July 29, 2009

Highlights of this Past Season

As the RPO’s 2008-2009 season winds down and we prepare for the new season ahead of us in a newly renovated theatre, we decided to take a look back at the past season and asked RPO musicians and staff: What were your favorite moments of this past season?

For me, some of the highlights were the new guitar concerto by Sergio Assad (so neat to see a guitar quartet fronting the Orchestra); the all-French program with pianist Pascal Roge; the Philharmonics’ finale with Holst’s The Planets; and the two recent all-Mozart concerts at Hochstein.

Read on for more season highlights …
  • My memorable moments: Herbig's Mahler 6; Ling's Shostakovich 5; Remmereit’s Rachmaninoff 2; Cirque de la Symphonie; playing Tchaikovsky 5th 6 or 7 times on educational concerts at 10:00am!

    And another one – Michael Butterman's concert presenting the sound track to the Wizard of Oz. It was great music, extremely difficult, and required phenomenal preparation and leadership from the podium. Michael was sensational, and the orchestra sounded great. The event made a great impression on me, even though I couldn't see anything of the movie!

    – Peter Kurau, French Horn

  • I really enjoyed the Mahler Symphony No. 6 concerts in March. I love Mahler's music and had never gotten to play his Sixth Symphony before. It is such a thrill to be on a stage full of talented musicians playing such great music. We had a great section of nine horn players that week, so it was a lot of fun!

    – Stephanie Blaha, French Horn

  • It's like asking which child is your favorite! So, here are three:
    1) Finally coming home to perform on July 4th in Rochester
    2) Don Potter and the RPO: "Over the Rainbow"
    3) The RPO performing the music of Led Zeppelin. Breathtaking!

    – Nancy Zawacki, Vice President of Marketing & Communications.

  • My favorite parts of this season were the Brahms 2nd Concerto played by John Lill and every second of the rehearsals and performances with Gunther Herbig. Mr. Lill trusted the score to speak for itself, without intervention from a later period's excesses, and the resulting architecture was a monument to Brahms' genius. Maestro Herbig is, along with Jerzy Semkov, one of the last of the great conductors trained in the European tradition that puts quality of sound and phrasing before speed and volume. His Mahler 6th was one of the high points of my career.

    – Ken Langley, Violin

July 17, 2009

Musician Visits with ESY Students

Earlier this week, RPO Principal Bassoon Abe Weiss took some time to have a musical visit with students participating in the ESY (Extended School Year) program at Brighton High School, and their teacher, Joanne Ouzer. In addition to demonstrating the many intricacies of the bassoon, he spent time chatting about his role as a musician with the Orchestra. The ESY students are exploring the Greater Rochester Community and all that it has to offer.

July 10, 2009

RPO Summer Series Starts Tonight!

Starting tonight, the First Niagara Center City Pavilion will be home of the RPO Summer Series, kicking off with the Best of the Blues with Byron Stripling, Dee Daniels, Bobby Floyd and Jeff Clayton. The rehearsal this afternoon sounded great!

And you won't miss the Pavilion - diagonally across from the Eastman Theatre. Just watch for the big blue banner!

Next week - Russian classics by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky (July 17 & 18), followed by The Music of Led Zeppelin (July 24), The Music of Pink Floyd (July 25), Beatlemania (July 29), and Three Broadway Divas (July 31 & August 1). Click here for more information.