August 21, 2015

"Follow" the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Now on SPOTIFY

Our 2015-16 Season will be kicking off in a few short weeks! With our Spotify account, you will be listen to dozens of playlists for free, each filled with the repertoire for each of our Philharmonics, Pops, Sunday Matinee, OrKIDStra, and Special concerts!

Spotify is a musical search engine in which you can create custom playlists, or search for new music to listen to and enjoy on your Laptop, PC, Tablet, or Smartphone.

We at the RPO have created playlists around each 2015-16 season concert for you, our audience members, to get a sneak peek of what's to come during our live performances. The recordings of all musical works have been performed by various ensembles from around the world for you to enjoy at home, in the car, on the way to work, and more. The listening possibilities are nearly endless if you have a Spotify account.

Downloading Spotify is FREE, unless you would like to upgrade to Spotify Premiun ($9.99 per month). A bonus to upgrading is that you have no advertisements to interrupt between movements or pieces. You can also try Spotify Premium (99 cents for 3 months, then $9.99 per month after, if you are satisfied).

How to create a FREE Spotify account:
  1. Go to
  2. Choose "Download" up in the top right corner of the page
  3. You can choose to click "Sign up with Facebook," or "Sign up with your email address." Once this is done, click "Sign up." *
  4. Once you click "Sign up," the Spotify engine will download to your Downloads folder. Double click on it, and click "Run," to run the file to your computer.
  5.  Once you click "Run," Spotify will begin to download to your computer. From there, you can click on the Green icon, and Spotify will open on your computer.
 * You can only have a profile photo added to your account if you choose to sign up with Facebook.

After completing these five easy steps, you are now able to click the search tab in the top left corner of Spotify's screen and search from thousands of created playlists, musicians, albums, and songs to your choosing!

You can share our playlists with friends, click the "Star" to add a great work to your "Favorites," and FOLLOW us on our Spotify Account: RochesterPhilharmonic

Happy Listening!

August 8, 2015

RPO musicians on the road this summer: Part 2

Today we continue our two-part series on what our musicians are up to this summer. After traveling 600 miles with the RPO in July for our summer season, many of our musicians travel to teach and perform at conferences and with other symphonies and musical groups in August before starting another season at the Rochester Philharmonic. Today we catch up with clarinet Will Amsel and trombone Lisa Albrecht to learn more about their summer plans!

Will Amsel, clarinet
Where else did you play this summer?
Will Amsel
In July, my wife Rose and I spent the first couple of weeks playing with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (the summer resident orchestra of the The Chautauqua Institution). Then we came home and I finished up the summer season with the RPO. I think it’s good playing with other groups, whether it's another orchestra or chamber music, because for me it gets me out of my comfort zone and it's just a nice way to meet other musicians from different parts of the country, keeps things fresh.

What are your plans for August?
I’m looking forward to having some time off away from the clarinet (we're re-doing our kitchen, doing some of the work ourselves), and traveling with my wife, who’ll be playing bassoon in various places in August. She’s played with the RPO before, too. While RPO musicians are playing with musicians from other groups around the country, we are able to tell them about the orchestra, and sort of act like mini-ambassadors for what we do here in Rochester!

Lisa Albrecht, trombone
Where are you traveling this summer?
In July, I performed with the Opera Saratoga (formerly known as Lake George Opera) in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I’ve been performing with them since 2007. The company, which has a renowned apprentice program, just wrapped up its 54th season!

What do you like about working with an opera company?
Lisa Albrecht
It’s always a pleasure to have a chance to perform opera in such a beautiful setting as Saratoga Springs. Changing genres, from symphonic to operatic repertoire, brings a different experience and skill set to my playing, which I really enjoy.

What are some of the highlights from your summer in Saratoga?
This past year the Opera Saratoga welcomed Lawrence Edelson as the new artistic and general director. I’m very proud to have been a part of our recent world premier, The Long Walk, by composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, based on Brian Castner’s critically acclaimed book of the same name. The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life upon returning from the war.

