Symphony wraps up concert season with weekend performance

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Leslie Van Becker. Courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony will end its concert season this weekend and say goodbye to two retiring musicians. 

The symphony will perform this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, at DeVos Performance Hall, at 303 Monroe Ave NW. 

The season finale concert will feature a full orchestra and chorus for a total of over 200 musicians on stage. The symphony will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” and will be joined by guest soloists Jessica Rivera and Susan Platts. 

Grand Rapids Symphony also say farewell to two longtime musicians. 

Leslie VanBecker, principal viola, will retire after 45 years with the orchestra. 

“I am very grateful I was able to work all these years making music and sharing it with our audiences,” VanBecker said. “My hope is that the Grand Rapids Symphony will continue to inspire all of us in the future.”

Leo Hazen. Courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

Leo Hazen, section bass, will retire after 36 years.

“It has truly been an honor to be a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony for the (past) 36 years,” Hazen said. “I am so lucky to have been making music with all of the terrific musicians for the classical, pops and broadway musicals.”

The symphony will be conducted by Marcelo Lehninger with chorus director Pearl Shangkuan.

The symphony also will recognize milestone anniversaries for several other musicians. Kevin Flannery will celebrate 45 years with the symphony, David Hall celebrates 35, and Alexander Miller will celebrate 30, among several others. 

Tickets to the performances are available here.

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