During its nearly 25-year history, the NOVA-Annandale Symphony Orchestra has performed many challenging works, from Beethoven symphonies to ragtime compositions. But within the long list of works that the orchestra has performed, the Enigma Variations of Edward Elgar must rank among the most challenging, in terms technical difficulty and interpretive demands. The work stands as one of Elgar’s most respected compositions and was largely responsible for catapulting the composer to a position of international renown. After its initial London premiere in 1899, the Variations received immediate critical acclaim and numerous international performances. The piece remains an enigma in many ways, and to date, no one has conclusively unraveled the mystery surrounding its title. It is a piece of many moods, haunting and humorous, decisive and delicate, powerful and passionate. It is my hope that as the orchestra has grown from the study and preparation of this great work and that you, our audience, will also be moved by its beauty and power. It is in every way a monumental work and its performance on November 10, 2017 will serve, I am sure, as a benchmark in the life and history of the orchestra.

-Christopher Johnston, NVCC-Annandale Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor