75th Diamond Celebration


APRIL 26, 2025 @ 7:30 PM


Section A: $40
Section B: $35
Section C: $25
Student Tickets: $5

Individual tickets go on sale September 1st

Join us for our 75th anniversary celebration with a unique concert featuring esteemed partners including Jackson School of the Arts, Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Chelsea, and Jackson Chorale. With special guests Stephen Osmond, Richard Sherman, Ralph Votapek, and Mitsuru Kubo, our collage concert combines captivating music, nostalgic videos, and reflections on our impactful history. From classics to contemporary pieces, experience the diversity and spirit of collaboration that defines us.

Join us for a free, interactive lecture before the concert at 6:30pm.


Johann Strauss, Jr.
Fledermaus: Overture (1874)

César Franck
Symphonic Variations (1885)

Edward Elgar
“Nimrod” from Enigma Variations, op. 36 (1898–1899)

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Finale: Allegro con fuoco from Symphony No.4, op. 36 (1877–1878)

Dmitri Shostakovich
Festive Overture, op. 96 (1954)

Fernande Decruck
Noel from Sonata in C#

Howard Hanson
Serenade, op.35 (1945)

Horacio Fernández
Bachata from Tumbao

Alexander Borodin
Polovtsian Dance with Chorus from Prince Igor



Location: TBD

Sponsored by Rehmann

Keep the celebration going after the baton is down and the instruments are put away. Taking place in various locations around Jackson following Saturday evening concerts, these events are a great opportunity to mingle with musicians, guest artists, composers, other symphony fans, and of course, the Maestro. All are welcome at this event and the $20 ticket buys you entry, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks.


Stephen Osmond
Guest Conductor

Maestro Stephen Osmond’s triumphal 40 years as music director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra set a high standard as one of the longest tenures for any conductor in the history of American orchestras. Over four decades, his leadership was consistently distinguished by musical excellence for the orchestra and forward-thinking vision for its programs and facilities. Maestro Osmond followed a rich and varied path to Jackson, including hundreds of performances from France to China to cities all over the United States.

Growing up on the North Shore of Chicago, he attended New Trier High School and had leading roles in musical theater productions there. During his undergraduate education at Northwestern University, Osmond conducted musicals and participated in summer conducting workshops with Robert Shaw.

While completing his Master’s Degree in music at Yale, he directed or performed with talented fellow students including Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver, as well as renowned professionals such as Kurt Kasznar and Carmen de Lavallade. His mentors included three of the five principal European emigres who brought their traditions to America in the second half of the Twentieth Century: Gustav Meier, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Herman Genhart.

Early in his professional career, Maestro Osmond established himself as a creative programmer who engages orchestras and audiences alike in music from all eras, but especially the Twentieth Century. His collaborations with Louis Magor, Gustav Meier and Michael Tilson Thomas led to the creation of Westboro Music Festival near San Francisco.

In the Chicago area, he was the founder and first director of the North Shore Theatre Company. Maestro Osmond was also a guest conductor for orchestras in the Midwest and on both coasts, including the Amadeaus Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, and the Westboro Festival Orchestra. He held professorships at SUNY Albany and the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was conductor and music director of the University Philharmonia Orchestra and Contemporary Directions Ensemble, with performances at venues including New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall.

He became music director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in 1977 and held that post until retiring 2017. Guided by Maestro Osmond’s artistry, professionalism, and passion, the JSO reached artistic and educational goals that were transformative. Under his leadership, a valued and respected amateur community orchestra developed into one of the finest regional orchestras in the Midwest.

Artistic highlights of his JSO tenure include the establishment of several opera and ballet ventures. Ballets were collaborations with established companies from Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, while opera productions were home grown in Jackson. Maestro Osmond became widely known for deeply moving performances of great classical repertory, and entertaining performances on pops stages. Reviews from New York Times, Detroit News, Albany Knickerbocker News, Lansing State Journal, and Jackson Citizen Patriot praised his performances for energy, style, and magnetic podium demeanor.

