Arild Remmereit

The more things change . . .

Next month, the longest-serving music director in the RPO’s history retires.  Christopher Seaman will become the orchestra’s first conductor for life, and his departure sets the stage for the next artistic leader, Norwegian conductor Arild Remmereit. 

Education Takes the Stage was a great success.

Last Thursday WXXI and the RPO hosted its Education Takes the Stage luncheon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Nearly 700 people came out to support the education programs of both organizations.

International Women's Day...there and here

March 8. 2011 marks the centenary celebration of International Women's Day.  Each March 8, for the last 25 years, I have programmed a veritable festival of women in music.  I did this for rock, I did it for jazz, and these days, with the help of interns from the Eastman School of Music's Arts Leadership Program, I do it for classical. 

AS YOU WISH, the top classical music stories in Rochester in 2010

Let’s recall the top classical music news stories in 2010 in Rochester, New York, with a nod to the Rob Reiner film, The Princess Bride.

NOT UNEMPLOYED IN GREENLAND     RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman announced his retirement at end of the 2010-2011 season.  Norwegian conductor Arild Remmeriet will step up as RPO’s new music director in 2011. Glimmerglass Opera announced that Francesca Zambello will be new executive director in 2011.

MUCH NICER THAN THE FIRE SWAMP   Eastman School of Music opened a new wing with dramatic atrium, recital hall, rehearsal spaces, and eye-popping hanging glass sculpture.

INCONCEIVABLE!   Rochester entrepreneur Tim Enright launched Virtuoso Television, or VTV, an internet service for musicians to record and store music lessons online for reference in future practice sessions.

HELLO, MY NAME IS “GIBBS AND MAIN”     Rochester chamber ensemble Quartsemble changed moniker.

NEVER GO AGAINST A STRING PLAYER WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE    RPO principal violist Melissa Matson stepped on needle, performed Harold in Italy with injured foot. RPO principal cellist Stefan Reuss fell and injured ribs and wrist, missing first few weeks of concert season.

A GREAT GIFT FOR RHYME    Baritone Jonathan Beyer earned Rochester Oratorio Society’s annual Classical Idol top prize with compelling performance of aria from "Nixon on China." Composer Cary Ratcliff gets oratorio "Ode to Common Things" published. Composer Amanda Jacobs won national award for "Mass for the Living."

HER APPEAL IS UNDENIABLE    Soprano Renee Fleming released “Dark Hope,” a collection of pop covers of songs by groups such as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie and Leonard Cohen. Rochester chamber choir Madrigalia premiered new work by Libby Larsen; Larsen visits.

NO ONE WITHSTANDS THE MACHINE  Michael Daughtery piano concerto, “Deus Ex Machina” co-commissioned by the RPO, earned 2010 Grammy nomination.  The Eastman's Ying Quartet was also nominated for a Grammy.

ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT?   Several Western New York public schools named “Best Communities for Music Education” in the United States by the non-profit NAMM Foundation; Albion Central School District, Brighton, Leroy, Pittsford, Royalton-Hartland Central School District, Rush-Henrietta, Webster, West Irondequoit.

Congratulations and Happy New Year!

Remmereit Fever

When the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced Arild Remmereit would succeed Christopher Seaman as the RPO’s Music Director in 2011, nearly every media outlet in town sent a reporter or crew to cover the story.  I think that everyone, whether they listen to Jay-Z or Jewel or Janacek, recognizes the importance of the orchestra in any city.