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Guest Conductor Hege Leads the RPO in Celebration of the Music of America

January 12, 2007

Violinist Oliveira joins the RPO for Barber Concerto; Orchestra performs Copland’s classic American Symphony and pays homage to Rosa Parks

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra recognizes its national heritage in a pair of concerts featuring celebrated American violinist Elmar Oliveira and American guest conductor Daniel Hege in three works by iconic American composers: Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Michael Daugherty.  The concerts take place on Thursday, February 1 and Saturday February 3 at 8 p.m. at the Eastman Theatre.  Mr. Hege will hold a pre-concert chat at 7:00 p.m.

Violinist Elmar Oliveira remains the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky International Competition.  He is also the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize, in addition to numerous other awards.  With an unsurpassed combination of impeccable artistry and old-world elegance, Mr. Oliveira is one of the few major artists committed to the entire spectrum of the violin world.  A prodigious recording artist, Mr. Oliveira was a Grammy nominee for his performance of the Barber Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony. 

Conductor Daniel Hege has earned high marks for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming.  Currently in his seventh season as Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony, Mr. Hege is a popular guest conductor throughout North America as well as in appearances throughout other parts of the world.  In addition, he regularly works with the Syracuse Opera.

The imaginative Michael Daugherty composed his Motor City Triptych in 2000 as part of a series of compositions inspired by American places and spaces.  “Rosa Parks Boulevard” is the third movement from the composer’s “musical travelogue” in which the trombone section is prominently featured, echoing the voices of generations of African-American preachers in Detroit and across the country.  Samuel Barber’s gorgeous Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was composed between 1939 and 1941 with the first two movements lyrical and romantic, followed by a ferociously fast and brilliant Finale.  Considered many as the “signature American symphony,” Copland’s powerful and robustly constructed Symphony No. 3 is possibly the composer’s greatest achievement.  Because of his closeness to this country’s various folk styles (although all the melodies are original, not “borrowed,”), it sounds profoundly American, with the famous “Fanfare for the Common Man” theme appearing toward the end.

Tickets for these performances are $20-$54, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at any Wegmans.  RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). Wegmans is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.

The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb; this concert is sponsored by Nixon Peabody LLP.  Daniel Hege’s appearance is made possible by the Davenport-Hatch Foundation.  The RPO gratefully acknowledges PAETEC Communications Inc. for the PAETEC Philharmonic Partners program, which offers discounted Philharmonics Series tickets to local college students. 

Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.

RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO. 


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