The Richmond Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is making plans to return to Civic Hall stage beginning in September to celebrate two milestones. The RSO celebrates its 65th anniversary and Conductor Guy Victor Bordo will step on the stage to open his 25th and final season at the helm of the orchestra.
“After so many seasons, I have realized that it is time to plan the next chapter in my life which involves family and other interests,” says Bordo. “The number of great memories and the many wonderful friends Deb and I have made in Richmond will stay with us always.”
Due to the pandemic, there is some uncertainty regarding the specifics of the RSO’s return to stage but the organization is intent on holding six concerts in its anniversary season. “We ask for continued patience as we plan for a return of the RSO musicians and patrons to Civic Hall. We want to ensure we follow the guidance of the Wayne County Health Department and are working closely with them on contingency plans for seating Civic Hall based on capacity limits and social distancing,” comments Kathy Girten, RSO Board President. “The entire board is eager to honor and celebrate Guy Bordo’s legacy.”
Twenty-five years ago, charged with selecting and hiring the RSO’s third conductor, the search committee sorted through 250 applicants. Some of the foremost qualities necessary for selection included: an interest and commitment to imaginative programming and wide range of repertoire; an ability to elicit enthusiasm from both players and audiences; and a willingness to have a presence and work within the community to aid the organization’s growth and stability. It is evident that the search committee was successful in its hiring; Guy Bordo delivered on all accounts.
“This has been the most important collaboration of my career.” Bordo shared with the Board. “I have been most grateful for your wonderful support, the hard work of the staff, and the dedication of the musicians. My wife Deb and I both appreciate the way the community has made us feel a part of Richmond. You have my deepest gratitude for what will be 25 meaningful years with the RSO.”
The RSO Board asks for continued patience into the summer. Says President Girten, “We are all hopeful for a return to ‘normal’ very soon. Our musicians are eager to play together and make music for your enjoyment. The staff can’t wait to safely invite you back into Civic Hall. The board is eager to live out the mission of the RSO to provide enriching musical experiences for you to enjoy.”
The RSO has set concert dates and encourages patrons to mark the following dates on their calendars for the 2021-2022 season: September 18, October 23, December 5, January 29, March 5 and April 9. Girten continues, “At this point, we are unable to release repertoire for the dates we have scheduled. We need to meet social distancing requirements on the stage and prioritize the safety of our musicians which will affect the programming. Yet it will be the same level of excellence we have come to expect every time the RSO takes the stage.”
In the meantime, the RSO is expanding its popular RSO Sunset Series. The first event will be held on May 27 at 6 pm in Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Richmond Symphony Brass will perform a collection of patriotic, inspirational and American tunes. The event is free to the public, but guests are asked to RSVP at RichmondSymphony.org or call the office at (765) 966-5181 and bring chairs or lawn blankets for the seated performance.
The RSO board will begin plans for the search for its next conductor.