That sounds like a very powerful work, and it’s exciting to hear that new opera works are being created and performed. Will you be performing locally this month?
My trombone quartet, Hohenfels Trombone Quartet, will perform on the concert series at the Sodus Point Lighthouse on August 23rd, from 2-4pm, presenting a “summer pops” program with everything thing from James Bond movie themes to jazz, pop, and several tunes inspired by their seaside setting. We’re really looking forward to being a part of this annual concert series with the picturesque backdrop of the historic lighthouse and Lake Ontario.

Lisa Albrecht (center) and the Hohenfels Trombone Quartet

RPO musicians on the road this summer: Part 1

Remember when you were a kid and you would look forward to summer camp? Following the RPO’s busy summer season (10 concerts in the month of July!), many of our musicians travel in August to teach and perform at music festivals, conferences, and with other symphonies and music groups. For them, it’s a great opportunity to share their time and talents in other markets before the start of another concert season at the Rochester Philharmonic. We caught up with four RPO musicians to learn more about what they are up to this summer. Stay tuned to our blog later this week for the second part of this series!

Joanna Bassett, flute/piccolo

What are your plans for August?
I'll be headed to Washington, D.C. with about 4,000 other flutists, to take part in the National Flute Association's annual convention. I've been going to these almost every year since I was in college and participated in the orchestral competition. Each year's experience is a little bit different, but the one thing I can count on is seeing old friends and being inspired by so many concerts, workshops, and the chance to try state-of-the-art flutes and piccolos.

Joanna Bassett (right) and Jan Angus
at a site visit to D.C. in 2014
Why do you think it’s important to teach/perform outside of Rochester?
I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love in the RPO, and part of the reason I have taken on this responsibility is to be able to bring people together to share their talents with others. My RPO colleague Jan Angus and I have been working for the past two years to put this together, and it has been the experience of a lifetime! Our theme is "Out of Many, One", so we are showcasing flutists from many different countries, backgrounds and types of playing, and we are also promoting advocacy through music, featuring many musicians who are advocating in their daily lives. I'm looking forward to bringing some of Rochester's musical talent with us to Washington, D.C., and I'm sure we'll be bringing a lot of energy and ideas back with us when we return home!

Joanna checks acoustics and sound bleed at
a site visit for the NFA
Anything else exciting to share?
We are featuring 223 living composers with many world premieres, 28 flute choirs, flutists from Australia, Taiwan, Israel, Greece, Croatia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and all over the U.S. I am grateful to Jeff Tyzik for writing a new piece for flute and orchestra which will be premiered at a Gala Concerto Concert, and we've also programmed works of Cary Ratcliff, Ken Kreuzer, Katherine Hoover, and Cynthia Folio, to mention just a few local connections.

Perrin Yang, violin

Where are you playing this month?
I'll be playing in a few different places in August and September. Most of August will be spent in Sun Valley, Idaho, playing with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Later that month, I will be back in Rochester playing with my band Significant Other at the Food Truck Rodeo (Aug. 26), as well as at the Seneca Park Zoo Brew (Sep. 11) and downtown at the Fringe Festival (Sep. 25).
Perrin Yang

Have you played with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony before?
Yes, for several years now. I enjoy going because I get time to spend with my family (my brother and sister-in-law both play in Sun Valley Summer Symphony as well). It's nice to be able to be part of a great orchestra made up of people from all around the country, and Sun Valley is a beautiful part of the country!

Why do you think it’s important to play in other markets?
It's important for us to be playing in other locations/markets to keep the RPO name alive. We are a great orchestra, so it's good for us to get out in different places and to play with different people to show the rest of the world that we're still a great orchestra after 92 years! Also, by playing in different markets and playing different styles of music, it just helps to expand the RPO audiences!

Perrin onstage with the Sun Valley Symphony