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RPO: RITE OF SPRING AND RACHMANINOFF 90th season closer celebrates 100 years of Stravinsky masterpiece

May 16, 2013

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For Immediate Release:  May 15, 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

90th season closer celebrates 100 years of Stravinsky masterpiece
Guest artists:  conductor Tito Muñoz & pianist Leonardo Colafelice
Winner of Eastman Int’l Competition, 17-year-old Colafelice, tackles Rach 3

Rochester, NY – Closing out its 2012-13 season, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), with guest conductor Tito Muñoz, presents The Rite of Spring & Rachmaninoff on Thursday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 1 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.

The program begins with the New York State premiere of young American composer Adam Schoenberg’s Finding Rothko, divided into four movements:  Orange, Yellow, Red and Wine. Next is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s technically-daunting Concerto No. 3 in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 30, with guest pianist, Leonardo Colafelice. In 2012, the current 17 year-old added the gold medal from the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition to his unprecedented collection of prestigious awards. This year alone, he won the Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition in Arizona, the Aarhus Competition in Denmark, the Hilton Head Competition, the Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, and the Thomas & Evan Cooper International Competition at Oberlin. He is currently a fourth-year high school student and attends the Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory of Music in his native Bari, Italy. Colafelice regularly performs as a soloist in Italy and the U.S., where he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with The Cleveland Orchestra last summer.

The second half of the concert is devoted to Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece, The Rite of Spring (1947 version), which premiered to wild controversy as a ballet on May, 29, 1913 – almost exactly 100 years to the day of the RPO’s May 30th performance – and continues to astonish and electrify audiences today.

“We’re thrilled to be culminating our 90th Anniversary main season in such dramatic fashion,” says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens.  “This program features two of the most popular works in the orchestral repertoire, coupled with an expressive and atmospheric new work. We’re also fortunate to be able to introduce Rochester audiences to two rising stars:  a phenomenally gifted young pianist and a brilliant young conductor in his RPO debut.”
Tito Muñoz (titomunoz.com) is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted and versatile conductors of his generation. He was recently appointed music director of Le Poisson Rouge’s Ensemble LPR, the flagship ensemble of New York’s celebrated, multimedia performance venue. He also serves as music director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy. Previous appointments include assistant conductor positions with The Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony, and he has led many symphony orchestras all over the world. Committed to working with young artists, Muñoz has conducted at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory and others. An accomplished violinist, Muñoz began his musical training in the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program; additional studies include the Aaron Copland School of Music, the National Conducting Institute, and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.

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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