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CHRISTOPHER SEAMAN RETURNS: Conductor Laureate leads RPO March 7 & 9

February 25, 2013

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For Immediate Release:  February 25, 2013
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com, @PR4Arts
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com

Conductor Laureate leads RPO March 7 & 9
Guest artist:  pianist William Wolfram

Rochester, NY – Christopher Seaman returns for the second time since his fond farewell as music director at the end of the 2011-12 season to lead the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) on Thursday, March 7 (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday, March 9 (8 p.m.) in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets to Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman start at $27 ($10 student tickets) 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. 

“I am thrilled to return to Rochester,” says Seaman, who led the RPO for 13 seasons – the longest-tenured music director in RPO history – and whose 70th birthday celebration was a highlight of his RPO guest appearance last March. “After 13 years, I feel so connected to the musicians and the community.”

Another local connection:  in July, University of Rochester Press will publish his Inside Conducting, a wise but humorous look at the art of conducting from the instigator of the RPO’s popular Symphony 101 series. Seaman’s been writing the book (already available for preordering at Amazon.com) while “thoroughly enjoying freelance conducting” in Poland, Portugal and the U.K.

Pianist William Wolfram also returns as a guest artist, performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25. Wolfram was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, and finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He’s appeared with many of the greatest orchestras of the world and has regular and ongoing close associations with the Dallas Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. His world premiere performance of the Chihara re-orchestration of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, with the Milwaukee Symphony under the baton of Andreas Delfs, was met with great critical attention and acclaim. The Seattle Times praised Wolfram’s “polished brilliance.”

Also on the program are Antonín Dvoƙák's Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 1; Op. 72, Nos. 2 and 7, excerpts from his series of 16 orchestra pieces, which were well received at the time and remain among the composer’s most memorable, festive and celebratory works. Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944, “Great” will conclude the program in grand style.  The lengthy and difficult work wasn’t performed until after the composer’s death and then rarely – until it achieved standard repertoire status. It earned its nickname out of respect for its size, energy and richness.  

“Always close to my heart, Schubert’s “Great” Symphony’s stature and spirituality separate it from the vast majority of the repertory,” Seaman explains. “It provides the most wonderful and satisfying journey.”

“I think I speak for all of us at the RPO – and all of Rochester as well – when I say that we look forward very much to this visit from our Conductor Laureate,” adds RPO President and CEO Charles Owens.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents up to 150 concerts a year, serving nearly 200,000 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 14,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Media please note:  High-resolution images are available upon request and at docs.google.com/folder.  Interviews, as well as photo and footage opportunities, can be arranged.


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