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From Our Musical Family to Yours, RPO Goes Around the Town with Competition Winner

September 11, 2007

Rochester, NY – She may be only 21, but the talents of violinist Elena Urioste – the 2007 winner of the 10th Annual Sphinx Competition – have earned her a spot as the featured soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the opening pair of Around the Town concerts on October 2 and 3, 2007.  Ms. Urioste, the 2007 Senior Division First Place Laureate, will be performing Saint-Saëns’ Havanaise under the baton of guest conductor Marlene PauleyThe Sphinx Organization is the national non-profit arts and youth development organization committed to diversity in classical music.  Its mission is to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of African-American and Latinos in the field.  Ms. Urioste’s ethnicity is Mexican and Basque.

The pair of free concerts will take place on Tuesday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the School of the Arts (45 Prince Street) and Wednesday, October 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church (17 Allens Creek Road).  The program is titled “From Our Musical Family to Yours” and is intended to show off the different sections of the orchestra through diverse musical selections.  In addition to the virtuosic Havanaise – written in 1887 and based on the Cuban habanera rhythm – the program ranges from short musical selections by Holst, Tchaikovsky and Dukas to a Super Mario Brothers Medley, Pirates of the Caribbean and Stinkin’ Garbage (featuring the percussion section on 30-gallon metal garbage cans).  There also will be audience participation and instrument demonstrations.

In addition, Ms. Urioste will be working with students at the School of the Arts on Tuesday, October 2, and at Rochester City School #17 (158 Orchard Street) on Wednesday, October 3, details to be determined.

A fifth-year student at The Curtis Institute, Ms. Urioste began her violin studies in Philadelphia and made her solo debut at 13 with the Philadelphia Orchestra as winner of the Albert M. Greenfield Competition. Since then, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras throughout the country including the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Pops, and the Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Jersey and Hartford Symphonies, garnering critical acclaim for her commanding stage presence and the lyricism of her playing. In July, 2007 she debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra performing Barber’s Violin Concerto, earning rave reviews from the Washington Post.  In 2004, Ms. Urioste made her Carnegie Hall debut as a featured soloist in the Sphinx Gala Concert, returning as a soloist in the 2006 Gala.  In 2004, she was presented in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as the youngest musician ever selected for the Young Performers Career Advancement Showcase. 

Conductor Marlene Pauley has made a name for herself through the education concerts she has designed and conducted for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s nationally recognized CONNECT Education Program. Her choice of repertoire, commanding stage presence and excellent rapport with young people have made her a favorite among audiences and musicians alike.  Last season, she conducted the RPO’s primary concerts at the Eastman Theatre. Pauley has toured with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra as clarinet soloist and assistant conductor, and established and became conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica. In 1999, she was invited to create and conduct a series of education concerts; by 2002, the SPCO Family Concerts became the orchestra’s best-selling series. In addition to her appearance with the RPO, Ms. Pauley has conducted the Naples (FL) Philharmonic, Grand Teton Music Festival and other orchestras.

The Around the Town program is a community partnership in which the RPO moves from the concert hall into various neighborhoods to perform six free concerts per year designed to engage audiences with light classics and familiar favorites.  Venues include houses of worship and other community locations.  The partner venues assist with promoting the concert in their neighborhood and serve as liaison between the RPO and their community.  Around the Town concerts are sponsored by The Democrat and Chronicle, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation.  

Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester. 

Note: Interviews and photos of Ms. Urioste and Ms. Pauley are available on request.

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