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Intertwined Personal Drama Inspires Musical Triumphs

February 07, 2008

RPO’s Symphony 101 Concert Explores the Emotional Works and Lives of Composers Schumann & Brahms

Rochester, NY – On its fourth concert in this season’s Symphony 101 series, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra focuses on composers Schumann & Brahms, whose intertwined lives inspired some of the most distinguished and elegant works in the orchestral repertoire.  The concerts will take place on Friday, February 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performance Hall at Hochstein, and Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m. in the Hale Auditorium, Roberts Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College

Through musical demonstrations by the RPO and insightful discussion by Maestro Seaman, audiences will explore how the complex friendship of Schumann and Brahms inspired the exquisite compositions that fused Classical traditions and Romantic passions.  The two composers became best friends until Schumann’s mental illness and Brahms’ secret love for Schumann’s wife, pianist Clara Schumann, tore them apart. The RPO will illuminate the rise and fall of this friendship with excerpts from works by each composer: Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 and No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 1, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, “Spring” and Symphony Nos. 2, 3 and 4. (Note: this repertoire has changed since the original announcement.)

The 2007-08 Symphony 101 Series concerts delve into the motivations, everyday lives and masterpieces of composers from Bach to the present day. Music Director Seaman leads these engaging and innovative concerts that feature discussion, musical examples, selections from significant works and complete pieces.  Following each concert, Mr. Seaman takes questions from the audience. 

General admission tickets for these performances are $22, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) in person from the RPO Box Office and at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  RPO Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). 

The Symphony 101 Series is sponsored by PAETEC Communications, Inc. Additional support for this series is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. 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.

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.

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