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Kaddish on Jan. 15; community events planned

January 09, 2015

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Updated Release: January 9, 2015
Media Contacts
:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info
:  rpo.org, facebook.com/RochesterPhilharmonic, twitter.com/RochesterPhil, rochesterphilharmonic.blogspot.com



~Update on community events~ 

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) kicks off the New Year with a Special Concert event, Kaddish – “I am Here, on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets start at $15/$10 for students, 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.   

Kaddish (KAH-dish), named for the Jewish prayer for the dead, is a one-hour cycle of 15 original songs for orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists. It was commissioned in 2005 by the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College (NH) to commemorate its 25th anniversary. Dividing the work into three sections – The World Before, The Holocaust, and Tikkun Olam (“Repair the World”) – composer Lawrence Siegel also created the libretto, drawn primarily from his first-hand interviews with Holocaust survivors and sung in Hebrew, English and German. The score also incorporates elements of folk songs and Klezmer music (traditional Jewish music, originating in Eastern Europe). This choral masterpiece is intended to raise awareness of genocide as an ongoing global crisis, and was described by the Houston Examiner as “sweet, shocking, melancholy, uplifting, horrific, and finally, powerfully triumphant.” Please visit kaddishproject.org for more information. 

The RPO coordinated a roundtable discussion with leaders in the Jewish community to discuss education and outreach opportunities. Those events include:

·         All local Holocaust survivors have been invited to attend Kaddish free of charge.

·         A Lunch and Learn with composer Siegel will take place at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) on Monday, January 12 from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Senior Adult Lounge. This event is free and open to the public, and lunch is included. To attend, please RSVP to Barbara Brown at bbrown@rpo.org or (585) 399-3635.

·         Siegel will talk with music students at School of the Arts on Wednesday, January 14.

·         Siegel will lead another A Lunch and Learn at Nazareth College on Thursday, January 15 from 12:10-1:05 p.m. in room A-14 in the Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches; water, coffee and cookies will be provided. No RSVP necessary.

·         A poster display on loan from the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester will be located in the Wegman Family Gallery lobby area of Eastman Theatre.

The concert coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Allied Forces liberation of the World War II Nazi concentration camps, and will open with Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41. Weinberg, a Polish Jew, lost most of his family in the Trawniki concentration camp. Following the Weinberg piece, award-winning composer Siegel himself will participate in a brief discussion onstage prior to the Rochester debut of his work.

“A window is closing. As the youngest Holocaust survivors now approach their nineties, it is more important than ever to hear their stories,” says Siegel. “I hope that Kaddish, by singing the actual words of Holocaust survivors, will provide a living link from those who actually remember this uniquely tragic chapter of human history, to those who will only know of it as history. May the work create empathy, and may that empathy motivate those who hear it to take a stand against genocide.”

Led by guest conductor Eugene Tzigane, Kaddish will feature a 165-voice community chorus made up of Rochester Oratorio Society (Eric Townell, director) singers as well as vocalists from area temples. Vocal soloists are Rebecca Shorstein (soprano), Carla Dirlikov (mezzo-soprano), Dominic Armstrong (tenor) and John Moore (baritone).

Kaddish sponsors are the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, the William and Sheila Konar Foundation, Elise and Stephen Rosenfeld, Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess.

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. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including 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 Community Engagement (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. 


Media please note:  High-resolution images for Special concerts are available at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8FkJzlaIpThdFBMU0JVWEVKcUE&usp=drive_web. Interviews and photo and footage opportunities can also be arranged.



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