Nielsen Sinfonia Espansiva

Featuring 2023 Young Artist Competition Gold Medalists

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA’s 2023/24 season continues with the 2023 National Young Artist Competition gold medal winners on January 20-21 at Skyview Concert Hall. This annual program is regularly among most anticipated of the VSO’s symphonic season and is now drawing viewers from across the nation via live stream. Violinist Esme Arias-Kim of Illinois will perform Ernest Chausson’s Poeme, saxophonist Diego Chapela-Perez of Texas will perform Alexander Glazunov’s Concerto in E flat Major for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra, and pianist Xinran Shi of California will perform Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

In the second half of the program, Maestro Brotons will conduct the great Danish composer Carl Neilsen’s Symphony No. 3. Nielsen’s work is a significant part of the cultural identity of Denmark. Known as Sinfonia Espansiva, it premiered in 1912 amid growing international strife in Europe. Despite this, Symphony No. 3 is a contagiously optimistic work, powerful and bold. It is one of Nielsen’s most significant works, and unique in featuring two vocal parts which will be performed by local star vocalists Alexander Adams and Saori DeBruyn.



Violin - Esme Arias-Kim, Illinois, 11th grade
Winds/Brass - Diego Chapela-Perez, Texas, 12th grade
Piano - Xinran Shi, California, 9th grade



Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Glazunov Concerto in E flat Major for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra
Chausson Poeme
Nielsen Symphony No. 3


One hour prior to the program’s start on both performance days, a pre-concert talk on the history of the works on the program will be held in Skyview Concert Hall for all ticket holders.

What: Nielsen Sinfonia Espansiva

When: Saturday, January 20 at 7:00 pm, Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 pm

Where: 1300 NW 139th St, Vancouver, WA 98685  

The Saturday performance will begin at 7:00pm, with the return of the celebrated VSO pre-concert show Da Capo, hosted by VSO Podcast host Ashley Johnson and VSO trombonist Greg Scholl, airing only on the live stream at 6:30pm. During intermission the live stream will feature special video programming. The Sunday performance will begin at 3:00pm, with the virtual live stream programming beginning at 2:30.

All ticket holders will receive a secure email link in order to access the live stream performances.

Our tech support team will be on standby to assist you if you have any issues logging in during the performances.


About our Sponsors

The VSO is generously supported by individual donors, The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Realvest Corporation, United Grain Corporation, The Kuni Foundation, Oregon Public Broadcasting, the AC Hotel Mariott, The Columbian, Columbia Credit Union, Dick Hannah, Gravitate, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, All Classical Portland,  Michelle’s Piano Co., Steinway & Sons, Pacific Office Automation, and The VIC.

VSO Pre-Show

The 2023-2024 Concert Season welcomes back the critically acclaimed video series from the VSO! Hosted by Greg Scholl and Ashley Johnson, this exciting pre-show will broadcast on the VSO concert live stream 30 minutes before the concert performance. Full of fascinating information about the repertoire and plenty of laughs, you won’t want to miss it!


Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson has been with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since October of 2019. Since December of 2019 she has been the host and producer of The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Podcast, interviewing prominent VSO figures and guests as well as sharing past VSO performances in the special series VSO Encore. Ashley graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a degree in English Literature, and has been active in the Vancouver arts community for over 15 years. She was formerly the music director for the Young Slocum House Players in 2011, and was on the Board of Pacific Stageworks Theater Company from 2019-2023.

Outside of saying flowery things about recordings of classical music Ashley co-hosts a film podcast, produces independent films, and spends time with her daughter Imogen and her husband Will (the superhero who keeps Skyview Concert Hall running). 

Greg Scholl

Greg Scholl has played trombone in the VSO since 1993 - he became principal trombone in 1995. He is also principal trombone in the Portland Columbia Symphony and the Newport Symphony. Greg also plays locally in the Portland Brass Quintet and the Portland Festival Symphony. He has performed with the Oregon Ballet Theater, the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Willamette Master Chorus, and the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. He has performed with the Oregon Repertory Singers and the Portland Symphonic Choir. Greg was formerly second trombone in the Austin Lyric Opera.
Greg is the trombone and low brass instructor at Pacific University. He obtained a trombone performance degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Donald Knaub. Prior to that he studied with Peter Kline and David Brown in San Antonio, TX. Greg plays in the Portland modern jazz duo Dos Hermanos de Hale Bopp. He also plays guitar and trombone in a variety of styles with local bands and performers such as the Rhythm Dogs, Goombahttsi, and Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Justin Shandor.
After rejecting the millions of dollars people offered him to play the trombone, Greg obtained a law degree in 1995 from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. During most business days he can be found practicing law as the director of the capital case team at the Metropolitan Public Defender. He enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, reading, camping and hiking, collecting things like Conan the Barbarian comic books, LP records, and concert recordings of the Grateful Dead, and being married to incredible principal bassoonist Margaret McShea. Their son Ben is now in college - he was practically raised at VSO rehearsals back in the day.