August 15, 2011

Q&A with Jeff Tyzik on the 2011-2012 Pops Season

This coming season, RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the orchestra in a diverse array of music, including classic Broadway, swing, Holiday Pops, favorites of the 60s and 70s, and much more. We spoke with Jeff to find out more about the upcoming season.

The Pops Series opens with the return of Cirque de la Symphonie. Tell us what audiences can expect from this collaboration of music and acrobatics.

We are developing a new show with different music from their past performances. The show will have a different feel, but we can all count on Cirque's amazing artistry.

After a run at Geva last fall, Maureen McGovern will return to Rochester this year to perform as a guest artist with the RPO. How do you go about translating music from the 60s and 70s into a symphonic setting?

I've always loved Maureen's vocal artistry. Mel Tormé was a mentor to her. She has a crystal clear tone and a wide range of styles so it will be an interesting concert. She was phenomenal in her one-woman show at Geva and this concert including the RPO will be even more exciting.

Two years ago, the RPO performed a concert version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific—this year, it’s Carousel in concert. What can people look forward to in this production?

The South Pacific in Concert experience was so gratifying for both the audience and the performers that I decided to go for it again, this time with Carousel. My good friend Doug LaBrecque will be directing again and we are also engaging a number of New York Broadway artists for our lead roles.

This season will feature a “photochoreography” concert in which James Westwater’s photography is choreographed to live music. What can you tell us about this concert?

James Westwater is a visual artist combining his evocative photographic images set to music like Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Billy the Kid. Huge screens above the orchestra will show his images that he has choreographed to the music played by the RPO.

The RPO recently held a Birthday Benefit concert in celebration of your 60th birthday. What else did you do to celebrate your birthday this year?

I traveled to a beautiful east coast area near the ocean for some down time with my family. I always wanted to play electric bass and I couldn't believe it, but Jami and her husband Matthew gave me a Fender Electric Bass for my big day. Now I have to learn how to play it.

What music have you been listening to lately?

I'm composing right now, so I'm not listening to anything.

Where are your travels taking you during the summer break?

I'm spending some of the summer near the ocean and some of it in Rochester getting ready for the coming season.

Click here for a full list of the 2011-12 CNB Pops Series.

No comments: