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  • Writer's picturePress Release


Words and Images Courtesy of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [February 2, 2022] – Norfolk native and VSO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins brings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 to the Ferguson Center for the Arts with the Virginia Symphony on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 PM.

Mr. Wilkins found his passion for his orchestral career at age eight while attending a VSO concert. Having led major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, and after a 17-year stretch as the music director of the Omaha Symphony, Mr. Wilkins was named the VSO’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor last June.

Also joining the orchestra to perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D will be Sterling Elliott, a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the youngest winner of the Sphinx Competition in history. Mr. Elliott, a native of Newport News, began his career in the Elliot Family String Quartet and is a former student of VSO principal cellist Michael Daniels. Now an accomplished soloist, Elliott’s previous engagements have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony, among others.

Tickets to this performance start at $25 and can be purchased through the box office at 757-892-6366 or


As the region’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organization, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to challenge expectations and push the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO has received national attention for its unique mission serving a home area of 1.7 million across the diverse communities of southeastern Virginia. Through appearances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and commitment to adventurous programming, the VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.

As the largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.

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