchestra of 17 musicians. Opera Today hailed the work as “profound and poignant;” the premiere performance was recorded live, captured by WHRO (and also later released as an audio recording on the Naxos label).
Virginia International Tattoo
The 2016 Virginia International Tattoo was one of the most moving in the event’s 24-year history. An inspiring salute to Vietnam Veterans, the show was written by New York Times best-selling author and recipient of the Bronze Star for valor, and narrated by General and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Titled “A Time to Celebrate, A Time to Remember,” the show features 1500 performers from around the world, including the internationally renowned Swiss drum corps Top Secret, a Dutch band on bicycles, world champion pipers from the Highlands of Scotland, a massed choir of epic proportions, and military bands of every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as international bands.
Consult your local channel listings for WHRO TV 15 programming.
Over its 24-year history, dozens of Virginia Arts Festival performances have been recorded for broadcast on WHRO radio. In April and May, both stations in the WHRO Media family will re-broadcast Festival performances by such acclaimed artists as JoAnn Falletta, Olga Kern, Jupiter String Quartet, as well some of the many Festival performances that have been captured in recordings by major classical music labels including Naxos.
How to listen:90.3 WHRO-Norfolk
98.3 WHRF Belle Haven
89.9 WHRJ Gloucester Courthouse
Or stream live from anywhere at WHRO.org
Schedule of Virginia Arts Festival Recordings:
Wed. May 27, 9pm: A Local Touch
The Jupiter Quartet performs Puccini’s “Chrysanthemums” and Piazzolla’s “Four for Tango,” from their 2019 Virginia Arts Festival Coffee Concert. We’ll also hear from guitarist Manuel Barrueco (who was scheduled to appear at this year’s festival) with a recording of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” and from VAF Chamber Music Director Olga Kern with Rachmaninov’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.” Kern’s predecessor at the Festival, Andre-Michel Schub, is also on the program, teaming up with members of the Miami String Quartet for Mozart’s Piano Quartet in g, K 478. And NPR staff join forces with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, led by JoAnn Falletta, for “Peter and the Wolf: A Special Report.”
Stream the music of Virginia Arts Festival artists, right at home!
We've created several genre-based playlists for you to listen for free, available on Spotify. Use the desktop or mobile app and search for "Virginia Arts Festival"
Over the years, a number of Virginia Arts Festival performances—including world premiere performances of commissioned works—have been recorded by major classical music labels. Critically acclaimed, these recordings showcase the impact that Virginia Arts Festival has had on the music scene for the past two decades. Examples include A Kern Pianopolooza, Folk, Roots & Americana, Timeless Classical & Chamber, VAF Top Pop. The Festival has created a Spotify playlist showcasing these recordings, accessible by visiting spotify.com (sign-in required).
Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants
Follow two internationally-acclaimed dance companies commissioned by Virginia Arts Festival and the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution to interpret a seminal event...the arrival of the first Africans to English North America. Go behind the scenes and witness the artistic journey of these works, from concept through rehearsal and ultimately to the stage, featuring Dance Theatre of Harlem and Richard Alston Dance Company. Check your local listing or stream online at anytime.
Thanks to our partners at WHRO for bringing us this special television broadcast.
We have you covered for your virtual happy hours at home. Working in collaboration with some of our area’s local brewers, the beers listed below were created especially for this year’s events and performances.
Brewing Beer, in honor of Beethoven!
Brewed in honor of our upcoming celebration of Beethoven 250th Birthday & in collaboration with our friends at Virginia Beach-based Wasserhund Brewing Company, the "Bee-thoven Honey Hefeweizen" is now available now in 4-packs!
Back in February, some of our team, along with Virginia Symphony Orchestra's Music Director, JoAnn Falletta, got to spend time with our amazing partners & learn a little about the brewing process. We think this slightly sweet Hefeweizen with a hint of honey is perfect for a Spring day at home. Order online through Wasserhund's website, available to-go or for delivery!
A Beer for the Virginia International Tattoo
Rip Rap Brewing Company, a veteran-owned Norfolk-based establishment, has partnered with the Virginia International Tattoo again to create a beer celebrating the Greatest Generation. To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, Rip Rap has crafted 1945 Salute Toasted Wheat Lager. Soft wheat and lightly toasted malt add subtle depth to this classic style. Hoist a glass to the Greatest Generation and the brave Americans that fought for our freedom.
1945 Salute Toasted Wheat Lager is currently available for pickup at Rip Rap Brewing Company.
Introducing this year’s NATO Beer!
The Norfolk based brewery Bold Mariner has made another beer recognizing the Norfolk NATO Festival. Audace (meaning Bold in Italian). The name was chosen by Simon Scott, this year’s NATO Festival Chairman. Audace, an Italian Grape Ale was brewed in collaboration with Italian Army General Paolo Ruggiero, a native of Naples who serves as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk. A blush colored ale brewed with Pilsner, oats and wheat in the mash. The beer was conditioned on sangiovese red grape must resulting in a fruity, tart, refreshing beer.