RPO

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Nearly one third of Rochester residents live below the federal poverty level. What does that mean?
Behold the 2008 Poverty Guidelines:

Persons in Family or Household - Income
1 - $10,400
2 - 14,000
3 - 17,600
4 - 21,200
5 - 24,800
6 - 28,400

SOURCE: Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 15, January 23, 2008, pp. 3971–3972

A group of Unitarians and professional classical musicians are working together to help. Click here for more.

The Rite of Spring

"In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?" - Igor Stravinsky

Hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform "The Rite of Spring" under Christopher Seaman. Also on the show: Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music.

Hear it streaming during the broadcast Monday night at 8:00 p.m. on Classical 91.5.

Carmina Burana, page 1

My score of Carmina Burana is pretty gross. Coffee-stained, marked up, dog-eared. Once I left it on the kitchen counter and made enchiladas, so it even sports a few tomato stains. I’ve been using it for about a decade, and I think I’ve performed Carl Orff's work about eight times.

Maybe I’ll trade it in someday and start with a fresh copy. But for now, this one is a well-loved map of a favorite country. A smutronstalle. A wild strawberry place.

I sang Carmina Burana with the Rochester Phil and Rochester Oratorio Society last May, and that concert will air on Monday, September 1st at 8:00 p.m. on Classical 91.5 FM.

Being a radiohead, I love the sound of sound, you know? Recorded sound. In this case, I admit the broadcast has nothing on the live experience. But it’s still worth a listen.

Bad news for the RPO

First of all, thank you for reading my blog. Thanks, too, to the creative readers who submitted captions in my contest. I'll announce the winner early next week, after I poll a panel of non-experts.

Today, a bit of news about the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

the mediator


Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
- Ludwig van Beethoven

Update: Due to a technical error during the broadcast, WXXI will re-air this concert Sunday afternoon, June 29th at 1:00 p.m.

Hear Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (Symphony No. 6) played by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Monday at 8:00 p.m. on Classical 91.5 FM, 90.3 or streaming.

Deus ex Machina

Music by black and Latino composers accounts for less than one percent of the music performed by American orchestras each year. The Sphinx Commissioning Consortium aims to boost that percentage. Last week, it announced that Puerto Rican-born Roberto Sierra has been selected to compose the first work commissioned by twelve American orchestras, including the RPO.

BTW, Monday night, June 16th at 8:00 p.m. the RPO plays the Rochester premiere of different a piece it co-commissioned in 2007, Deus ex Machina. It's not a game. Click here for a preview!

Weekend Update


Monday night, June 9th, the RPO plays Métaboles (Metamorphoses) by the living French composer Henri Dutilleux.

“In the conception of this work,” Dutilleux wrote, “the composer never ceased to dream of the mysterious and compelling realm of eternal metamorphosis. The spirit and the form of the music find their origins in an intense contemplation of nature.”

Hear it Monday at 8:00 p.m. on Classical 91.5 FM, 90.3 or streaming.

Total Re-Carmina

I was just delivered a copy of the RPO’s performance of Carmina Burana! I’m almost afraid to listen to it.

RPO principal flutist Rebecca Gilbert once told me she put off hearing recordings of herself in live performances, especially ones that went well. Said she’d rather hold onto her memory.

I think I know what she means. But I'll listen anyway and report back.

A Sea Symphony

When soprano Jane Eaglen and baritone Dean Elzinga walked out onto the stage of Eastman Theatre last October, I expected to be dazzled by Eaglen’s powerhouse, Wagnerian voice. But Elzinga was a surprise, equally forceful in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, based on Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” Elzinga delivered a warm, rich tone similar to that of Bryn Terfel, but with a mournful aspect. He was, in a word, spooky.

RPO's first downloadable album ever

Jeff Tyzik, speaking with Julia Figueras, just announced that the RPO’s new CD, HONOR: Portraits of America, will be downloadable. That's a first for the orchestra.