The Virginia Arts Festival Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2016

Marking two decades of bringing great artists to southeastern Virginia, The Virginia Arts Festival celebrates in 2016 with great performances including world premieres, collaborations between musical and theatrical masters, and events that have turned area streets and parks into lively gathering places for friends and families.

“The Festival’s 20th Anniversary Season looks back with pride, and forward to the future,” said Virginia Arts Festival Director Robert Cross. “We’ll be presenting renowned artists who have become special friends of the Festival, and forging new works and new relationships that will continue to engage and inspire audiences for years to come.”

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Here is a look at 2016 Virginia Arts Festival performances in Norfolk

The Chieftains
March 15, 2016
7:30 PM
Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

From the pubs of Dublin to Carnegie Hall, these fine players, faithful to their Celtic roots, have liberated the Irish soul in audiences around the world. And along the way—50 years and still playing—they've explored a world of music with Celtic roots and branches, from Spain to Appalachia and beyond, and collected six Grammy Awards and endless accolades for their artistry. Morre Information>>

Spring for Dance Gala
April 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM
April 10, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Chrysler Hall

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Festival will stage a reunion of some of the greatest companies presented over the years. Featured will be dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Britain's Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Britain's brilliant Richard Alston Dance Company, Tokyo Ballet, and the Richmond Ballet performing to live music played by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. More Information>>

Yo-Yo Ma, cello & Emanuel Ax, piano
April 12, 2016
7:30 PM

Chrysler Hall

18 time Grammy Award winner Yo-Yo Ma returns to the Virginia Arts Festival, joined by his longtime friend and frequent musical partner, Emanuel Ax, a virtuoso pianist whose passionate performances have drawn acclaim around the world. More Information>>

Venice Baroque Orchestra
April 14, 2016
7:30 PM
Robin Hixon Theater

Hailed for their "playing of percolating energy and lithe, silvery tone" (The Washington Post), this internationally acclaimed orchestra joyfully rediscovers the rich depth and intricate textures of music of the 17th and 18th centuries, winning rave reviews for their performances and recordings. More Information>>

Chelsea Chen, organ
April 15, 2016
8:00 PM
Christ & St. Luke’s Church

For two decades, Virginia Arts Festival has celebrated these sacred spaces with intimate concerts of great music, and in this anniversary season welcomes one of today's most acclaimed organists for a performance on this Church's grand pipe organ—one of the largest in the region. Christ & St. Luke's Church in Norfolk traces its roots back to the 1630s. More Information>>

Shakespeare's The Tempest
Virginia Stage Company & Virginia Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
April 16, 2016 at 8:00 PM
April 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Chrysler Hall

This fully staged new production of Shakespeare's most mystical work is performed as part of the worldwide celebration marking the 400th anniversary of his death. Virginia Arts Festival has gathered forces for a history-making production with the Virginia Stage Company, with Sibelius' score performed live by the Virginia Symphony and Chorus, with JoAnn Falletta conducting. More Information>>

Virginia International Tattoo 2016
Thursday, April 21, 7:30 PM
Friday, April 22, 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 23, 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2:30 PM
Scope Arena

The 2016 Virginia International Tattoo will celebrate the past 20 years with an extraordinary, once in a lifetime, cast of performers. Included are the 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 the very finest musicians the U.S. Military has to offer. The finale will join the talents of these 1,500 performers into one voice honoring the incredible service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces over the last 20 years. More Information>>

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
April 28-May 1, 2016
8:00 PM
The Parlor on Granby

An incredibly inventive and entertaining piece of theater, live music and strange goings-on performed live in a pub-within-the-pub setting. You'll see unfold the story of Prudencia Hart, an uptight academic whose serious research into ancient Scottish ballads is drawn astray by those who sing them best…with a glass or two of whisky. More Information>>

Afro-Cuban All Stars
May 3, 2016
7:30 PM
Attucks Theatre

The Afro-Cuban All Stars is a unique orchestra devoted to promoting the full range of Cuban music, one that embraces several generations and all musical styles. In fact perhaps no one has done more to keep the flame of Cuban music alive than Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, founder of the Afro-Cuban All Stars, whose performances have propelled audiences to their feet around the world. More Information>>

Yuja Wang, piano
May 11, 2016
7:30 PM
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center

This glamorous young pianist has graced the pages of Italian Vogue, French Elle, and Chinese Marie Claire. An internet sensation, she has multiple fan blogs dedicated to her, and a video of her playing Flight of the Bumblebee on YouTube has been viewed almost 4 million times. But it is her awe-inspiring technique and eloquence that have propelled her to the top of the classical music world. More Information>>

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
May 14, 2016 at 8:00 PM
May 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

Since its founding in 1969, Dance Theatre of Harlem has become a symbol of ballet excellence around the world, winning acclaim for its performances of a broad repertoire that ranges from treasured classics to cutting edge contemporary works. In this spectacular performance, the Company will perform a selection of their most beloved pieces, along with a new work commissioned by Virginia Arts Festival in honor of its 20th season and choreographed by Dance Theatre of Harlem’s resident choreographer Robert Garland. More Information>>

Falletta & Friends
With the Tidewater Classical Guitar Orchestra
May 18, 2016
8:00 PM
Norfolk Academy

She is acknowledged as "one of the finest conductors of her generation" (The New York Times), a Grammy Award winner hailed for her performances with orchestras around the world.  You know her as the brilliant music director and leader of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, now celebrating her 25th season with the VSO.  JoAnn Falletta, a virtuoso guitarist, joins with members of the Tidewater Classical Guitar Orchestra to celebrate the many moods of the guitar—soft and tender, fiery and passionate. More Information>>

Miami String Quartet
May 18, 2016
10:30 AM
Robin Hixon Theater, Clay & Jay Barr Education Center

This is chamber music as it was meant to be heard: the communion of gifted artists in an intimate, beautiful setting, among music lovers and friends. At the Festival's Coffee Concerts, the performance is so close you hear every note, and witness the interactions of the artists with each other and with the music. After the performance, patrons can mingle with the performers, a lovely postscript to a perfect performance experience. More Information>>

Sons of Serendip
May 29, 2016z
5:00 PM
Attucks Theatre

Vocalist Micah Christian, harpist Mason Morton, cellist and vocalist Kendall Ramseur, and pianist and guitarist Cordaro Rodriguez from the stage of the hit TV show, America's Got Talent. More Information>>