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George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Presents BBC Concert Orchestra Keith Lockhart, principal conductor Charlie Albright, guest pianist Friday, April 24, 2015 at 8 p.m.

March 23, 2015
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.


FAIRFAX, Va., March 23, 2015 – Beginning in the early 1950s as a radio orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra has become one of the world’s most respected and versatile ensembles, with an enviable reputation in light music, opera, ballet and musicals. The world-renowned orchestra appears at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 8 p.m. as a part of its third American tour with principal conductor Keith Lockhart. A pre-performance discussion is free for ticketholders and will be held 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Joined by acclaimed pianist Charlie Albright, the BBC Concert Orchestra will perform music by British and French composers. The program includes Maurice Ravel’s light-hearted memoriam piece “Le Tombeau de Couperin” and jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G major; Benjamin Britten’s “Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell” (otherwise known as “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”); and Vaughn Williams’ folk song-inspired “Norfolk Rhapsody” No. 1 in E minor. The orchestra also will perform William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” orchestral march, which was first performed at the coronation of King George VI in 1937, and was later performed at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and as part of the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.

                  The BBC Concert Orchestra has been the house orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s “Friday Night Is Music Night” since 1952. It has also been featured on the soundtracks of the television shows “Blue Planet” and “Planet Earth.” It is often featured on BBC Radio 3, and heard on BBC soundtracks including “Africa” and “The Paradise.”

Keith Lockhart was appointed as the seventh principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2010, and has conducted performances at The Proms, as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s Gala Diamond Jubilee Concert. He is celebrating his 20th season as the conductor of the Boston Pops, and continues to serve as artistic director of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina.

                  Praised by The Washington Post as being “among the most gifted musicians of his generation” and The New York Times for his “jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality,” Charlie Albright’s many accolades include the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2011 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts from Harvard University. Albright has had numerous collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and has served as the artist-in-residence at Harvard University’s Leverett House – a position once held by Ma himself – and was the youngest artist-in-residence ever for Performance Today. Albright was the first classical pianist to be accepted into the Harvard College/New England Conservatory Joint Degree Program, completing Bachelor’s degrees in pre-med and economics and a Master of Music degree in piano performance; he also holds an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.


Program subject to change.

Tickets for BBC Concert Orchestra are $60, $51, $36. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GMU_CFA.


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.