FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sparkling Diamond Anniversary Opener "Shining Start"

Updated: Oct 3, 2019

Featuring brilliant young violinist William Hagen – concert to include the beautiful “Blue Danube” waltz and opens with 25 brass players onstage with the orchestra

For Immediate Release: Young guest violinist William Hagen joins MSO for a Shining Start!.

Jackson, Mississippi, October 1, 2019—On Saturday, October 12th at 7:30pm, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will present the first concert of its Selby and Richard McRae Foundation Bravo Series, Shining Start. Janáček’s “Sinfonietta”, Sibelius’ “Finlandia”, and Strauss, Jr.’s “Blue Danube Waltz” share a shining spotlight with guest violinist, who dazzles in Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto.

Leoš Janáček’s powerful “Sinfonietta” opens the performance with a blast from at least 25 brass players and tympani joining the orchestra onstage, sets the ideal tone for the celebration of MSO’s 75th season. What follows are blasts from the past in stellar selections from MSO’s very first concert in 1944.

Johann Strauss, Jr.’s masterpiece “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” waltz effectively portrays the elegance and romance of the nineteenth-century Viennese aristocracy, and is familiar to musicians and non-musicians alike.

On Thursday, October 19, 1944, the Victory Room at the Heidelberg Hotel was filled with the sounds of Sibelius’ “Finlandia”, in the inaugural concert of the Jackson Symphony. Conductor Theodore Russell was chair of the music department at Mississippi State College for Women, and on the faculty at Millsaps and Belhaven.

After putting the finishing touches on his Fourth Symphony, Tchaikovsky poured himself into the music of the extraordinarily beautiful Violin Concerto in D Major. This piece on the program shines a spotlight on American violinist, William Hagen. A Salt Lake City native, 26 year old Hagen made his debut with the Utah Symphony at age 9, and calls the beloved Concerto “as good as it gets”. He will hold a FREE masterclass at JSU on Thursday, October 10th from 3:30-5pm, and it will be open to the public.

The MSO Bravo Series presents five concerts per year, all at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets for Bravo I: Shining Start are $27 & up for adults and $5 for children/students, when accompanied by a paying adult. Advance tickets may be purchased at, by calling (601) 960-1565, or by visiting the MSO office at 201 E. Pascagoula Street between 10am and 5pm, Monday thru Friday. Tickets will also be available at the Thalia Mara Hall box office at 6:30pm on the evening of the concert. Don’t forget the FREE pre-concert lecture by Dr. Tim Coker at 6:45 in the upper lobby of Thalia Mara. Cash bar will be available. For more information on this concert and others in the 2019-20 Diamond Anniversary Season, visit our website or see us on


Concert – Selby and Richard McRae Foundation Bravo I: Shining Start

Masterclass – Violinist William Hagen


Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Crafton Beck, MSO Music Director and Conductor

William Hagen, guest violinist


Concert – Saturday, September 12, 2019, 7:30 pm

Masterclass – Thursday, October 10, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 pm (*time correction)


Concert – Thalia Mara Hall (downtown Jackson)

Masterclass – Jackson State University (F. D. Hall Music Center)


Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

(601) 960-1565 or

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.