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Take a Musical Trip with Tyzik: NY Cityscapes

January 25, 2013

For Immediate Release:  January 14, 2013
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen (RPO), 585-749-1795; Deborah Tretter (RCB), 585-461-5850
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com

Rochester City Ballet joins RPO for world-premiere choreography 

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will take audiences on a musical journey through New York City and around the world with New York Cityscapes in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.  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.  $10 student tickets are available for this concert:  rpo.org/students.

The program features world-premiere choreography set to the music of Jeff Tyzik’s New York Cityscape, a suite with five movements:  Ragtime Redux (28th & 5th), Tango 1932 (103rd & Riverside), Traffic Jammin’ (Times Square Day & Night), African Dance (Wall Street and East River Ca. 1709) and Tarantella (Mulberry Street). Tyzik wrote the programmatic piece in 2007 at the request of Eastman School of Music Professor of Conducting and Ensembles Mark Scatterday (to whom the work is dedicated), as a world premiere for the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Canadian Brass.

“When I began this project, I didn’t realize what a fun musical journey it would be,” reflects Tyzik. “I was able to translate long-held emotions and impressions of New York City into musical ideas. I also learned some interesting facts about that great city along the way. This experience was a joy!”

That feeling is echoed by Rochester City Ballet Artistic Director Jamey Leverett, who choreographed New York Cityscape. This is the second time she’s created a ballet to a Tyzik composition, the first being Bravo! Colorado.

“Working with Jeff and the RPO was an incredibly rewarding experience,” Leverett remembers. “In fact, I would go so far as to say that Bravo! Colorado inspired me to create one of my best works to date.  So, when Jeff shared with me the music for New York Cityscape – and his interest in me creating to it – I jumped at the opportunity!”

Each of the movements – named for a dance style as if Tyzik had intended the choreography all along – inspired Leverett in a different way.  For example, Ragtime Redux and Traffic Jammin’ brought out a musical theatre style that channels Bob Fosse, while Tango resulted in a sensual, contemporary pas de deux for two couples. 

“When Jeff first spoke with me about his inspiration for African Dance, one of the things that stuck with me was that for him it was a piece about hope, and you hear this almost immediately in the stunning music,” she explains.  “So, although the movement has some reference to oppression, my goal was to also bring a visual element of hope, and the beauty in that hope – a beauty that Jeff brings to life for us so clearly through the music.”

Because the RCB dancers share the stage with the orchestra, Leverett happily designed her choreography with that in mind.

“The dancers have told me that they can literally feel the energy and music when they’re on stage with the RPO, and I’m sure it’s a treat for the musicians to see the movement they’re inspiring as well,” she says. “In the past it’s been magical, and I am so looking forward to sharing in that magical combination once again in February!”

“The orchestra and I love working with Jamey and RCB, and I think audiences have a real treat in store – one that will take us all far away from a wintry February in Rochester,” adds Tyzik. 

Tyzik will also conduct the first half of New York Cityscapes’ program, which will feature a dance-inspired trip around the world:  Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town;  Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” from Gayane, Jacques Offenbach’s “Can Can” from Orpheus in the Underworld, Georges Bizet’s “Dance Bohème” from Suite No. 2 from Carmen, Bedrich Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians” from The Bartered Bride, and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite (arr. Ellington & Strayhorn/adapted Tyzik).

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.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary season, Rochester City Ballet is this region’s preeminent professional ballet company. Rochester City Ballet is committed to pushing the artistic envelope as it re-defines tradition; mixing award-winning contemporary ballets with classic masterworks. The company is comprised of 19 contracted dancers that perform an extensive season at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and the Nazareth College Arts Center. Recently completing the purchase of its studios on University Avenue, Rochester City Ballet has been listed, for the past several years, as one of the top 20 cultural attractions by the Rochester Business Journal in its annual Book of Lists - based on annual attendance. 

Media please note:  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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