Guest Artists

Mark Stringer, guest conductor

Mark Stringer

The American conductor Mark Stringer was born in 1964. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. His teachers include Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Bernstein who invited him to share concerts on two European tours with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

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Conrad Tao, piano

Conrad Tao

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York.

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Classical Mystery Tour

The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like The Beatles, but Classical Mystery Tour is more than just a rock concert. The full show presents some 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed exactly as they were written. Hear “Penny Lane” with a live trumpet section; experience the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet; enjoy the rock/classical blend on the hard edged “I Am the Walrus.” From early Beatles music on through the solo years, Classical Mystery Tour is the best of The Beatles like you’ve never heard them: totally live.

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Elizabeth Bishop, mezzo-soprano

Elizabeth Bishop

American mezzo soprano Elizabeth Bishop, founder and head of the Potomac Vocal Institute, is acclaimed for her powerful, nuanced portrayals and “lustrous” voice. A frequent guest of major opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and overseas, she is also a widely respected teacher and passionate advocate for music education.

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Charles Yang, violin

Charles Yang

Described by the Boston Globe as one who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star”, Juilliard graduate Charles Yang began his violin studies with his mother in Austin, Texas, and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

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Gavin Hope

With his lightning speed comedic timing, skills on the dance floor and a truly exceptional, emotional voice, Gavin Hope is a natural born performer and always a fan favorite! Gavin’s diverse career includes song, stage, TV and film, and feeds his wanderlust well. This Juno-nominated solo recording artist has been lucky enough to perform all around the world sharing the stage with such greats as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Jill Scott, James Brown, and Deborah Cox, to name a few.

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Jeans 'n' Classics

Jeans n Classics Band

Peter Brennan’s Jeans ’n Classics is a winner! For almost 20 years the JnC approach to combining world class rock musicians and symphonies has been a game changer for orchestras in their quest to attract new and more expansive audiences. Jeans ’n Classics is a group of musicians who understand orchestra culture and are committed to help in the building of younger, loyal audiences for symphony orchestras across North America.

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D. J. Sparr, composer and guitarist

D. J. Sparr merges art-concert craft with influences from music he performed as a young guitarist. For the performance of Sparr’s BMI/Boudleax Bryant Fund Commission for eighth blackbird, the Albuquerque Tribune wrote: “…in the sextet’s piece The Glam Seduction, the 1980s rock music of Eddie Van Halen meets the instrumentation of Niccolo Paganini. … The result: Paganini on coke.”


Theo Hoffman, baritone

Theo Hoffman

Praised by the New York Times for his “concentrated and rich” baritone, New York-born Theo Hoffman joins LA Opera in 2016-17 for its prestigious Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. There he will sing Hermann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Second Nazarene in Salome, and Il medico in Macbeth, as well as cover Horemhab in Akhnaten and Pasha Selim in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Also ahead, Mr. Hoffman joins Pittance Chamber Music for a concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and debuts with the Winston-Salem Symphony as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Mr. Hoffman will perform Josef K. in the American premiere of The Trial by Philip Glass at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2017.

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Jonathan Blalock, tenor

American tenor Jonathan Blalock, winner of the 2014 Agnes Varis Prize for Bel Canto from the Opera Orchestra of New York, recently triumphed as Prince Claus in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus at The Dallas Opera. His critically acclaimed performance was broadcast to Lincoln Center and will be released on DVD later this year.

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Daniel Moody, countertenor

Daniel Moody

Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding yet expressive vocal timbre and his breathtaking musicianship. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Mr. Moody is equally known for his “sweet and melancholy sound” (The Washington Post) and ability to “pierce hearts” and “utterly silence a room” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer) with his expressivity and deep connection with audiences.


Margaret Carpenter Haigh, soprano

Margaret Carpenter Haigh

Soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh is in demand as a soloist and professional chorister both in the United States and abroad. A passionate proponent of both early music and new music, she regularly performs works by composers from the French, German, English, Spanish, and Dutch Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as music written by contemporary composers. Margaret is co-founder of the French Baroque ensemble L’Académie du Roi Soleil alongside UK-born organist and harpsichordist Nicolas Haigh.

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Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen

“Heeeeere’s Johnny!” That lead-in, followed by a big band trumpet blast, was the landmark of late night television for three decades. The “Johnny” was Johnny Carson, the announcer was Ed McMahon and the bandleader was Doc Severinsen. Beginning in October 1962, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson ruled the night air for thirty years. On May 22, 1992, it came to an end…

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Soloman Howard, bass

Soloman Howard

A recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Soloman Howard is garnering superlatives from the press for his vivid performances on the opera and concert stages.  His voice is called “sonorous” by The New York Times, “superhuman” by The Denver Post, and “spectacular” by Maryland Theatre Guide.

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Vale Rideout, tenor

Vale Rideout

American tenor Vale Rideout has garnered critical acclaim for his musical artistry and superb stagecraft throughout the United States and Europe. Possessed of both a beautiful instrument and an ability to consistently deliver passionate, energetic performances, he is equally in demand for leading tenor roles from the standard repertory to contemporary works. The Colorado native can be heard on his recently released solo CD of Britten and Finzi songs, as well as on live recordings of Rio de sangre (Albany Records, Grammy® Award nomination) and, as Frank Shallard, in Elmer Gantry (on Naxos, received two Grammy® awards, and voted No. 1 by Opera News “Best of the Year”), both produced by Florentine Opera.

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Stephanie Foley Davis, mezzo-soprano

Stephanie Foley Davis

Stephanie Foley Davis was praised by The New York Times in her Glimmerglass Festival debut as “a poised, touching Ma Moss” and Opera News said she was “a loving, careworn Ma, warm of voice and presence.” And Cleveland Classical said, “…Foley Davis and Culver were terrific in their singing and in delineating their sadness” about her recent role debut of Charlotte in Nightingale Opera Theatre’s production of Werther.

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Christina Major, soprano

Christina Major

American Soprano Christina Major is a rising star, known for her sumptuous and agile “Italianate sound”. In Opera News, she was hailed as being a “sensitive actress” who “provided the highest emotional stakes of the evening.” The Dallas Morning News has acknowledged her as the “…standout, alternating fire and subtler warmth with touching, real emotional depths.”

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André Watts, piano

Andre Watts

André Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Only two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt’s E-flat Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, thus launching his career in storybook fashion. More than 50 years later, André Watts remains one of today’s most celebrated and beloved superstars.

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Cirque de la Symphonie

Aerial acrobat from Cirque de la Symphonie

Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of cirque to the orchestra hall. Each performance an elegant adaptation of some of the most amazing cirque acts, perfectly choreographed to classical masterpieces and performed by accomplished veterans including world record holders, gold-medal winners of international competitions, Olympians, and some of the most original talent ever seen.

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Winston-Salem State University Choir

The Winston-Salem State University Choir is one of the oldest student organizations on the campus of Winston-Salem State University and is well sought after for its moving renditions of major choral works, spirituals, and world music.

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Members of the 501st Legion

Star Wars characters on parade!

The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work.

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Coming Soon:
The Winston-Salem Symphony, March 2106

Beethoven’s Ninth

October 15, 16, & 18, 2016

Robert Moody, conductor
Christina Major, soprano
Stephanie Foley Davis, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Soloman Howard, bass
Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale
Dr. Christopher Gilliam, director
UNCSA Cantata Singers
Dr. Nathan Zullinger, director

Mason BATES Ode
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9, “Choral”

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