Masterworks Opener to Feature Violinist, Music Director Finalist

The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s next concert of the 2018-19 season, Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique, conducted by music director finalist Timothy Hankewich and featuring guest artist Bella Hristova, is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling.

BELLA HRISTOVA (photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

The Masterworks opener features Felix Mendelssohn’s overture to A Midsummers Night’s Dream, a tour-de-force performance from Avery Fisher grant recipient, Bella Hristova, who the Washington Post hails as “a player of impressive power and control,” and Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Symphony No. 6.

Hristova enjoys a growing international career as a concert and chamber violinist. During her 2017-18 season, she performed and recorded Beethoven’s 10 Sonatas for Piano and Violin in a nationwide recital tour presented by Chamber Music New Zealand, with acclaimed pianist Michael Houstoun. Hristova also performs standard concerto repertoire and those by American composers Lukas Foss, Samuel Barber and David Ludwig, appearing with the Chautauqua, Austin and Milwaukee symphonies, among others. As part of her busy and varied career, she performs recitals and chamber music throughout the U.S.

Maestro Timothy Hankewich returns to Wheeling to conduct the opening Masterwork’s concert, after opening the season with “Surf’s Up! A Tribute to the Beach Boys.”


“I am extremely excited about my upcoming masterworks performance with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra as it features some of my all-time favorite pieces. Audiences are in store for quite an emotional roller coaster in this program,” said Hankewich.

“In my view, the 6th Symphony represents Tchaikovsky at his greatest. With the highest highs and lowest lows of the Tchaikovsky, we’re complementing the work with my favorite violin concertos of all time — the Sibelius violin concerto featuring the considerable talents of Bella Hristova. This piece goes toe-to-toe with the Tchaikovsky in terms of passion with plenty of fireworks that will be sure to launch the audience to their feet,” he said.

Subscribe to Weelunk

“To round off the program, I’ve decided to start with a light-hearted, frothy work by Mendelssohn — his overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Assembling a program is much like putting a great meal together. Knowing what’s in store for the audience with the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky, I want to avoid exhausting people prematurely with too much of the same high-octane style of music. The Mendelssohn makes the perfect light-hearted appetizer to open the concert before the soloist and orchestra give it to the audience with both barrels! This is going to be fun and I can’t wait to see you there.”

Hankewich is currently the music director for Orchestra Iowa, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he resides with his wife Jill. He is a native of Dawson Creek, British Columbia. He graduated with both his bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the University of Alberta. He received his doctorate in instrumental and opera conducting from Indiana University.

Prior to the concert, patrons can purchase a pre-show, prix fixe dinner, catered by Dianna’s Cakes and Catering in the Capitol Theatre Ballroom starting at 5:30 p.m. A free Concert Talk is set for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom where Maestro Hankewich and other guests offer an informative and intriguing look at the story behind the music to be presented that evening.

Immediately following the performance, the board of directors invites attendees to stay for a free post-show reception with Maestro Hankewich and other members of the symphony orchestra.

Tickets to Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique start at $18.50 and can be purchased online, by phone at 304-232-6191, via email at, or in person at the box office, located at 1025 Main Street, Suite 811, Wheeling.

Patrons 18 or younger can get tickets for $7.50.  Additional discounts are available for college students and groups of 10 or more. Pre-concert dinner tickets cost $25 per person. For reservations, call 304-232-6191 or email More information is available at