March 19, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSO 'Favorites' to Feature Soloist Carl Cranmer on Piano


VALDOSTA -- The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra will give its fans exactly what they asked for during its fourth subscription concert, “Favorites,” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, in Whitehead Auditorium.

Howard Hsu, VSO music director, said audience members will enjoy Liadov’s “Baba-Yoga,” Op. 56; “the sweeping romanticism” of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18; and “the sheer power and intensity” of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D. minor, Op. 47. The Rachmaninoff piece will feature “electrifying pianist” Carl Cranmer.

Explaining the concert title, Hsu noted that the Rachmaninoff piece “is one of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire ….” The Shostakovich piece “is also a standard of the literature, and it was selected by VSO audiences the winner of our ‘Choose Your Own Symphony’ contest.”

Regarding the Rachmaninoff piece, Doug Farwell, VSO executive director, said, “… many people will recognize the melodies which they hear in movies and television on a regular basis.”

Pianist Carl Cranmer, the concert’s featured guest soloist, has performed all over the United States and in Europe and Asia. Hsu said Cranmer has played with the Royal Philharmonic of England and Gulbenkian Orquestra of Portugal and collaborated with such artists as violinists James Ehnes and Jennifer Koh and the Grammy Award-winning Takacs Quartet.

“When he was 9 years old, he played with the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world’s great orchestras,” he added. “We are old friends and first met at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, similar to Georgia’s Governor’s Honors Program.”

A special youth concert featuring the Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich pieces, as well as Cranmer on the piano, will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 23, sponsored by Valdosta Family Medicine Associates P.C.

Saturday’s concert is sponsored by IPG Incorporated.

Tickets are $25 per performance. Season tickets are $125 per subscription. The VSO performs five subscription concerts each year. Reservations are required.

“Created in 1990, the VSO serves both the cultural life of Valdosta and the regional academic mission of Valdosta State University,” according to the symphony website at “The high standard of performance of the orchestra enables it to attract guest soloists of national and international renown to the Valdosta community. The orchestra’s membership is a unique blend of resident artist-faculty, students studying professional music disciplines, talented community performers, and carefully selected professionals from a five-state region.”

On April 28, the VSO will present its final subscription concert of the 2011-2012 season, “Musical Pictures.”

“As you are well aware, the country has been and continues to be in a financial crisis,” noted Dr. Malcolm F. Rainey, chairman of the VSO Board, in the 2011-2012 VSO season brochure. “This economic downturn has had a devastating effect on many cultural and artistic organizations who have had to curtail their activities or disband completely. We in Valdosta have been extremely fortunate in the unique partnership between the university and the greater community that has allowed our orchestra to grow and flourish.”

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of Valdosta State University’s Fine Arts Building on the corner of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

To learn more about the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (229) 333-2150.

Please visit to learn more about the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra's participation in a national food drive.

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