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Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Announces 11th Music Director

September 15, 2010

Arild Remmereit Takes the Title and the Podium in September 2011

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ROCHESTER, NY - The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) adds to its world-class tradition with the announcement today of Arild Remmereit [ah-reeld REM-mer-ite] as the Orchestra’s 11th music director. The Norwegian-born conductor begins his four-year contract in September 2011. Remmereit and his wife, Honami, who currently reside in Vienna, Austria, plan to make Rochester their home.

RPO President and CEO Charles Owens remarked, “We were faced with the challenge of finding someone who enhances the world-class music-making and artistic excellence of this great Orchestra, while understanding the importance of our place within the greater Rochester community. We have found that person in Arild Remmereit. All of us on the search committee were dazzled by his energy, passion and visionary ideas on the role a symphony orchestra can play in contemporary society.”

RPO Board of Directors Chair Suzanne D. Welch stated, “I would like to sincerely thank the search committee, composed of musicians, board, and staff, for all their hard work. The committee identified criteria that our new maestro must have. The standards were set high, and I am proud to say Arild Remmereit fits perfectly.”

Of his new position, Arild Remmereit said, “It is an extraordinary honor to be appointed Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra plays with such a high artistic integrity, beautifully nourished by Christopher Seaman for these past 13 seasons. I look forward to building upon the historic foundation set by my predecessors. I am also excited that my wife, Honami, and I will make Rochester our new home. The time that I have spent in this city, and with this great Orchestra, gives me every confidence that we can accomplish amazing things together.”

RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik said, “At this pivotal moment in the history of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, I am thrilled to add my sincere welcome and heartfelt congratulations to Arild Remmereit, a superb musician and wonderful person who we have chosen to be our new music director. Arild's passion for music is infectious and his world-class musicianship is on the highest level. I look forward to collaborating with Arild to ensure a vibrant future for the RPO, one of America's greatest orchestras.”

“Arild Remmereit is an exciting new face on the American conducting scene and he will bring a new level of vitality and energy to Rochester and the RPO. We are thrilled to welcome him as our next Music Director,” said Stefan Reuss, RPO Principal Cello and co-chair of the search committee.

Over a five-month period in 2005, Arild Remmereit made five dramatic debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Vienna Symphony, quickly establishing himself as a major talent on the international scene. During this period, The New York Times wrote:  “…he showed utter self-assurance, using clear and wide-ranging gestures, particularly in a breathtakingly dynamic reading of the Schumann [Symphony No. 4]…The only thing listeners seemed to want to talk about afterward was Mr. Remmereit. ‘Sensational’ was the word heard most frequently.” Remmereit was immediately re-engaged in Pittsburgh, Vienna, Milan and Baltimore, and since then has conducted a number of other prominent orchestras around the world as well, including the Detroit Symphony and England’s Hallé Orchestra, where he has appeared frequently; the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale in Florence performing three Beethoven symphonies; the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Bamberg Symphoniker, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic, among many others.  In 2005 he made an acclaimed debut at the Teatro alla Scala conducting Tchaikovsky’s opera Cherevicki.

Highlights of his 2010-11 season include performances of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze, return engagements with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony and, next week, a debut with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, to name several.

Born in Norway, Remmereit began piano lessons at the age of six, studied trumpet, and performed as a boy soprano. In 1986, he graduated from the Norwegian Conservatory of Music, earning master degrees in voice, piano (jazz and classical), and composition. It was at a conducting seminar in 1985 at the Aspen Music Festival that he was inspired to change his focus. From 1987 to 1992, he studied conducting in Vienna under the direction of Prof. Karl Österreicher at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, where he also participated in a master class with Zubin Mehta. Remmereit studied with Leonard Bernstein at the Orchestra dell Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and assisted him in several recordings in Vienna between 1987 and 1990. 

Remmereit takes the podium for 11 weeks in September 2011, succeeding Christopher Seaman who held the position for 13 seasons. Until then, he holds the title of Music Director Designate. Remmereit was last in Rochester in July 2010 for his third performance with the RPO. He made his Rochester debut in May 2009, as a last minute substitute. His concerts have wowed musicians, critics, and audiences alike. For more information—including photos, a biography, and critical acclaim for Arild Remmereit—visit www.rpo.org/remmereit.


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