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Mayor Warren to Speak King's Words with RPO

February 03, 2014

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For Immediate Release:  January 31, 2014
Media Contacts:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com; Patrick Flanigan, 585-428-6219, Patrick.Flanigan@cityofrochester.gov
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com

MAYOR WARREN TO SPEAK KING’S WORDS WITH RPO
Warren is guest narrator for Schwantner’s New Morning for the World Feb. 6


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) will have a very special guest narrator for its Thursday, February 6th concert, Gershwin & Ellington, at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Newly-elected Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren will speak the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. during Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World, “Daybreak of Freedom.”

“I am honored to recite Reverend King’s masterful words on the Eastman Theatre stage along with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra,” says Warren. “The various texts include his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, which continues to be a source of tremendous inspiration for me and millions of other people around the world.”

 “We couldn’t be more excited to have our new Mayor as a guest artist,” adds RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “She will add a special dimension to this deeply stirring music and to this special Black History Month concert.”

Rev. Dr. Rickey B. Harvey of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church will be the Mayor’s standby in case of urgent City business, and will also serve as narrator for both Saturday, February 8th’s 8 p.m. performance in Kodak Hall, as well as for the Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. performance in Ford Hall at Ithaca College*.

Schwantner, a former and longtime Eastman School of Music faculty member, wrote New Morning for the World, subtitled “Daybreak of Freedom,” in 1982 as a memorial to Martin Luther King, whom he called “a man of great dignity and courage whom I had long admired.” AT&T commissioned the work for a tour of the Eastman Philharmonia, and the orchestra premiered the piece on the 54th anniversary of King’s birth, January 15, 1985, at Washington D.C’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (coincidentally, King’s birthday was declared a national holiday that same year.) David Effron conducted and Willie Stargell, the former first baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, acted as narrator.

Guest conductor Michael Morgan will lead Gershwin & Ellington, the remainder of which features gifted young Korean pianist Joyce Yang, a Van Cliburn silver medalist, performing George Gershwin’s vibrant, jazz-influenced Concerto in F. American master Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington’s concert suite, Harlem, will take listeners on an evocative musical tour of its namesake. The program also features Symphony No. 3 (3rd and 4th movements) by Florence Beatrice Price, considered the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer.

Tickets (except for Ithaca concerts*, which are $25/$10 students) start at $22, with $10 student/child tickets available. All tickets 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. 

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 approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 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 more than 13,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO's 2013-14 season highlights include Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik's 20th anniversary celebration, and a performance at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

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