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RPO November: From Journey to Nutcracker

October 29, 2015

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For Immediate Release: October 29, 2015
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Inforpo.org, facebook.com/RochesterPhilharmonic, twitter.com/RochesterPhil, rochesterphilharmonic.blogspot.com, instagram.com/rochesterphilharmonic



PLUS Ward Stare & 18-year-old violin star Simone Porter
First 2015/16 RPYO concert with Music Director James Mick

Rochester, NY – November with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has something for everyone, from a tribute to one of the world’s most famous rock bands to kicking off the holidays with one of the world’s most beloved ballets, and everything in between.

The month begins with the RPO’s second Special Concert of the 2015/16 season, Faithfully: A Tribute to the Music of Journey on Saturday, November 7 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Led by renowned guest conductor Stuart Chafetz from San Francisco (where Journey got its start more than 40 years ago), lead vocalist Jesse Bradman, vocalist Alisha Zalkin, guitarist Dan Kalisher, keyboardist Will Herrington, bassist Alex Balderston, and drummer Rob Humphreys join the orchestra for "Don't Stop Believin'," "Faithfully," "Any Way You Want It," "Open Arms," and many more Journey hits. Tickets start at $22/$10 students.

The season’s second Sunday Matinee is up next: Haydn’s Il Distratto on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Making his Sunday Matinee debut, Music Director Ward Stare leads a program featuring RPO Principal Bass Colin Corner (The Anne Hayden McQuay Chair) on Serge Koussevitzky’s virtuoso showpiece, Concerto for Double Bass. Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro begins the concert, which ends with Haydn’s Symphony No. 60, “Il distratto” (“The distracted one”), described by conductor Kenneth Woods as “possibly the funniest and most modern symphony ever written.” In between, guest baritone David Govertsen is featured on Domenico Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella (The music director), a comedic intermezzo that portrays a pompous maestro rehearsing an orchestra. Tickets are $25/$10 students.

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik debuts his latest program, Swing is the Thing, on Friday and Saturday, November 13 & 14 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. This exhilarating evening of music and dance features the fancy footwork of swing dance and hits from the 1940s (first half) and 1950s (second half). Returning Los Angeles dancers Stephen Edward Sayer and Chandrae Roettig specialize in smooth style lindy and collegiate shag, perform all over the world, and have won the Lindy Hop divisions at the National Jitterbug, U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships (2011 & 2012), and Camp Jitterbug. Steve and Chanzie will be joined by dancers Michael Jagger and Evita Arce, and tap dancer Joseph Wiggan. Guest artists also include clarinetist/vocalist Dave Bennett and vocalist Julie Jo Hughes. Tickets start at $22/$10 students.

"I love having music and dance on stage with the RPO,” says Tyzik. “This concert explores how swing music transitioned and changed from forties’ jazz swing into fifties’ rock swing."

The second OrKIDStra of the season, Blast Off to Space, takes place Sunday, November 15 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Guest conductor Matthew Kraemer leads the RPO in a celebration of 50 years of space exploration with NASA imagery provided by promotional partner, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and out-of-this-world music including Holst's The Planets and selections from Apollo 13, Star WarsStar Trek, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Pre-concert, space-themed activities for kids begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are $16/$10 children.

Ward Stare then returns to the podium to lead Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at Kodak Hall in Eastman Theatre with 18-year-old violinist Simone Porter in her RPO debut.

After making her solo debut at age 10 with the Seattle Symphony and her international debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at age 13, Porter’s Carnegie Hall debut was captured by the Emmy Award-winning PBS show From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. She was also featured in the BBC documentary, The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies (2009). She made her Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic last September, resulting in immediate reengagements with both the Seattle Symphony and the LA Philharmonic. A recipient of a national award from the prestigious Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Porter was recently named a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant. She will be performing Samuel Barber’s stunning Violin Concerto.

Guest artists, Eastman-Rochester Chorus (William Wienert, director) will also be featured during the RPO’s performance of Richard Wagner’s Bridal Music of Lohengrin (following the RPO’s performance of the opera’s Prelude to Act 3), and the RPO debut of Vaughan Williams’ Toward the Unknown Region with words by Walt Whitman. Selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s musical drama, Romeo and Juliet, make up the second half of the concert. Tickets start at $22/$10 students.

“This concert continues our theme this season of presenting something new alongside a beloved classic,” explains Maestro Stare. “Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet will show off our marvelous orchestra in a dynamic, compelling way, and our audience will also discover the tremendously talented violinist Simone Porter along with a beautiful work by Vaughan Williams for chorus and orchestra. The opening work by Wagner should excite and surprise, too, as we present the original context for the well-known ‘here comes the bride’ music we are all familiar with. There is truly something for everyone on this program!”

The Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) opens its 2015/16 season with its new Music Director Dr. James Mick on Sunday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein with Musical Genius: Mozart to Tchaikovsky. The RPYO is made up of almost 100 of the most accomplished middle- and high-school musicians from up to thirty schools in the greater Rochester area. Sponsored by the Education Department of the RPO, the RPYO was founded in 1970.

The concert features Jasmine Cui and Yiqun Cui (“Tsu-ee,” no relation), with Jasmine on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 (mvt. 1), and Yiqun on Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 (mvt. 3).  Jasmine Cui is a senior at The Harley School and resides in Pittsford. This is her third year with the RPYO and she studies with RPO violinist Boris Zapesochny. Yiquin (“Ee-chun”) is a senior at Brighton High School. This is his fifth year in the RPYO and he is a student of former RPO principal second violinist David Brickman. The program also includes Ferdinand Hérold’s  Zampa Overture,  Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (mvts. 3 & 4). Tickets are $10.

“I cannot be more excited to carry on the rich traditions and culture that David Harman cultivated over the past 24 years,” says Mick. “Accordingly, for this first concert, I am delighted to share with the orchestra some of my own personal favorite works for orchestra, including Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, which deeply inspired me during my own youth orchestra days.”

Finally, the Rochester holiday season officially begins with the 16th annual The Nutcracker on Wednesday, November 25 at 7 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE new date & time this year); Friday, November 27 at 2 & 7 p.m.; Saturday, November 28 at 2 & 7 p.m.; and Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Led by Principal Conductor for Education and Engagement Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), the RPO once again partners with Rochester City Ballet (Jamey Leverett, artistic director; David Palmer, artistic director designate) and Bach Children's Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director) to make holiday memories that will last a lifetime. More than 175 area children are also participating. Tickets start at $22/$12 children.

TICKETS for the above concerts 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 RPO’s 93rd season is presented by Dawn and Jacques Lipson. The 2015/16 Philharmonics Series is sponsored by M&T Bank; the 2015/16Pops Series is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Fibertech Networks. RPO performances are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional sponsors include Monroe County; the City of Rochester; the Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund; the Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess; City Newspaper; Kids Out and About.com; WARM 101.3; the Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund.

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 160 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 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 22-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 endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches more than 12,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Media please note: High-resolution images for the 2015/16 season are available, and interviews as well as photo and footage opportunities can be arranged.


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