September 15, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSO Season Opens Sept. 17

Caroline Goulding

VALDOSTA — The American Prize-winning Valdosta Symphony Orchestra opens its 27th season with Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46 and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97 “Rhenish” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Whitehead Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now.

The VSO’s season-opening concert features virtuoso violinist Caroline Goulding performing Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, a four-movement composition for violin and orchestra completed in 1890. Dr. Howard Hsu, VSO music director and conductor, described the piece as “a very engaging work that is also renowned for being extremely difficult.”

“I know that she will make it sound easy and dazzle us in the process,” he added.

Goulding debuted at the age of 13 as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra. Over the past decade she has gone on to solo with the world’s premier orchestras; appear in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and perform as a chamber musician as part of the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a two-time recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship. She and pianist Danae Dörken recently released an album featuring works for violin and piano, and it has already been nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, or the German Record Critics Award. Her first album, released in 2009, was nominated for a Grammy Award.   

The VSO will conclude its season-opening concert with Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, a tribute to the Rhine River. Hsu said that this piece “has incredible power and drive, combined with great expressive beauty.”

Tickets for Saturday’s performance are $27 for adults, $10 for students, and free for Valdosta State University music majors. Discounts are also available for senior citizens, military personnel, and VSU faculty and staff.

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Visit or contact Maggie Vallotton with VSU’s College of Arts Outreach Office at (229) 333-2150 or to reserve tickets or learn more. Tickets are also available at the VSO Box Office before each event.

On the Web:

NOTE: The Downtown Symphony Club, a social group for young and young-at-heart music lovers and professionals, will meet after the concert for food and drinks at The Bistro in Downtown Valdosta. Contact Dr. Shannon Lowe, principal bassoonist with the VSO, at for more information. Club members receive a discount on single tickets, exclusive dinner deals on concert nights, as well as the chance to meet and socialize with the soloist, conductor, and orchestra musicians, and more. Membership is free of charge.

About the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra:

Created in 1990, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra serves both the cultural life of Valdosta and the regional academic mission of Valdosta State University. 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. Supported by an Advisory Board of Directors, the Valdosta Symphony Guild, Valdosta State University, corporate sponsors, and hundreds of individual patrons, the orchestra has become an important part of the cultural life of the entire region. Its live performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony won the 2014 American Prize in Orchestral Performance.