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ASO Features Holiday Concert with Suites by Tchaikovsky and Ellington

Alexandria Symphony Presents the Nutcracker with a Twist

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Alexandria, VA—The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) continues its 2019-2020 Season on Saturday, December 14, 2019 (7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, December 15, 2019 (2:00 p.m.), under the direction of Maestro James Ross. In his second year as Music Director with the ASO, Ross endeavors to feature forgotten voices in the concert hall and present symphonic music in unconventional and creative ways.

The program will delight audiences with the Nutcracker presented to two ways: excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite and Duke Ellington’s version that swings. Besides holiday-themed music attendees will enjoy visual accompaniments to Saturday’s performance, and both concerts will be followed by a reception for the entire audience. Performances will be presented with no intermission and one hour earlier than usual to accommodate families and young children.

To open the program, the ASO presents the Overture to Hänsel and Gretel, an opera traditionally performed during the holiday season in Germany and abroad, followed by Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, including “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

Joining the ASO is Morgan Short, winner of the 43rd Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship Competition. Ms. Short will perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, originally written for guitar and later rendered for harp by the composer. Ms. Short is a Classics Alive Artist, sought-after touring soloist, and enrolled at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 9, 2019. (Photo by James Cullum)

The concert will culminate with Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, accompanied on Saturday by video realizations by the New Live following the story of an African-American girl from Harlem. “Tchaikovsky is only one point along a line of creativity starting with E.T.A. Hoffman’s original story, continuing through Ellington’s big-band re-imagining to resetting the story in Harlem through the eyes of a young girl,” says Maestro Ross. “It’s a wonder-worthy, multi-sensory experience for the whole family.”

The 2019-2020 Season is generously supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, Classical Movements, Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare, KSA Integration, and Renner & Company CPA, PC.

The fully-professional Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs Saturday evenings at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and Sunday matinees at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Single-ticket prices range from $20 to $85 for adults, $5 for youth and $10 for students. Military, senior and group discounts are also available. For tickets and more information, visit or call (703) 548-0885.

James Ross, Music Director
Morgan Short, harp

HUMPERDINCK: Prelude to Hänsel and Gretel
TCHAIKOVSKY: Excerpts from Nutcracker Suite 71A
RODRIGO: Concierto de Aranjuez
ELLINGTON: Nutcracker Suite

Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
George Washington Masonic Memorial


James Ross, Music Director
Berta Rojas, guitar

MOZART: Serenade No. 6 “Serenata Notturna”
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Guitar Concerto in D Major
PRICE: Andante Moderato from String Quartet in G Major
(arr. by James Ross)
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 5

Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
George Washington Masonic Memorial

James Ross, Music Director
Claudia Chudacoff, concertmaster

PRECHTL: Tribute (world-premiere)
FRANK: Three Latin-American Dances

Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
George Washington Masonic Memorial

Tickets: $20-$85 for adults. Student tickets $10 (with ID). Youth tickets $5 (age 18 & under). Military, senior and group discounts available. Purchase online at or call 703-548-0885.

Free parking provided by the ASO at both venues. The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is accessible by Metro bus lines 7A, 7B, 7F, 7Y, 25A, 25C and 25E, as well as DASH bus line AT6.  The George Washington Masonic Memorial is accessible by the Blue and Yellow metro line (King Street station), numerous Metro, Dash and Richmond Highway Express bus lines, and the King Street Trolley in Old Town, Alexandria.

Venue addresses:
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
4915 E Campus Drive
Alexandria, VA 22311

George Washington Masonic Memorial
101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, VA  22314

For soloists’ biographies, please visit:

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