Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Opens SoundBites Series With Grammy-Winner Sasha Cooke

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) announces the first concert of its chamber orchestra series, The Elizabeth Stifel Kline Foundation presents  SoundBites Vol. III: Opening Night with Sasha Cooke. The event will be held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on November 20, 2021, with a cocktail reception and cello ensemble performance at 5:30 p.m. and a concert and dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

The first concert of the WSO’s 2021-22 SoundBites series will take place at the historic  Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Wheeling on November 20, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The chamber orchestra will be conducted by Maestro John Devlin and feature guest artists Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke and Cellist Elisa Kohanski. The music will be paired with an enticing gourmet meal prepared by Adam Luiso, Executive Chef of Roxby Development. 

The concert will begin with the first movement from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, followed by The Work at Hand, a composition of three symphonic songs by American Jake Heggie.  The program will conclude with the exciting Rossini’s Overture to Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). 

“This concert is remarkable in many ways,” says Music Director John Devlin. “We will be performing in the Scottish Rite Cathedral which has never before been the site of public orchestral performance and our WSO musicians will be returning to live indoor performance after many months of delay. Musically, the program is likely to elicit a range of emotions. I am eager for audience members to experience The Work at Hand a powerful composition by Jake Heggie based on poetry by the late Laura Morefield. The Work at Hand will feature Ms. Cooke and the WSO’s principal cellist Ms. Kohanski.” 

Music Director John Devlin.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a  “luminous standout” (New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). Ms. Cooke is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras,  opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music. Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies worldwide,  including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Bordeaux, Los Angeles Opera and many more. During her career, she has been engaged by more than 70 orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. 

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Elisa Kohanski, principal cellist of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player while championing unique artistic collaborations. She has performed with the Miami String Quartet, Olivia Newton-John, Robert Shaw, Gustavo Dudamel, Garrison Keillor, Harry Connick, Jr., and in halls around the world including Carnegie Hall; Royal Albert Hall; Schlossfestspiele in Heidelberg; and Stefaniensaal in Graz, Austria. She is Principal Cellist of Pittsburgh Ballet, a member of Pittsburgh Opera, performs with Pittsburgh Symphony, Taconic Music and has played with Columbus Symphony.  

  • Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke will be the guest artist for the WSOs first concert of the 2021-22 SoundBites series.

In addition to a sensational orchestral program, SoundBites patrons will be treated to an exciting menu meticulously planned by Maestro Devlin and Chef Adam Luiso. The three-course meal, designed to complement the musical program, will begin with veal and mushroom bolognese-stuffed portobello mushroom and end with desserts of panna cotta and chocolate tortes. The main course, inspired by Heggie’s The Work at Hand will feature five unique bites to be enjoyed throughout the piece. Patrons will also enjoy a signature cocktail and wine. 

For information about the safety protocols for attending these concerts, please visit wheelingsymphony.com/safety.  

The SoundBites concert series is presented by The Elizabeth Stifel Kline Foundation and “Opening Night with Sasha Cooke” is generously supported by concert sponsors Roxby  Development and Lou & Charlotte Khourey


Tickets to SoundBites: Opening Night with Sasha Cooke are $85. In addition to the concert,  cocktail, and meal, patrons will have access to a cash bar. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 304-232-6191, via email at boxoffice@wheelingsymphony.com, or in person at the box office, located at 1025 Main Street, Suite 811, Wheeling, WV 26003.  




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Wheeling Symphony Orchestra 

Your Community, in Concert 

Celebrating over 90 years of serving the Ohio Valley with great live orchestral music. From subscription concerts and holiday spectacular events to chamber series and educational concerts, the Wheeling Symphony provides world-class musical entertainment throughout the Ohio Valley. Led by Music Director John Devlin, the WSO continues to be the smallest city in the US to support a symphony of this size and caliber.