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Happy Birthday, Mozart!

January 08, 2013

The RPO:  Happy Birthday, Mozart!
Yoav Talmi, Andrew Constantine will conduct programs
RPO Principal Trombonist Mark Kellogg featured in Mozart and More


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) celebrates the anniversary of Mozart’s (257th) birthday this month with two programs:  Mozart and More on Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, January 26 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall in Eastman Theatre (also Friday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Smith Opera House in Geneva); and A Mozart Family Affair on Sunday, January 27 at Hochstein Performance Hall at 2 p.m.

Current RPO Music Director Arild Remmereit was originally scheduled to conduct both programs, but hasn’t confirmed that he will do so. The RPO has therefore secured celebrated conductor Yoav Talmi, currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv and Conductor Emeritus of the Quebec Symphony in Canada, to conduct Mozart and More on January 24, 25 and 26. Andrew Constantine, Music Director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic as well as the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, will conduct January 27th’s A Mozart Family Affair.  

“We’re very fortunate to have been able to arrange, on short notice, for both of these exciting conductors to lead our orchestra in the Mozart concerts,” says RPO President and CEO Charles H. Owens. “We’re especially pleased to welcome back Mr. Talmi, whose last performance in March of 2011 with the RPO was particularly auspicious, and are looking forward to having Mr. Constantine join us for the first time.”

Continuing this season’s spotlighting of individual orchestra members, Mozart and More will also feature RPO Principal Trombonist Mark Kellogg (The Austin E. Hildebrandt Chair) on Concertino for Trombone and String Orchestra, Op. 45 No. 7 (1955) by the late Swedish composer, conductor, teacher, music critic, opera coach and radio producer, Lars-Erik Larsson. An RPO member since 1989, Kellogg is also a jazz musician, recitalist, soloist and Associate Professor of Trombone, Euphonium and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music. He is married to RPO flutist Joanna Bassett.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, and showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood.  Beginning with his first composition at age five, Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces, including at least 41 symphonies. Mozart and More highlights his Symphony No. 40 in G minor, completed in the summer of 1788, along with his 39th and 41st (and final) symphony. Although interpretations differ, the 40th Symphony is unquestionably one of Mozart's most greatly admired works, and it is frequently performed and recorded.  

Also on the Mozart and More program is Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21. Beethoven’s first symphony (published in 1801) is clearly indebted to his predecessors, particularly Mozart as well as Beethoven’s teacher, Joseph Haydn, who wrote of Mozart that “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.”

Mozart and More also features Machine by Pulitzer-prize winner, Jennifer Higdon, one of the U.S.’s most-performed living composers. In 2010, she received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto. Higdon wrote Machine as a tribute to composers such as Mozart and Tchaikovsky, who were able to “write so many notes and so much music that it seems like they were machines!” This work was commissioned and premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. in 2003.

Additional support for Mozart and More is provided by the Mozart Performance Fund:  Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess.  Tickets start at $22.

A Mozart Family Affair – on Mozart’s actual birthday – will feature music from three generations of Mozarts:  Wolfgang, his father Leopold, and his son Franz Xaver. Wolfgang Mozart’s work will be represented by music from his Symphony No. 1 and one of his last, the 40th Symphony; excerpts from one of his most popular pieces, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; and one of his opera overtures, Overture to the Marriage of Figaro. Leopold’s Trumpet Concerto will feature RPO Principal Trumpet Douglas Prosser (The Elaine P. Wilson Chair). The concert will also include one of his Divertimenti (Divertimento in D Major, “Bauchernhochzeit” or “Peasant Wedding”), a programmatic piece that contains sounds of the hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, gunshots and hootin’ and hollerin’. Franz Xaver, much of whose music is no longer in existence, will be represented by his 2nd Piano Concerto. All in all, the concert will traverse about 70 years (1760-1810) of composition through the Classical Period. Tickets are $24.

Tickets for all concerts 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. Tickets and info for the RPO at Smith Opera House are available at thesmith.org/events/rochester-philharmonic-orchestra, by e-mailing boxoffice@thesmith.org or by calling 1-866-355-5483 (toll free).  

Since its founding in 1922, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music. 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:   More information on our guest conductors is available at: http://www.hughkaylor.com/CONSTANTINE-ANDREW-BIO.html and http://www.schmidtart.com/artists/yoav_talmi.  High-resolution photos are available upon request and at docs.google.com/folder.  Interviews, as well as photo/footage opportunities, can be arranged.

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