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November with Your RPO

October 29, 2012

For Immediate Release:  October 26, 2012
Media Contact:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com, @PR4Arts
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO


  From Over the Rainbow to The Nutcracker
Jeff Tyzik’s world premiere celebrates MAG’s 100 years
Arild Remmereit conducts Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) kicks off four concerts this November with a touching tribute to a great American songwriter in Over the Rainbow: Celebrating the Music of Harold Arlen, on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3 at 8 p.m. 

Although “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz was voted the twentieth century’s No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment of the Arts, many of Arlen’s more than 500 songs are known the world over. This program features 16 of those Great American Songbook works, including his first well-known song, “Get Happy;” his many compositions with lyricist Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” “That Old Black Magic” and many more); his later works with Johnny Mercer (“Come Rain or Come Shine”); and of course, the Buffalo native’s music for The Wizard of Oz

Guest conductor Ron Spigelman, music director of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta and principal pops conductor for the Fort Worth Symphony, will lead the program, which received its world premiere earlier this year with the Minnesota Orchestra. Guest performers are vocalists George Bugatti and Hilary Gardner, along with pianist Tommy Barbarella, bassist Jeff Bailey and drummer JT Bates.  Projections of historic footage and photographs with narration will engage the audience in Arlen’s life as well as with his music.  Included is never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage that Arlen himself took during the making of The Wizard of Oz, as well as rare footage of a young Judy Garland recording “Over the Rainbow” for the 1939 film.

The following week, the world premiere of RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik’s Images:  Musical Impressions of an Art Museum is part of the Philharmonics Series concert, Copland, Bernstein – and Tyzik on Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 10 at 8 p.m. Commissioned by former Memorial Art Gallery board president Robert Gianniny and his wife, Joanne, to celebrate the Gallery’s 100th anniversary, each of the 40-minute piece’s seven movements was inspired by a different work from the MAG collection:  Albert Paley’s Convergence, Wendell Castle’s Dr. Caligari Clock, The Night Before the Battle by James Henry Beard, Stela No. 9: Two Dancing Figures (Mayan culture), William Ordway Partridge’s Memory, Summer Street Scene in Harlem by Jacob Lawrence, and Found Portraits Collection: from the Cambodian Killing Fields at Tuol Sleng by Binh Danh.

“Soon after I agreed to compose this suite, I walked among the artworks at the Memorial Art Gallery with an entirely new perspective, and chose pieces that made me feel something,” says Tyzik. “Each movement is a musical story based on those feelings.  For example, Albert Paley’s metal gate, Convergence, has a celebratory and heralding feel.  I also wondered how the sculpture would sound if it was a musical instrument, and there are several points where musical ideas ‘converge’ and create new departure points.”

“What better way to begin the Gallery’s centennial celebration than this collaboration between two of Rochester’s finest cultural institutions,” adds Grant Holcomb, MAG’s Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director.

The concert will also feature RPO Principal Clarinetist, Kenneth Grant (The Robert J. Strasenburgh Chair) playing Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. Commissioned by swing legend, Benny Goodman, the concerto’s technical demands made Goodman so nervous that he put off premiering it for almost two years, finally giving the piece its first performance on a radio broadcast with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1950. 

Also on the program are Leonard Bernstein’s yearning, bluesy On the Waterfront Suite, as well as Michael Daugherty’s atmospheric Route 66. Tyzik will conduct the entire concert.

On November 15 (7:30 p.m.) and 17 (8 p.m.), RPO Music Director Arild Remmereit returns to conduct the month’s second Philharmonics concert: Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique,” featuring the composer’s passionate, final work, Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique.” Also on the program is the Introduction to Modest Mussorgky’s opera, Khovanshchina, with orchestration by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

In addition, Eastman School of Music piano student Saet-Byeol Kim will perform American composer Amy Beach’s Piano Concerto in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 45.  Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony was an audience sensation at Arild’s inaugural concert last season.

Closing out November and ringing in the holiday season is The Nutcracker, Rochester’s only full-length, live music performance of this enchanting classic, conducted by Michael Butterman (the Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair). This is the 14th year that the RPO has partnered with Rochester City Ballet, which is celebrating its 25th season (Jamey Leverett, artistic director), and Rochester’s Bach Children’s Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director) for the spectacular holiday production that includes 175 community children along with Rochester City Ballet’s world-class dancers.   Performances are November 23, 24 and 25 at 2 and 7 p.m. each day.  

Tickets start at $22 for all performances (with $10 children’s tickets for The Nutcracker), and are available in person at the Eastman Theatre box office (433 East Main Street) or at area Wegmans; by phone at (585) 454-2100; or online at rpo.org.

About the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO):  Now celebrating its 90th season, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1923.  The RPO presents nearly 200 concerts a year, serving 250,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Music Director Arild Remmereit continues the traditions of such notable former music directors as 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 19-year tenure with the RPO.  With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)—the first position of its kind in the country—the RPO reaches 15,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Media please note:  high-resolution photographs are available, and interviews as well as photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.  Please visit rpo.org for more information.

Additional media contacts for The Nutcracker: 
Deborah Tretter, RCB:  585-461-5850; Katie Redmond, Dixon Schwabl:  585- 899-3271




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