NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – This weekend, the Virginia Arts Festival and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra present the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto Festival across Hampton Roads.

The show is in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birthday. In honor of the occasion, the music organizations are coming together for a festival of his piano masterpieces. Eric Jacobsen is the conductor.

Throughout the weekend hear all five pieces, a difficult feat both physically and emotionally. Olga Kern is a renowned pianist performing the works, with accompaniment by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.. It will be a unique musical event here in Hampton Roads.

Here is the weekend schedule, below.

  • Friday, Oct. 20 7:30 p.m. at Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
  • Saturday, Oct. 21 7:30 p.m. at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
  • Sunday, Oct. 22 2:30 p.m. at Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach

For Kern, the music is special to her. It holds a special connection to her great-grandmother who was a mezzo-soprano singer who worked in an Opera Center in Ukraine for many years.

“She was good friends with Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff was accompanying her. And, some concerts she was singing Rachmaninoff’s songs and he was accompanying at the piano,” said Kern. “We still have programs from that concert.”

On Friday, Oct. 20 hear Piano Concertos 1 and 3. On Saturday, Oct. 22 hear Piano Concertos 2 and 4, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The finale event on Sunday, hear Piano Concerto 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Click here for more information, and to buy tickets.