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Beethoven's "Eroica" Program Offers "Heroic" Mix

April 05, 2013

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For Immediate Release:  April 4, 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

Margaret Brouwer’s Remembrances, Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2
Guest conductor Courtney Lewis & violinist Sergei Krylov make RPO debuts
 Plus, Sunday Matinee:  Beethoven and the Making of Genius

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and guest conductor Courtney Lewis present Beethoven’s “Eroica” on Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.  Tickets start at $22 ($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.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 28-year-old Courtney Lewis is founder and music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra whose mission is to introduce inner-city school children to classical music while bringing new and unusual repertoire to established concert audiences.  Lewis is also associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he regularly conducts Young People’s concerts, outdoor concerts and others.  At age 23, he made his major American orchestra debut with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and he since has conducted (among many others):  the Atlanta, Alabama, Jacksonville and Milwaukee symphonies; Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

"I am very excited about making my debut with the RPO – not only because of the great orchestra, but because we will spend a week with what is for me probably Beethoven's greatest masterpiece, the ‘Eroica,’” says Maestro Lewis.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Eroica,” Op. 55 (Italian for “heroic”) will close the program. It’s “an astonishing watershed in the history of orchestral music; a stirring declaration of artistic and spiritual independence; and in both physical size and visionary spirit, a model for countless compositions by later composers,” according to Don Anderson, one of North America’s most widely-published authors of program notes, including those for the RPO.

The varied program begins with the Rochester debut of American composer Margaret Brouwer’s Remembrances, which was commissioned and premiered by the Roanoke Symphony in 1996.  The tone poem is an elegy and a tribute to Brouwer’s great friend, Robert Stewart, who was a musician, a composer and a sailor.

“It was such a delight to spend time in Rochester last spring when the RPO premiered my Caution Ahead - Guard Rail Out,” says the vibrant 73-year old. “Working with the excellent staff, and at the talks I gave to patrons, I made many friends, so it is a pleasure to know that Remembrances will be shared with them.”

Brouwer’s work has earned praise for its lyricism, musical imagery and emotional power. She has received an Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was named a Guggenheim Fellow, and was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowship. In January 2006, Naxos released a CD of her orchestral music called Aurolucent Circles, featuring percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Many of the U.S.’s most distinguished ensembles regularly program her works, and they’ve been played by the Seattle, Dallas, Detroit and Columbus symphonies, among others.

Rounding out the diverse program is Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880)’s best-known work, the romantic Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 22, featuring guest violinist Sergej Krylov.  Born into a musical Moscow family in 1970, Krylov took up the violin at the age of five and first played with a symphony orchestra at 10 years of age.  He has since established himself as one of the most talented violinists of his generation, and regularly performs with some of the most prestigious orchestras and conductors in the world.  Since 2009, he’s also been the music director of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, regularly taking on the double role of soloist and conductor.

Courtney Lewis will also conduct Beethoven and the Making of Genius on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Hall at Hochstein. He’ll discuss Beethoven’s development of a new path for the symphony, illustrated by excerpts from Beethoven’s ballet music from Creatures of Prometheus, “Eroica,” early sketches for Symphony No. 3, and Mozart’s Overture to Bastien and Bastienne. 

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 12,000 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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