The New River Valley Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage with guest conductor Steven White April 18 at 7:30 p.m. for a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major. The concert will be held in the new Moss Arts Center.

Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” White is one of North America's premiere conductors of both operatic and symphonic repertoire. As former artistic director of Opera Roanoke, White conducted nearly all of that company’s productions from 1999 through 2010. 

In 2010 he made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting performances of "La Traviata" starring Angela Gheorgiu. In 2013 he made his debut with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in a tour-de-force gala concert with soprano Sarah Coburn. He returns to the Met in 2015 to assist James Levine in Stravinsky’s "The Rake's Progress."

Among the many orchestras White has conducted are the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Mahler composed his first symphony, often referred to as "Titan," in 1888. It is one of Mahler's shorter symphonies, but offers a dramatic musical journey through its four movements, concluding with a powerful finish.

The evening will include a presentation by White entitled "A Hero's Life Through Nature and Song: an Introduction to Mahler's First Symphony." He will be assisted by Virginia Tech music faculty members Rob Chafin, tenor, and Tracy Cowden, piano. 

The New River Valley Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of music faculty member James Glazebrook, is a university-community orchestra, and is open to students, faculty, and community residents by audition. The ensemble performs symphonic literature of the highest aesthetic value.

Tickets are $8 general, $5 student, and may be purchased online, through the Moss Arts Center box office, or by calling 540-231-5300.

The Moss Arts Center is located at 190 Alumni Mall on the campus of Virginia Tech. parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street or in the parking, in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Streets, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Additional parking is available in the Kent Squire parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.