RPO

Ownership

Starting Monday June 2 at 8:00 p.m., WXXI will broadcast weekly concerts from the 2007-2008 season of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s my privilege to prepare them by writing scripts, editing, hosting, and mixing the performances, which are donated by the musicians after they approve them. I attend each concert, take notes, and then hear it in the studio months later.

I can’t explain why, but performances that electrified the live audience occasionally sound flat on record. In person, the RPO’s Bolero (Ravel) had me on the edge of my seat, even though I’ve heard it a thousand times. On tape, though, it seems a bit ragged.

Wheel of Fortune

Update: The New York Times has eliminated five full-time jobs in the culture department. One name stands out -- that of long-serving and much-beleaguered classical critic Bernard Holland. He's taken a buyout and is on his way out. His last day will be May 23rd. Read more.

Yo-Yo Ma takes your questions now

Thanks to Gerry Szymanski, Andrew Galbraith-Ryer, Christoph Sahar, Eric Fundin, RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman and my mom for coming up with great questions for superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma. I asked him all of your questions, and you can hear his answers in this interview.

Yo-Yo Ma talks about losing his cello, the upcoming Beijing Olympics, and playing with a robot conductor next month. He was warm, funny, and forthright. He’ll appear with the RPO on Monday, May 5th.

Yo-Yo, Robot

After Yo-Yo Ma leaves Rochester next week, he’ll play under the baton of a robot with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, according to Wired magazine.

A robot might have done a better job than guest conductor Alexander Mickelthwate, who made his first appearance with the RPO this past weekend. The D & C’s Stuart Low got it right: the hot, young conductor from Winnipeg was boring. Unnamed sources say local musicians concurred.

Portraits

There’s a cartoon I want to show you, and I can’t find it, so I’ll just have to describe it. A single panel shows a child slumped at the dinner table, his face cupped in his hands, a portrait of utter dejection. His mother hovers over him, patting his shoulder and saying, “I’m sorry, dear! I remember when I met my first radio deejay, too.”

Random stuff

Did you see Andre Rieu on TV Tuesday night?

New RPO season announced!

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra released its 2008-09 season yesterday. I'm sure the local paper will publish all the dates and details.

For quick reference, I've created this handy excitement level ratings chart for you. It's not in chronological order, and the opinions expressed do not in any way represent WXXI, its underwriters, or contributing supporters.

Robert DiLutis

Welcome to my blog! I try to write something interesting about music every day.

Look for RPO clarinetist Robert DiLutis on tonight's broadcast of the New York Philharmonic's broadcast from North Korea on WXXI-TV at 9:00 p.m.

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North Korea at night

Check out this picture of North Korea taken by satellite at night. It says a lot about the country’s insular, repressive regime. This morning I got the chance to interview clarinetist Robert Dilutis of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He’s traveling as a sub with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

The interview.

RPO clarinetist in North Korea

Word on the street is that Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra clarinetist Robert DiLutis is in North Korea with the New York Philharmonic. He was tapped to sub for someone who couldn’t go.

On Tuesday, the orchestra will play in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. This is the first visit by an American cultural group to that country since President Bush lumped it into the “axis of evil.” According to the State Department, President Bush is encouraging the visit.