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Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik Extends His RPO Contract for Five Additional Seasons!

May 23, 2011

Contact: Nicole Philipp, 585.399.3680 or nphilipp@rpo.org


Special Birthday Benefit Bash Benefitting the RPO Musicians’ Pension Fund Announced for July 30

ROCHESTER, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced today that Jeff Tyzik, the RPO’s Principal Pops Conductor for the past 17 seasons, has extended his contract with the Orchestra for five additional years, through the 2015-2016 Season.  In addition, the Orchestra announced a special Birthday Benefit Bash to celebrate Tyzik’s 60th birthday—with all the ticket proceeds benefiting the RPO Musicians’ Pension Fund.  This special concert, with Tyzik conducting, takes place Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. 

“We are delighted with Jeff’s commitment to an additional five seasons!  Jeff is an inspiring leader, an engaging community ambassador and an experienced, innovative conductor, composer, and arranger.  He continues to provide the RPO with the best in Pops programming.  Christopher Seaman, Jeff Tyzik, Michael Butterman, and our new Music Director-Designate, Arild Remmereit, are the best team any orchestra and community could ask for,” said Suzanne Welch, RPO Board Chair.

Jeff Tyzik remarked, “I'm thrilled to extend my relationship with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for the next five seasons.  I feel a very special bond with the RPO. I also have great affection for our loyal audiences who have supported and encouraged me to continue to create new and interesting concerts of the highest musical integrity.
“My role in Rochester is a dream scenario for me as a musician, conductor, and composer,” he continued.  “Over the last 17 years I have been encouraged to ‘step outside the box’ usually associated with the position of Principal Pops Conductor by having opportunities to conduct on the classical series, recording projects, and being commissioned to compose original compositions for orchestra.  There is still room for my artistic growth in Rochester and that is a major part of my decision to continue with the RPO.
“Also, I am very optimistic about the future of the Orchestra in this time of economic and artistic challenges. Our wonderful Board of Directors, led by Suzanne Welch, our incredible staff, led by CEO Charlie Owens, and our world-class musicians are all working together to solve the immense difficulties that all non-profit organizations face during times of economic uncertainty.  We are all dedicated to maintaining the highest level of quality in our presentations. We are also committed to developing a fiscally responsible and sustaining model of operation that guarantees a sound future for the RPO.
I have enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with our outgoing Music Director Christopher Seaman and I look forward to an exciting collaboration with our Music Director-Designate Arild Remmereit.”

Charlie Owens, RPO President & CEO commented, “Over the past 17 seasons, the extended RPO family has come to appreciate Jeff’s uniqueness among Pops conductors given his remarkable and multi-faceted talents as a composer, arranger, record producer and the creator of ever-evolving, ever more imaginative Pops programming that emphasizes the orchestra and highlights the talents of our fine musicians. Jeff is a vital part of what makes this Orchestra truly great and uniquely versatile, and we are delighted that he will be our Principal Pops Conductor for another five seasons.”

During the 2011 Summer Season, Tyzik can be found conducting six concerts with the RPO including The Music of John Williams: Star Wars, Harry Potter and More! at CMAC on July 9 and Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in Concert in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on July 16.  Other performances include Summer Spectacular at SUNY Geneseo on July 8, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a post-Red Wings concert, on July 17; Temple B’rith Kodesh Benefit Concert on July 27; and a July 30 Birthday Benefit Bash.
Jeff’s Birthday Benefit Bash
The July 30 Birthday Benefit Bash for the RPO Musicians’ Pension Fund will treat audiences to a wide range of favorite works—including a few of Tyzik’s own—and will feature RPO musicians in solo roles.  There also will be a few additional surprises as Tyzik has invited colleagues and friends from over the years to join the Orchestra on stage.  RPO musicians featured include David Brickman, Peter Kurau, Jim Tiller, Michael Griffin, Ray Ricker, and Mark Kellogg; special guests include Mambo Kings and Tonio DiPaolo.