Maestro Osmond decided that if he wanted the Jackson community to support his orchestra, he should support the community. He served on six boards of directors, including eight years on the local school board (seven as either president or vice president), and five years with the Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks to Maestro Osmond’s firm conviction that education is critical for the future of classical music, particularly orchestral music, in 1992 the Jackson Symphony Orchestra became one of the first community orchestras in the country to establish a Community Music School. He was an early creator of other educational programs including the Pied Piper program, String Teams, The Family Music Fair, the Community String Ensemble, Back Stage Glimpses, and various lecture series.

As executive director as well as music director of the JSO, Maestro Osmond demonstrated management expertise best exemplified by 38 years without a single budget deficit.

Twice he led successful fund drives to create a beautiful headquarters for the JSO, a space Maestro Osmond helped to design. Raising more than $4 million, the orchestra renovated a former downtown store structure to provide rehearsal and performance space for the orchestra, as well as offices and classrooms for its programs and for other Jackson performing arts groups. Orchestras in communities 20 times the size of Jackson have nothing comparable to the JSO building.

More information about Maestro’s Stephen Osmond’s achievements with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra is available in the booklet “The Osmond Years,” available by clicking here.

Mitsuru Kubo

Mitsuru Kubo is a homegrown, dynamic musician. You could say she began studying music in the womb, while her mother studied piano performance in college. A native of Seattle, Mitsuru grew up in a home that revolved around music; she even lived with her first piano teacher – her mother! She rebelled against convention at the age of 7 by choosing the viola as her primary instrument. The highlight of her early musician life was as a devoted member of the Seattle Youth Symphonies, performing with them frequently at Benaroya Hall, Key Arena, Meany Hall, and Safeco Field.

At age 12, she travelled abroad to study in Seoul, South Korea at the prestigious and competitive Sun Hwa Performing Arts School. Upon returning to Seattle five years later, she studied with Helen Callus at the University of Washington – Mitsuru later followed Professor Callus to the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in California, Mitsuru was Assistant Director of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s Preparatory String Orchestra and was a frequent freelancer. She went on to continue her education at the Peabody Institute of Music under the tutelage of Victoria Chiang, completing her Graduate Performance Diploma.

Mitsuru has attended festivals all over the country, including Marrowstone Music Festival, the Heifetz Institute, Centrum Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Her performance opportunities include playing for classical music greats Yo-Yo Ma, Marin Alsop, Richard Goode, Gil Shaham and James Galway to name a few. Her performance credits include venues such as Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

Recently, Mitsuru has been sought after as a soloist. She has collaborated with conductor Matthew Aubin and composer Jeremy Crosmer to premiere new works with both the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and The Chelsea Symphony. Mitsuru also continues to expand on a range of musical styles. Mitsuru co-wrote and recorded an album with alternative pop/rock band Sonic Cult, with whom she toured across the US, Korea and Japan. Mitsuru is a founding member of the BeneSori String Quartet, members of which she met on the set of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, playing for Imagine Dragons. She is also a regular member of The Chelsea Symphony, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Westchester Music of India Group.

In addition to her performance career, Mitsuru is a dedicated teacher. Along with her private studio, she is on faculty at Love Viola USA, Friends With Music and the 4Strings Music Festival.

Mitsuru’s future engagements include a residency at Washington State University and a return solo appearance with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman is professor of flute at the Michigan State University College of Music. Active as a soloist, orchestral musician, and recitalist, Sherman is a dynamic performer of outstanding dramatic power. He is principal flute with the Chautauqua (New York) Symphony Orchestra, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and former principal flute with the Rochester (New York) Philharmonic Orchestra. He has given performances with the Chicago Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony. His work as a soloist includes the Columbus Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Lansing Symphony, and Chautauqua Symphony, among many others.

