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April 22, 2014

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For Immediate Release: April 22, 2014
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com

Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy will represent both on stage at concert
Also in May: Music of John Williams, Shostakovich’s Tenth
Holst’s The Planets on May 29 & 31 is 2013/14 season closer

Rochester, NY – One of the highlights of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2013-14 season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, is certainly its concert at Carnegie Hall on May 7 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the prestigious Spring For Music festival. One of just six orchestras invited to participate (along with the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Seattle, Cincinnati, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh), the RPO will present a concert production of Merry Mount, the only opera written by the late Howard Hanson, renowned composer and director of the Eastman School of Music. It was commissioned by and made its highly successful world stage premiere at NYC’s Metropolitan Opera in 1934, and still holds the world’s record for the most curtain calls—50—at that historic venue. This will be the orchestra’s 17th appearance at Carnegie Hall, but its first in nearly 30 years. Almost 300 performers will travel from Rochester to New York City, and more than 700 other community members will make the trip to attend this special performance. When the concert was announced in November of 2013, then-Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards announced a joint City/Monroe County proclamation that named May 7, 2014, as a day to celebrate “Your RPO:  From Rochester to Carnegie Hall.” In addition, former Rochester Mayor and current Lieutenant Governor of New York Robert “Bob” Duffy has graciously agreed to be  interviewed about Rochester and the RPO on-stage at the beginning of the concert by WQXR radio host Elliott Forrest, which will be part of the live broadcast carried locally by WXXI’s Classical 91.5.

“The Spring For Music festival was created to showcase imaginative programming from North American orchestras and, in each of those cities, to foster a sense of hometown spirit and pride,” explains RPO President and CEO Charles Owens, who compares it to having a city’s team play in the World Series or the NCAA Final Four. “It is tremendously gratifying to all of us at the RPO—and especially to our musicians—that Bob Duffy and so many Rochesterians will be in Carnegie Hall to cheer on their hometown orchestra. We are extremely proud to be representing Rochester in the most celebrated concert hall in the world.”

In addition to an 80-piece RPO and guest conductor Michael Christie—a Buffalo, NY native and music director of the Minnesota Opera—performers include 115 members of the Eastman School of Music’s Eastman-Rochester Chorus (made up of both Eastman students and community singers) under the direction of Eastman Professor of Conducting and Ensembles and Director of Choral Activities William Weinert. The Bach Children’s Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director) will bring 60 young singers, along with enough parents and family members to fill four busses. A cast of 17 vocalists includes baritone Richard Zeller (Wrestling Bradford), soprano Sara Jakubiak (Lady Marigold Sandys), bass Charles Robert Austin (Praise-God Tewke), tenor Christopher Pfund (Sir Gower Lackland), tenor Anthony Webb (Jack Prence), baritone Keith Brown (Myles Brodrib), mezzo-soprano Ashley Hibbard (Plentiful Tewke) and baritone Samuel Krall (Thomas Morton), along with Matthew Valverde, Joshua Ooms, Nicholas Kilkenny, Migle Zaliukaite, Trevor Cook, David Gleichman, Andrea McGaugh, Adam Daughton (boy soprano) and Caitlin Glastonbury (child soprano). Approximately half of the cast members are Eastman alumni or current students.

"The Eastman School of Music is proud to be a partner in this momentous project," says Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi. "Our students will know the thrill of collaborating with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and other guest artists on this historic work that is tied to the history of our school, and to do so in one of the great concert venues in the world. This is an experience they will treasure forever."

Tickets for the RPO at Carnegie Hall are just $25, a special Spring For Music price. They include seating in Rochester’s hometown section as well as souvenir “colors” (lilac), and are available in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org.

Also available through the Box Office are five special AAA Western & Central NY travel packages (ranging from $295 to $1,595 per person), which include such exclusives as lunch and a tour at Lincoln Center and a post-concert reception at the Russian Tea Room, along with priority seating for the concert and a donation to the Orchestra.

Carnegie underwriters include: Dawn and Jacques Lipson, Elaine P. & Richard U. Wilson Foundation,  Georgia P. Gosnell, G.W. Lisk Company, Inc., Cricket & Frank Luellen, High Falls Advisors, Louise Woerner & Don Kollmorgen, Gouvernet Arts Fund, Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Fund for Opera, National Endowment for the Arts, Melvin & Mildred Eggers Family Charitable Foundation, RPO Board and Honorary Board, AAA Western and Central New York, John & Carol Bennett, Bill & Victoria Cherry, Dixon Schwabl, Marie & Charlie Kenton, Elizabeth & Larry Rice, Robin & Michael Weintraub, Peter & Joan Faber, and other generous donors.

Almost immediately upon returning from Carnegie Hall, the RPO presents its final Pops concert of the season: The Music of John Williams on Friday and Saturday, May 9 & 10 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Rochester native and former RPO Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Bob Bernhardt guest conducts an evening of music by the Oscar-winning composer, including excerpts from Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Superman and more. In addition, the 501st Legion’s Garrison Excelsior will provide Star Wars characters prior to performances and during intermission for photographs.

May 12-14, the Orchestra and RPO Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) will be busy performing for area three-to-six year olds as part of the annual Tiny Tots Concert series. This season’s five 40-minute performances of Mr. Butterman’s Neighborhood will introduce children to the instrumental families of the orchestra as well as basic musical concepts. They’ll take place at Roberts Wesleyan College, the JCC of Greater Rochester, and Newark High School.

On Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 24 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre,  guest conductor Thomas Wilkins—music director of the Omaha Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra—leads Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, called “the composer’s finest work” (Chicago Classical Review). The program also includes American composer James Beckel’s Toccata for Orchestra, as well as Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian’s virtuosic Trumpet Concerto, featuring RPO Principal Trumpet Douglas Prosser (The Elaine P. Wilson Chair). The 2014 RPO Musicians’ Awards for Outstanding Educators will be presented to this year’s five winners immediately following intermission on Thursday evening. Please visit http://www.rpo.org/s_4/s_28/p_419/RPO_Musicians%E2%8099_Awards_for_Outstanding_Music_Educators/ for more information. 

The final Sunday Matinee of the season, Music and Literature, is Sunday, May 25 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein, and will feature an anthology of works that take their cue from the written word. Conducted by Michael Butterman, the program includes Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Allegretto; Liszt’s Les Preludes; and Richard Danielpour’s A Woman’s Life, based on a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Maya Angelou. The concert also features the “dramatic presence of versatility”(Washington Post) of Trinidadian soprano Jeanine De Bique.

Closing out the RPO’s 2013-14 season on Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre is Holst’s The Planets, with British guest conductor Michael Francis, chief conductor and artistic advisor to Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. In addition to Holst’s sonic, celestial showpiece, the program also includes William Walton’s Henry V Suite, the stirring score to the 1944 Shakespeare film adaption starring Laurence Olivier.

Tickets for Kodak Hall shows start at $22/$10 students; tickets for Sunday Matinees at Hochstein are $24/$10 students. Both are available in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org. (Box Office at Hochstein opens one hour prior to concert.)

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 more than 150,000 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 endowed 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.

Media please note:  High-resolution images for Philharmonics concerts are available at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8FkJzlaIpTheWNfMkVvcU9Icmc&usp=sharing;
high-res photos for Pops and other concerts are available at:
high-res photos for Merry Mount are available at:
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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