“The RPO musicians have set the bar for how shared sacrifices within our organization can help to set the Orchestra on a more sound financial path toward the future.  Over the last two seasons, the RPO musicians, conductors, and staff have given more than $1 million in concessions.  Jeff, in honor of his colleagues, has donated the fee he would have received to conduct this concert back to the Musicians’ Pension Fund.  This pension benefit concert, which also allows us to celebrate Jeff’s milestone birthday, is just one way we are committed to our musicians, their livelihoods, and the great music they continue to perform week after week,” Owens said.

Suggested minimum ticket prices for this concert are $25 (zones 3 & 4), $45 (zones 1 & 2), and $65 (box seats).  To purchase tickets for this or other RPO events, call the Eastman Theatre Box Office at 454-2100 or go online to www.rpo.org.  All donations above-and-beyond ticket prices are encouraged.

An accomplished composer and arranger, Tyzik has written more than 200 works for orchestra, including a trombone concerto commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and performed at Carnegie Hall. His newest commission, a timpani concerto written for RPO Principal Timpani Charles Ross, was premiered by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Christopher Seaman, in January 2010.

His compositions and arrangements have been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, Doc Severinsen and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Summit Brass, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble.

In May 2007, harmonia mundi released a recording of Tyzik conducting works by Gershwin with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the RPO, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard classical chart. He also has produced and composed theme music for many of the major television networks and released six of his own albums.

Jeff Tyzik’s Career Highlights
• Won a Grammy-award in 1987 for the album The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen, Vol. 1
• Named RPO Principal Pops Conductor in 1994
• Commissioned to compose Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra (an NEA grant), composed in 2002, and Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra that premiered in January 2010, in addition to more than 200 compositions and arrangements for the RPO
• Conducted the RPO on six recordings, including the 2007 critically acclaimed Billboard Top Ten Gershwin CD with Jon Nakamatsu on the harmonia mundi label
• Multiple appearances on the RPO’s Philharmonic Series
• Initiated unprecedented Pops Series sponsorship from Wegmans Food Markets, 1995-2010
• Involving over 2000 high school students to perform with the RPO at annual Gala Holiday Pops concerts
• 300% growth in RPO Pops Series ticket revenues since 1995
• Beginning with the 2011-2012 Season, expanding the RPO Pops Series weeks from nine to 10 concerts
• New Memorial Art Gallery (Rochester) Anniversary commission for 2012
• Named Principal Pops Conductor of the Oregon Symphony in the 2008-2009 Season
• Named Principal Pops Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony in 2003-2004 Season
• Recent guest conducting highlights include: Royal Scottish National Orchestra, June 2010 - programmed and conducted a 3-week Pops Festival in Glasgow and Edinburgh; Boston Pops, June 2010; Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 2010, 2009, 2008; Dallas Symphony at Vail Valley Music Festival, 2011, 2010
• Other Guest Conducting highlights include: repeat engagements with the Cincinnati Pops; repeat engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; annual appearances with North American symphony orchestras such as Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee
• Composed and produced theme music for HBO, Cinemax, ABC, NBC
• Arrangements and compositions recorded by London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Vancouver Symphony, RPO, Summit Brass, Eastman Wind Ensemble
• Release of six commercial albums as solo jazz trumpeter on Capitol Records, Polygram and Amherst Records

Editors Please Note:

Jeff’s Birthday Benefit Bash
Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Jeff Tyzik, conductor
David Brickman, violin
Tonio DiPaolo, tenor
Michael Griffin, bass
Mark Kellogg, trombone
Peter Kurau, horn
Ray Ricker, saxophone
Jim Tiller, vibraphone
Mambo Kings

Program to include: John Williams’ Escapades (Catch Me if You Can), Dorsey Suite
(arranged by Jeff Tyzik), Autumn in New York (arranged by Jeff Tyzik) and Neapolitan Songs. 

Suggested minimum ticket prices for this concert are $25 (zones 3 & 4), $45 (zones 1 & 2), and $65 (box seats).  To purchase tickets for this or other RPO events, call the Eastman Theatre Box Office at 454-2100 or go online to www.rpo.org.  All donations above-and-beyond ticket prices are encouraged.

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