February 23, 2015

RPO to play free concert in Churchville-Chili this Friday

Attention west-siders: the RPO is coming to you. This Friday, February 27, the RPO returns to

Churchville-Chili Performing Arts Center (C-C PAC) for a free community concert as part of the semiannual “Around the Town” concert series, sponsored by Xerox. Guest conductor Matthew Kraemer will lead a program of “Opera’s Greatest Hits,” featuring selections from Carmen, La bohème, The Barber of Seville, and more. This performance marks the second time that the RPO has played at C-C PAC, located on the Churchville-Chili Senior High School property. The orchestra played the inaugural concert in the nearly 1300-seat auditorium in the fall of 2013. 
The Churchville-Chili Performing Arts Center
Photo provided by Jeffrey Smith

“Our vision for C-C PAC is that it’s not just a great space for students to learn in, but it’s also an ideal location to bring in world-class performers like the RPO,” said Jeffrey Smith, Director of Fine Arts at Churchville-Chili Central School District. “It was designed for consistent sound throughout.”

While there will be no vocalists accompanying the orchestra, conductor Matthew Kraemer says the music carefully selected for this program stands for itself.

“These selections are really among the very best of recognizable opera excerpts,” he said. “Most of these melodies have been used in popular culture for decades. We hear the tunes from Carmen, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Barber of Seville in cartoons, movies, and even as ringtones on cellphones.”
Matthew Kraemer

Kraemer is a past guest conductor on the RPO’s OrKIDStra concert series, most recently for The Snowman in December, 2014. Since 2012, he has served as music director for both the Butler County Symphony and the Erie Chamber Orchestra, both located in Pennsylvania. He also recently completed a five-year tenure as associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic.

“This concert is for anyone who wants to hear familiar and exciting music played by an exceptional orchestra,” said Kraemer, who notes the opera theme was chosen to coincide with the RPO’s concert performance of La Traviata on Saturday, February 28. “I can assure anyone thinking of attending that they will be in for a memorable evening of music. At only an hour in length, it is also the perfect way to introduce children to the Rochester Philharmonic.”

Since 1991, the RPO’s free Around the Town community concert series has brought classical music out of the concert hall and into schools, churches, rec centers, and other community spaces. With the goal of making the RPO more accessible to everyone, these semiannual concerts seek to engage audiences with a program of classical excerpts blended with familiar favorites.

If you go
What: Around the Town Concert: Opera’s Greatest Hits
When: Friday, Feb. 27, 7:30 PM
Where: Churchville-Chili Performing Arts Center
              5786 Buffalo Road, Churchville, N.Y.
$$: Free

For more information, visit rpo.org

February 13, 2015

Meet the (cover) artist: January and February

January and February were busy months here at the RPO as we prepared for our successful first-ever Season Announcement Concert (with new Music Director Ward Stare at the helm!). Now it’s time to catch up on our cover artist blog series! “Meet the (cover) artist” are a series of blog posts that highlight the talented people behind our program cover art. These eight works of art were chosen anonymously from a collection of almost 7,000 at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s (RoCo) annual 6X6 exhibition, which invites anyone to create a piece of art on a six-by-six inch square space, using whatever medium they prefer. RocCo is currently accepting submissions for 6X6X2015; submissions must be postmarked by April 18, 2015.

In January, we featured a watercolor by Alice Styles called “White Woods.” Styles’ artwork was chosen for January because the colors and subject matter seem to reflect a winter theme.
January cover
"White Woods" by Alice Styles

Name: Alice Styles of Greece, N. Y.
Why did you want to participate in the RoCo exhibit? Painting is a hobby for me. I also enjoy home sewing, especially machine made small quilts.
What inspired your painting? My painting designs come from nature photographs that my family or I take and from my garden. I learned much about creating art from some wonderful courses at the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.
What medium did you use in your artwork, and why did you choose this medium?
Transparent watercolor is my favorite medium. I chose it for its brightness and glow.
Why do you love painting? The fun of painting is always trying to capture that perfect painting that is out there somewhere just waiting to be found!

This month, we are featuring an untitled piece by Anchorage, Alaska resident Megan Taylor. While 6X6 originated in the Rochester area eight years ago, the exhibition has grown to include thousands of artworks from 65 different countries and every U.S. state in 2014. While the RPO chooses the winners of the Bravo award anonymously, we were pleased to find one of the winners was from as far away as Alaska! Taylor’s composition, created with a combination of acrylics and mixed media, drew the attention of the RPO judges for its use of texture, and the red color palette suited Heart Health month and Valentine’s Day in February.
February cover
Untitled by Megan Taylor

Stay tuned next month for another installment of Meet the (cover) artist!

February 9, 2015

Ward Stare to answer questions live onstage Tues. with #RPO1516

Ever wondered how the RPO chooses their programming for the year? Or, how does the conductor’s baton tell the orchestra what to do? Music Director Ward Stare is ready to answer your questions live onstage tomorrow night (Feb. 10) at the RPO’s 2015-16 season announcement concert at 7 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The concert is free to attend, but reservations are required by noon on Tuesday by calling the box office at 585-454-2100.

“Developing a deeper, richer relationship with our audience and our community is a major passion of mine and will be a recurring theme for the RPO moving forward,” said Stare, who will celebrate his inaugural season as RPO Music Director in 2015-16. “We want to share our excitement about the upcoming season with as many people as possible.”

To submit your question, post a tweet to the RPO (@RochesterPhil) and use hashtag #RPO1516. The RPO will be taking your questions now through the concert tomorrow night, including during the concert. See you there!

Video: Ward Stare and RPO musicians and staff invite the community to sound off on Twitter!

February 3, 2015

RPO presents young professionals event on Thursday

This Thursday evening, join the RPO and Rochester Young Professionals (RYP) for Beethoven & Brews—a free pre-concert event for young professionals—at Victoire Belgian Beer Bar & Bistro (120 East Ave.) at 5:30 PM. The event will include complimentary appetizers, a meet-and-greet with RPO President and CEO Charlie Owens, and four special guest speakers who will discuss what it’s like to be a young professional in the Orchestra: Anna Steltenpohl, oboe and English horn, will be joined by Lars Kirvan, cello, and Thomas Rodgers and Molly Werts, violin. Attendees will also have the opportunity to take part in a business card drop to win tickets to the RPO's upcoming performance of La Traviata (Feb. 28) and purchase discounted tickets to that evening’s performance of Beethoven’s Fifth at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the RPO on the first of many events” said RYP President Brad Flower. “One of Rochester Young Professionals’ chief goals is to promote community development in our city. Engaging young professionals in the thriving arts and culture in Rochester is at the heart of this mission.”

While the RPO has organized young professional events in the past, this will be the first time that the RPO will team up with another organization to plan a YP event---something they hope to do again in the future with other YP-friendly organizations. Beethoven & Brews is just one example of the RPO’s renewed commitment to find alternative ways to connect people of all ages in our community to the Orchestra.

“I’m interested and excited to break down the barriers that exist between classical music and the public,” said recently-appointed RPO Music Director Ward Stare in a City Newspaper interview. “I want the concert experience to be an event, something people can look forward to, and something they can talk about for weeks to come and create a little more buzz around the event.”

For more information on Beethoven & Brews, visit rpo.org or RSVP via RYP’s Facebook event.
While Beethoven & Brews is free to attend at Victoire, concert tickets must be purchased separately and are available online and will be available at the event. rpo.org/BeethovenandBrews