Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Reimagined 2020-2021 PATHWAVES Season

Special guest artists include internationally acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Larisa Martinez.

By: Aug. 20, 2020

Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Reimagined 2020-2021 PATHWAVES Season

The Grand Rapids Symphony and Music Director Marcelo Lehninger announced today Pathwaves presented by SpartanNash, the Symphony's reimagined 2020-2021 artistic season.

During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, your Grand Rapids Symphony has created ground-breaking new ways to share the gift of music with the West Michigan community with a dynamic and innovative season of concerts, delivered via live stream with support from Fox Motors, starting with a multistage setup in the Van Andel Arena and an intimate chamber setting at St. Cecilia Music Center this fall. Programming for the 2021 portion of the season will be announced at a later date.

The Grand Rapids Symphony will re-unite for the first time since March. The concerts will feature performances by socially-distanced orchestral ensembles, performed without intermission, and streamed live to patrons' homes, reflecting the Symphony's commitment to the health and safety of musicians and audiences alike. The concerts will include a live audience when health and safety requirements allow.

"It would have been simple and easy for us to step away from our mission of delivering great music during the pandemic," said Mary Tuuk, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony. "But now, more than ever, we know that music can greatly enrich our lives. Over the next nine months, the Grand Rapids Symphony will feed our souls in the wake of immense societal challenges. We are heartened by the inclusive and healing ways we can bring music to the West Michigan community.

Music director Marcelo Lehninger has redesigned the 2020-2021 season to include six virtual fall programs presented by Wolverine Worldwide; four from the Van Andel Arena, and two from St. Cecilia Music Center. The Symphony will return to DeVos Performance Hall in January 2021, with concerts through May. Previously announced programming for the 2020-2021 season will be rescheduled for the 2021-2022 season as feasible.

"Plans and programs may change, but our commitment to music and performing for our audience is unwavering," Lehninger said. "I am very excited to return to the stage with your Grand Rapids Symphony."

The new Pathwaves series includes varied styles of music and diverse composers, like waves of hope leading us down our community's path of healing. Special guest artists will include internationally acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Larisa Martinez. The Symphony also has engaged composer James M. Stephenson as Musical Collaborator to create several new arrangements for the orchestra. The Symphony's opening concert will prominently feature a collaboration with the Grand Rapids Ballet. Programs will include intimate chamber music from "Final Fantasy" video games and the popular Metro Health Holiday Pops.

"It will be an inspiring and creative approach," said Lehninger. "You'll see many familiar faces on our programs, and our musicians will be featured in unique ways."

Current 2020-2021 subscriptions will be honored with free virtual access to the six fall concerts and DeVos Performance Hall concerts in 2021. Current subscribers also will be eligible to attend concerts in-person as audiences are permitted to return. A subscription package is available to new subscribers for $76 that grants access to all six virtual concerts from September through December.

A separate subscription package for the 2021 concerts will be available at a later date. Single tickets for most concerts are $15. Single tickets for programs with Joshua Bell and for the Holiday Pops are $25. Because of the virtual delivery format, student discounts will not be offered. The Symphony Scorecard program continues for the season.

The best part? You don't have to do a thing but watch your email for the link to view the concerts while they are performed live. Emails will be sent closer to the concert date. If you are a Friday or Saturday subscriber, you'll get the link for the appropriate Friday or Saturday concert. To learn more, please visit

"We are deeply committed to continuing our mission of delivering great music," Lehninger said. "Now, more than ever, we will walk together to restore our collective wellbeing through our reimagined season, Pathwaves.

PATHWAVES: Grand Rapids Symphony Fall 2020 programming

Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., Van Andel Arena


Marcelo Lehninger, conductor | Grace Kim, violin | Andrew Laven, cello

Grand Rapids Ballet | Michael Schaeffer, accordion

Music from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet with a performance by the Grand Rapids Ballet.

Friday, October 16, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., St. Cecilia Music Center


Edye Evans Hyde, vocals | Mike Hyde, guitar

The concert highlights music for chamber strings and brass with performances by vocalist Edye Evans Hyde and guitarist Mike Hyde.

Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., Van Andel Arena


Marcelo Lehninger, conductor and piano

The program welcomes Lehninger to the piano to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 while also conducting from the piano.

Friday and Saturday, November 13-14, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., Van Andel Arena

VOICE AND THE VIOLIN featuring Joshua Bell

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor | Joshua Bell, violin | Larisa Martinez, soprano

In the past, they've performed separately in Grand Rapids. Now experience the incomparable violinist Joshua Bell and the sizzling soprano Larisa Martinez, husband and wife, together with your Grand Rapids Symphony.

Friday, November 20, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., St. Cecilia Music Center


Eric Roth, guest conductor

A New World: Intimate Music from FINAL FANTASY presents fresh arrangements of music from throughout the 25+ years of the FINAL FANTASY catalogue for a variety of chamber ensembles. The programs feature string quartets, piano and guitar solos, duos, trios and other mixed groups of instrumentalists to produce an immediate and personal encounter with the extraordinary FINAL FANTASY musical themes, characters and settings.

Friday and Saturday, December 4-5, 2020 | 7:30 p.m., Van Andel Arena


Bob Bernhardt, conductor | Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Pearl Shangkuan, director

Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, Sean Ivory and Leah Ivory, co-directors

Embellish | Special Appearances by Capathia Jenkins, vocals and Tony DeSare, piano/vocals

The West Michigan holiday tradition features familiar holiday favorites with your Grand Rapids Symphony and includes virtual performances from the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, vocalist Capathia Jenkins, and singer/pianist Tony DeSare.

Subscriptions for the Pathwaves Series are available online at


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