The Virginia Chamber Orchestra begins its 35th season tomorrow night with a free concert of works by Boccherini, Mozart and Haydn and featuring the violin talents of Nurit Bar-Josef, the concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra, under the direction of Luis Haza, will perform Boccherini's Overture in D Major, Op. 43; Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A; and Haydn's Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp Minor. Bar-Josef will take the spotlight during the violin concerto.

Bar-Josef has been the National Symphony Orchestra's first chair since September 2001, shortly after she arrived in Washington from Boston, where she spent three years as assistant concertmaster with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Music critic Joseph McLellan, writing in Washingtonian magazine last year, said "Bar-Josef's technical mastery of the violin would qualify her for an international solo career. She plays with precision, great tonal warmth, and a sure sense of style."

Haza, a National Symphony Orchestra violinist for nearly 30 years, has earned accolades in the Washington area for decades, first as the director of the American Youth Philharmonic orchestra and more recently for his leadership of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra. In 2002, under Haza's direction, the American Youth Philharmonic received a Heroes Award for outstanding achievement from the Recording Academy -- the same organization that sponsors the Grammies.

Washington Post critic Cecelia Porter has described the Virginia Chamber Orchestra as "one of the Washington area's best regional ensembles."


The Ernst Community Cultural Center is at 8333 Little River Tpk. on the Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus. Admission is free; tickets are not required. For information, call 703-758-0179 or visit

National Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef will perform a Mozart violin concerto with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra tomorrow. Luis Haza is the Virginia Chamber Orchestra's music director.