Tyzik’s Images with world-premiere dance, Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony
PLUS: Around the Town & Tiny Tots Concerts, Celebrating Education!
Rochester, NY – The month of May with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) will bloom with exciting music and beloved guest artists, beginning with the return of two Rochester favorites: RPO Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman (The Christopher Seaman Chair, Supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and the Conductor Laureate Society) and pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Seaman and Nakamatsu Return takes place in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m., and features Stravinsky’s colorful rendering of a puppet that comes to life, Petrushka (1947). The program also includes Elgar’s In the South (Alassio) and Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor featuring the incomparable Nakamatsu. This concert will repeat as part of the Geneva Concerts series at the Smith Center for the Arts on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $32, available via genevaconcerts.org.
The RPO presents a free Around the Town Concert on Saturday, May 3 at 3 p.m. at James A. Beneway High School (6200 Ontario Center Road) in Ontario, NY. Guest conductor Matthew Kraemer will lead Opera’s Greatest Hits, featuring popular orchestral selections from Verdi, Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini/Hermann’s La Bohème Fantasy, Ponichielli’s “Dance of the Hours” from La Gioconda, and the Overture from Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
The RPO will host Celebrating Education! A Luncheon to Benefit the RPO’s Education Initiatives on Tuesday, May 5 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency (125 East Main St.). The fundraiser’s special guest speaker and performer will be flutist Claire Chase, whom the American Composers Forum (ACF) just named one of three 2015 “Champions of New Music.” Find out more at rpo.org/Celebrating_Education. Tickets are $55 per person/$500 for a table of ten.
Up next is Tyzik’s Images on the Pops Series, Friday and Saturday, May 8 & 9 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The RPO debuted Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik’s Images: Musical Impressions of an Art Museum—which was commissioned by Robert and Joanne Gianniny to celebrate the Memorial Art Gallery’s centennial—in 2012. This performance will feature the world-premiere choreography of Rochester City Ballet Artistic Director Jamey Leverett, performed by the exceptional dancers of Rochester City Ballet. The program also includes two more Tyzik compositions—“Call to Worship” from Pleasant Valley Suite, and “Traffic Jammin’” from New York Cityscape—as well as John Williams’ Overture to The Cowboys. Copland’s An Outdoor Overture and his iconic Fanfare for the Common Man round out the program. Projections of photography from members of the Rochester Camera Club will accompany the performance.
On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Hall at Hochstein, Principal Conductor for Education and Engagement Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) will ask the musical question “What does classical music sound like?” in Breaking Musical Boundaries. This exploration of renegade classical music works that incorporate elements of folk, ragtime, jazz, rock and more will feature two outstanding RPO musicians: Principal Cello Lars Kirvan (The Clara and Edwin Strasenburgh Chair) and Principal Clarinet Kenneth Grant (The Robert J. Strasenburgh Chair). The intriguing program includes Debussy’s “Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk” from Children’s Corner Suite, Stravinky’s Ragtime, Milhaud’s La creation du monde, Gulda’s Cello Concerto (Overture), Bill Douglas’ Feast, and Mason Bates’s Rusty Air in Carolina. Tickets are $25.
From Tuesday, May 12 – Friday the 15th, the RPO will present its annual Tiny Tots Concerts at various venues around the Greater Rochester Area, led by guest conductor Robert Franz. Open to three-to-six year olds who are in a day care, nursery school or kindergarten, this year’s Building Community program will introduce children to the instrumental families of the orchestra and basic musical concepts. The seven performances take place at Roberts Wesleyan College, Temple B’rith Kodesh, Franklin High School and the Jewish Community Center. Please visit rpo.org/Tiny_Tots_Concerts for more information.
On Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m., guest conductor Robert Franz will lead the final OrKIDStra of the season, Two by Seuss!, at the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Starting with a free, kids’ activity beginning at 1 p.m., families will enter the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with two iconic stories: an ode to finicky eaters in Green Eggs and Ham, and the story of a bird-girl who learns to like herself just as she is in Gertrude McFuzz. Tickets are $15/$10 for children.
Also on Sunday, May 17, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) will bring its season to a dramatic close with RPYO: Resounding Finale at 3 p.m. at Roberts Wesleyan College. Guest conductor James Mick will lead the 100-member teen orchestra in program that includes Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished;” J.S. Bach & L. Stokowski’s Komm, süsser Tod (Come, Sweet Death); and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (Fourth mvt.). Tickets are $10/$5 for seniors & students.
Guest conductor Yoav Talmi returns to conduct Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. Dvořák’s folk-inspired symphony captures the unsinkable spirit and limitless potential of America, while Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair)—who is currently celebrating her 10th season as RPO Concertmaster—sparkles on Sibelius’ ethereal Violin Concerto in D Minor. The orchestra will also give Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen’s Return its first RPO performance.
The 2014-15 Pops season will end on a high note with the world’s leading ambassador of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein, in his RPO debut with guest conductor John Oddo on Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominee will celebrate the musical legacy of George and Ira Gershwin.
Finally, May’s abundant offerings come to a fitting close with An English Springtime on Sunday, May 31 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Led by guest conductor Daniel Meyer, the RPO will trace the legacy of great musical landscape portraits from English composers Thomas Morley and Vaughan Williams, along with favorites like Handel’s “Water Music” and Haydn’s “London” Symphony. Concentus Women’s Chorus (Gwendolyn Gassler, director) joins the orchestra in a concert that evokes the budding energy of spring. Tickets are $25.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all of the above concerts start at $23, and may be purchased in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)—the first position of its kind in the country—the RPO reaches more than 12,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.
Media please note: High-resolution images for Philharmonics concerts may be downloaded at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8FkJzlaIpThcVY4TS1ScWhlcDQ&usp=sharing; Pops at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8FkJzlaIpThNUxERDVDUkdmM0k&usp=sharing. Interviews and photo and footage opportunities can also be arranged.