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Rochester Oratorio Society

ROS_bio.jpgRochester Oratorio Society
Eric Townell, director

For 70 years an integral part of Rochester’s vibrant arts community, the Rochester Oratorio Society gives voice to the best qualities of our region, exploring a diverse, multi-cultural, modern repertoire that includes the great standards; collaborating with local arts groups of all kinds, and performing in non-traditional community settings. The ROS gave award-winning performances at the 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival in Beijing and Shanghai and introduced music of Jeff Tyzik to capacity audiences during its 2014 tour of Eastern European capitals. Its annual vocal competition, “Classical Idol,” promotes rising vocal artists to international careers. Its numerous notable performances with the RPO include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Christopher Seaman at the opening of the remodeled Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. They last performed with the RPO in June 2015 for Carmina Burana. The ROS returns to the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra for two performances in 2015.

Eric Townell, international award-winning conductor of choral, operatic, and symphonic repertoire, has conducted holiday, special event and regional outreach concerts for the Milwaukee and Madison Symphony orchestras and for the RPO, including the 2012 Messiah and the 2013 90th Anniversary Concert sponsored by the City of Rochester. As music director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Townell led commissions by American composers and developed programming emphasizing contemporary works and collaboration. His work with the Festival Choir of Madison was heard nationally over NPR. He is an effective communicator on music and arts topics and a frequent commentator for WXXI Public Broadcasting. “An experienced opera conductor,” (Chicago Tribune), Townell is concurrently Artistic Director of the Rochester Lyric Opera.

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