Sherman was the recipient of an ITT International Fellowship for study at the Royal College of Music in London and received the Henri Cohn Memorial Prize at Tanglewood for most outstanding fellowship student. As an educator, he oversees a vibrant flute studio at Michigan State University while also giving master classes throughout the country, including the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, Ohio State University, Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, and University of Michigan, among others. In 2020, he was presented with the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award, honored for a comprehensive and sustained record of excellence in creative activities, instruction and outreach. The award was highlighted in an article in The Chautauqua Daily. He previously received, as voted by his peers, the Excellence in Teaching Award, funded by the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Endowed Fund for Excellence in Teaching.

Internationally, Sherman has given master classes and recitals in Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Ireland, and Puerto Rico. He also leads a Michigan State University study abroad course in Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin which has proven a transformative experience not only for flute students but other student musicians as well. In summers he serves as Head of Winds, Brass, and Percussion at the Chautauqua School of Music. In the Lansing area, Sherman is the founding artistic director of the Absolute Music Chamber Series in Old Town, a nonprofit organization which presents eclectic interactive outreach concerts. He is also the artistic director of the Lansing Symphony Chamber Series under the auspices of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

Sherman’s recordings with pianist Ralph Votapek, Flute Sonatas and American Landscape, are released on Summit Records. He has released three recordings on the Blue Griffin label with a fourth on the way. The French Album, with pianist Kimberly Schmidt, was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. Fanfare’s Jerry Dubin writes: “I cannot imagine any of this music being more beautifully or lovingly played than it is here…” Sherman’s French Album II: Homage to Pedagogy, with Votapek, was released in 2012, and French Album III: Bucoliques, with pianist Minsoo Sohn, was released in 2015. Music of the British Isles, with pianist Genadi Zagor, was released in summer 2019. Of Sherman, Fanfare’s Jim Svejda writes: “On the evidence of this album of British flute music, he is both a subtle, imaginative, technically flawless flutist and—even more to the point—a first-rate musician.”

Ralph Votapek

Ralph Votapek is professor emeritus of piano at the Michigan State University College of Music. He is the gold medalist of the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award. Votapek has been featured 16 times as the Chicago Symphony’s guest soloist, has played with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Boston Pops, the Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, National Symphonies, and other top ensembles.

With eastern hemisphere concerto engagements stretching from London to Taiwan, he has also toured in Russia, Japan, and Korea. He has made a special commitment to Latin America, where he has toured for nearly 50 years, performing repeatedly in Buenos Aires, Rio, Santiago, and other cities. He recently received the Foreign Artist in Recital Award from the Argentine Association of Music Critics. He is equally celebrated as a solo recitalist throughout the United States and has performed repeatedly in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and the National Gallery in Washington. Guest appearances with the Juilliard, Fine Arts, New World, and Chester String quartets highlight his extensive chamber music experience.

Votapek was the soloist on Arthur Fiedler’s last Boston Pops recording, a Gershwin program released on CD by London Records and most recently available as a part of the Deutsche Grammophone CD titled “The Arthur Fiedler Legacy.” In recent years he has recorded prolifically for the Ivory Classics and Blue Griffin labels. On the former he recorded the complete Debussy Preludes, the complete Goyescas of Granados, and a collection of important 20th century works. On the latter there are “Votapek Plays Gershwin,” “The Votapeks from Mozart to Piazzolla,” and the complete works for piano and cello of Beethoven with cellist Suren Bagratuni. They have been critically acclaimed by Grammophone, American Record Guide, International Piano, and Fanfare magazines.
His wife, Albertine, frequently joins him in two-piano and four-hand recitals. They have appeared in Buenos Aires under the auspices of the Mozarteum Argentino, on the Van Cliburn Series in Fort Worth, the Pabst Theatre Series in Milwaukee, and on many college campuses. In 2022 Votapek did his 26th tour of Argentina with a recital at the teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

Votapek is now retired from Michigan State University, where he served as artist-in-residence for 36 years.

This Classical Concert will be Votapek’s 10th appearance with Stephen Osmond and the JSO Symphony.