YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra hasn’t performed together live since everything was shut down in mid-March. But on Saturday night, the Symphony will return on a limited basis.
For the first time since the pandemic, the symphony will perform live on stage. It’ll be to honor the late conductor Randall Fleischer who died in August.
Michael Strauss and his viola will be the soloist for Saturday night’s concert. There will be only 12 musicians, all with string instruments on the Powers stage.
“We are doing a string orchestra concert he actually conceived of originally,” Strauss said. “We have to do it in Powers because we need the airspace for safety concerns, the distancing and spacing, the stage, everything. Powers is equipped to handle this and to put safety as a top priority.”
Strauss has an interesting story. He’s a professor of the viola at Youngstown State University. He got his position while talking football with Jim Tressel backstage at a symphony concert.
“He said, ”You know, I was watching you in the orchestra. Do we have a viola teacher at Youngstown State?’ Actually, I said I think the violin teacher handles the viola responsibilities, and he said, ‘We should have a viola teacher shouldn’t we?'”
Saturday night’s concert begins at 8 p.m. Only 300 people will be allowed to attend. Seating is general admission, and tickets are $30. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office through Friday. There will be no will call or tickets sold on Saturday night.