RPO Concert Series 2013-2014

Kernis, Mendelssohn, Mahler - Phil 1  Airs: May 5/ August 11 

Jun Märkl, guest conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin

MENDELSSOHN  Violin Concerto in E Minor   
MAHLER  Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

Violinist Jennifer Koh has been called “fiercely gifted and intelligent” and “brilliant” (The New York Times). You’ll also hear Mahler’s expansive and heroic First Symphony, one of his most popular.

Brahms, Higdon, BartĂłk - Phil 2  Airs: May 12/August 18

Bernhard Gueller, guest conductor  
Jonathan Biss, piano

JENNIFER HIGDON  City Scape: Skyline    
BRAHMS  Piano Concerto No. 1  
BARTĂ“K  Concerto for Orchestra

Called “one of the most striking North American pianists of the new generation" (Toronto Globe and Mail), award-winning pianist Jonathan Biss tackles Brahms’s First Piano Concerto. Bartók’s vibrant Concerto for Orchestra showcases the expressive power of the modern orchestra, as well as his signature use of Hungarian folk music.


Barber, Copland, Piazzolla, Falla - Phil 3 Airs: May 19/ August 25

Larry Rachleff, guest conductor  
Juliana Athayde, violin

BARBER  Overture to The School for Scandal
COPLAND  Appalachian Spring Suite
PIAZZOLLA  The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
FALLA  Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 2   

An evocative depiction of the American countryside, Copland’s Appalachian Spring includes the familiar Shaker tune “Simple Gifts.” And RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde takes on Piazzolla’s tango-inspired Four Seasons.


Stravinsky, Mozart, Tchaikovsky - Phil 4 Airs: May 26/ September 1

Christoph Campestrini, guest conductor
Barry Snyder, piano

STRAVINSKY The Fairy’s Kiss: Divertimento
MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
TCHAIKOVSKY  Symphony No. 5

Stravinsky’s magical ballet The Fairy’s Kiss—paying homage to his hero Tchaikovsky—is paired with Tchaikovsky’s passionate Fifth Symphony. Van Cliburn silver medalist Barry Snyder performs Mozart’s intimate piano concerto.


Hindemith, Strauss, Rachmaninoff - Phil 5 Airs: June 2/ September 8

Junichi Hirokami, guest conductor
Erik Behr, oboe 

HINDEMITH  Concert Music for Strings and Brass     
R. STRAUSS  Oboe Concerto
RACHMANINOFF  Symphony No. 2

Rachmaninoff's ravishingly beautiful Symphony No. 2 is a masterwork of late Romantic music. And Principal Oboe Erik Behr takes center stage for Richard Strauss’s virtuosic concerto.


Beethoven, Puts, Saint-Saëns - Phil 6 Airs: June 9/ September 15

Nir Kabaretti, guest conductor
Edward Arron, cello

BEETHOVEN  Leonore Overture No. 3 
KEVIN PUTS  Inspiring Beethoven
SAINT-SAĂ‹NS  Cello Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"

Beethoven's musical panorama of country life, plus Edward Arron, “one of New York's most exciting young cellists” (The New Yorker).


Bach & Respighi - Phil 7 Airs: June 16/September 22

James Feddeck, guest conductor & harpsichord
Eastman Chorale, William Weinert, director
Kara Mulder, soprano
Athene Mok, soprano
Kendra Wieneke, alto
Nathaniel McEwen, tenor
Samuel Krall, baritone

RESPIGHI  Ancient Airs and Dances: Suite No. 1
J.S. BACH  Suite No. 3            
RESPIGHI  Trittico botticelliano: Adoration of the Magi
J.S. BACH  Magnificat       

Bach’s glorious Magnificat and his majestic orchestral suite (including “Air on a G String”) are paired with Respighi’s luminous Adoration of the Magi and its variations on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” for a festive celebration of the season.


Boulanger & Beethoven - Phil 8 Airs: June 23/ September 29

Hugh Wolff, guest conductor
Rochester Oratorio Society, Eric Townell, director
Kelley Nassief, soprano
Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Jan Opalach, baritone

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9, “Choral”   

Beethoven’s towering Symphony No. 9 is one of his supreme achievements with its glorious setting of Ode to Joy. The concert opens with a masterpiece by French composer Lili Boulanger, the first woman to win the coveted Prix de Rome.


Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Stravinsky - Phil 9 Airs: June 30/October 6

Fabien Gabel, guest conductor
Philippe Quint, violin

DEBUSSY  Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun   
SAINT-SAĂ‹NS  Violin Concerto No. 3       
RAVEL  Une barque sur l’ocĂ©an (A Boat on the Ocean)
RAVEL  Tzigane
STRAVINSKY  Firebird Suite (1919)   

Travel with us to a magical place, where fauns and mythical birds still roam the forests. The French and Russian composers on this program painted evocative pictures with their music. Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint (“brilliant technique and compelling personality” –Cincinnati Enquirer) shines in violin works by Saint-Saëns and Ravel.


Price, Schwantner, Gershwin, Ellington - Phil 10 Airs: July 7/ October 13

Michael Morgan, guest conductor
Joyce Yang, piano

FLORENCE PRICE   Symphony No. 3 (3rd and 4th mvts.)
JOSEPH SCHWANTNER  New Morning for the World, “Daybreak of Freedom”
GERSHWIN  Concerto in F               

Celebrate Black History Month with New Morning for the World—by the Pulitzer Prize winner Schwantner and featuring text by Martin Luther King, Jr.—Duke Ellington’s Harlem, and a rare performance of music by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to win recognition as a symphonic composer. Plus, Van Cliburn silver medalist Joyce Yang playing Gershwin.


Berlioz, Beethoven, Bruckner - Phil 11 Airs: July 14/October 20

Christopher Seaman, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

BERLIOZ  Roman Carnival Overture   
BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 2
BRUCKNER  Symphony No. 6

Beethoven created his second piano concerto as a showpiece for his own talents as a pianist, and Rochester favorite Jon Kimura Parker takes up the challenge with amazing skill and artistry. We welcome back Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman for Bruckner’s rich and expressive Sixth Symphony and Berlioz’s festive overture.


Hanson - Phil 12 Airs: July 21/October 27

Michael Christie, guest conductor
Eastman-Rochester Chorus, William Weinert, director
Bach Children's Chorus of Nazareth College, Karla Krogstad, director

HANSON  Merry Mount (concert performance)

This preview of the RPO’s Carnegie Hall Spring For Music Festival performance—coming up on May 7, 2014—features a concert performance of Howard Hanson’s lyrical opera Merry Mount, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and written while he was director of the Eastman School.

Richard Zeller, baritone, as Wrestling Bradford
Sara Jakubiak, soprano, as Lady Marigold Sandys
Charles Robert Austin, bass, as Praise-God Tewke
Christopher Pfund, tenor, as Sir Gower Lackland
Keith Brown, baritone, as Myles Brodrib
Ashley Hibbard, mezzo-soprano, as Plentiful Tewke
Samuel Krall, baritone, as Sir Thomas Morton
Anthony Webb, tenor, as Jack Prence
Matthew Valverde, tenor, as Jonathan Banks
Joshua Ooms, baritone, as Faint-Not Tinker
Nicholas Kilkenny, bass, as Jewel Scrooby
Migle Zaliukaite, mezzo-soprano, as Bridget Crackston
Trevor Cook, baritone, as First Puritan
David Gleichman, baritone, as Second Puritan
Anna Bekker, mezzo-soprano, as Desire Annable  
Adam Daughton, boy soprano, as Peregrine Brodrib
Caitlin Glastonbury, child soprano, as Love Brewster


Phil 13 Airs: July 28/ November 3

Thomas Wilkins, guest conductor
Douglas Prosser, trumpet
BECKEL  Toccata for Orchestra       
ARUTIUNIAN  Trumpet Concerto           
SHOSTAKOVICH  Symphony No. 10   

Called “the composer’s finest work … moving inexorably from bleak desolation to a triumphant finale” (Chicago Classical Review), Shostakovich’s compelling Tenth Symphony was written at the beginning of the post-Stalin era. RPO Principal Trumpet Douglas Prosser is featured in Arutiunian’s virtuosic concerto, with its Armenian flavor


Phil 14 Airs: August 4/November 10

Michael Francis, guest conductor
Concentus Women's Chorus, Gwen Gassler, director

WALTON  Henry V Suite
HOLST  The Planets

Holst's sonic, celestial showpiece The Planets explores the planets’ astrological personalities. It's paired with selections from Walton’s stirring score to the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V, starring Laurence Olivier.