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The Four Seasons Features two Virtuosas: BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta & RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde

December 06, 2012

For Immediate Release:  December 6, 2012
Media Contact:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com, @PR4Arts

BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta & RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde 

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s The Four Seasons, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 15 at 8 p.m., unites two virtuosas to perform Antonio Vivaldi’s timeless set of four violin concertos:  RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett and Claya Ward Chair), and guest conductor JoAnn Falletta, who serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. The program also includes Giacomoa Puccini’s Capriccio sinfonico and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian.”

Acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” JoAnn Falletta is internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader. An effervescent and exuberant figure on the podium, she has been praised by The Washington Post as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.”

Since stepping up to the podium as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall of 1999, Maestro Falletta has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. Under her direction, the Buffalo Philharmonic has become one of the leading orchestras for the Naxos label, with their recordings earning two Grammy Awards and five Grammy nominations. Performance highlights include a concert at Carnegie Hall in May 2013, as part of the Spring for Music Festival, and the Orchestra’s debut this past summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Ms. Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras. This year, she will make return engagements with the Krakow Philharmonic in Poland and the Goettingen Symphony in Germany. In November, she made her debut with the Rijeka Philharmonic in Croatia where her concert was hailed as one “destined to be written in golden letters in the annals of musical life in Fiume (Rijeka).”

"I am delighted to be working again with the Rochester Philharmonic,” says Ms. Falletta, “and especially pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Juliana Athayde.”

Concertmaster of the RPO since 2005, Juliana Athayde previously held the same position with the Canton and Plymouth symphonies. She has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra, and has performed nationally and internationally with The Cleveland Orchestra. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Athayde made her solo debut at the age of 16 with the San Francisco Symphony. She has made numerous solo appearances with the RPO, including the 2010 premiere of Allen Shawn’s Violin Concerto, and is excited to share The Four Seasons with the RPO audience. 

“I look forward to working with Maestro Falletta as I have heard wonderful things about her conducting and this will be our first collaboration,” says Ms. Athayde. “Also, I love exploring the connections between the music and the poetry, finding new ways to evoke the narrative through my rendition of this wonderful work.” 

Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Antonio Vivaldi’s best-known work and among the most popular Baroque pieces. It has been used in many films (Spy Game, A View to Kill and What Lies Beneath, to name a few) and sections are immediately recognizable to many people who may not even know its title or composer. Vivaldi was inspired to write four sonnets – divided into three phrases each – which are reflected in the three movements (fast-slow-fast) of each of his four violin concertos. Each concerto expresses its respective season and sonnet precisely and descriptively, and The Four Seasons is considered a masterpiece of Baroque “program” music – music that is intended to evoke images or convey the impression of events.

Tickets start at $22, 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. NEW:  $10 student tickets are now available to all Philharmonics Series concerts and selected Pops concerts:  rpo.org/Student_Tickets.


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. Notable former music directors include 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 may be downloaded at joannfalletta.com/press or docs.google.com/folder, and interviews as well as photo and footage opportunities can be arranged.  Please visit rpo.org for more information.

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