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Larry Rachleff Conducts Vibrant Appalachian Spring

October 21, 2013

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For Immediate Release: October 10, 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

LARRY RACHLEFF CONDUCTS VIBRANT APPALACHIAN SPRING   
RPO’s Juliana Athayde featured on Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Athayde also performs with Strings for Success at Rochester Fashion Week Oct. 18


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2013-14 season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, performs the third concert in its Philharmonics series, Appalachian Spring, on Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 26 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, with a pre-concert talk hosted by WXXI’s Julia Figueras (included with ticket price) beginning an hour before curtain each night. Tickets start at $22, with $10 student tickets available, and may be purchased in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org. 

Guest conducting is Larry Rachleff, now celebrating his seventeenth season as music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as director of orchestras and the Walter Kirs Hubert chair at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston. Having last conducted the RPO in November of 2010, Rachleff is in constant demand as a guest conductor. Formerly music director of the San Antonio Symphony, he was selected in 1993 as one of four American conductors to lead The Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the mentorship of Pierre Boulez. An enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Rachleff has conducted All-State orchestras and festivals in the U.S., Europe and Canada. As a dedicated advocate of contemporary music, he has collaborated with leading composers, including Samuel Adler, the late Luciano Berio, George Crumb, Michael Daugherty and John Harbison.

The title for the RPO’s vibrant and lively program derives from Aaron Copland’s famous Appalachian Spring Suite, a vivid depiction of the American countryside commissioned for and premiered by Martha Graham’s dance company in 1944, with Graham dancing the lead role. Also on the program are Pulitzer Prize-winner Samuel Barber’s witty and energetic Overture to The School for Scandal; and Manuel de Falla’s Suite No. 2 from his ballet, The Three-Cornered Hat, for which Pablo Picasso designed the curtain, sets and costumes for its 1919 London debut.

The program also features the RPO’s first performance of Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov) by RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair). According to RPO program annotator Don Anderson, the Piazzolla/Desyatnikov Four Seasons offers a “heady, colorful, and highly entertaining mixture of ingredients: tango, jazz, Romanticism, and Impressionism, all liberally spiced with saucy humor and playful contemporary techniques.”

“I'm excited to perform Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aries, after performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the RPO last year,” says Athayde. “With a Latin background myself (Athayde is Portuguese) and a father who is a jazz musician, I love the colors, textures, lyrical lines and rhythms in the piece. Listeners will find it easily relatable and hopefully will enjoy hearing myself and the RPO do something off the beaten path. The composer leaves plenty of room for interpretation by the soloist and I love the freedom of tango music. Those who attend our Pops series have heard me play jazz violin solos frequently but for our Philharmonic audience, they may be seeing a whole new side of me!”

A passionate educator who is associate professor of violin at the Eastman School of Music and a visiting teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Athayde is currently involved with Rochester’s Center for Youth program called Strings for Success (centerforyouth.net/index.php/programs/strings-for-success/), begun in 2008 as a vehicle for social change through music. The group of RCSD’s Charles T. Lunsford School 19 students in grades three through eight performed with the RPO during last spring’s Around the Town concerts. Athayde will join Strings for Success – led by Suzuki violin teachers Dr. Patti Yarmel and Gretchen Judge – to perform at Rochester Fashion Week’s The Spirit of Fashion show fundraiser for Center for Youth on Friday, October 18 at 8 p.m. at the Third Presbyterian Church (4 Meigs St.). Tickets are $25 and $55 and available at Wegmans. Says Athayde of her rehearsal with the group: “I was blown away by their commitment and curiosity. They sounded great, were having tons of fun and had amazing questions for me at the end of class…This program is inspiring and deserves any attention we can give it; I'm honored to perform with them and represent the RPO in this important partnership!”

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 20-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 for Phils concerts are available at docs.google.com/folder; high-res photos for Pops and other concerts are available at docs.google.com/folder/d. More details are available at rpo.org and upon request. Interviews, as well as photo and footage opportunities, can also be arranged.

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