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2005 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Performs with RPO

Rochester, N.Y., Feb. 13, 2006 – 2005 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Alexander Kobrin joins conductor Christopher Seaman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday, March 2 and Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre. The program includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, Allen Shawn’s Symphony in Three Parts and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Christopher Seaman hosts the Pre-concert Chat at 7 p.m. each evening.

The Orchestra is celebrating the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadè Mozart this season with six Philharmonics Series concerts and six Symphony 101 concerts featuring his music. This Glimpsing Greatness concert features Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, one of the pieces he performed during the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June 2005. Listeners may recognize the second movement of the concerto from the closing credits of the film Amadeus.

Allen Shawn’s Symphony in Three Parts was written as both a ballet and as orchestral concert music in 1987. The composer said: “I have always felt close to ballet, so the dance impulse felt in this work is actually present in a great deal of my music. However certain passages, particularly the waltz and tango episodes in the slow movement, and the accelerating excitement of the finale, are particularly suggestive of the world of ballet and theater.”

Tickets for these performances are $22-$52, available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, and at all Wegmans Video Departments. RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). The Wegmans Video Department is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.

The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb. Mr. Kobrin’s appearance is made possible by the Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund. The performance of Allen Shawn’s work is made possible by Ronald and Donna Fielding. Additional support for this concert is provided by The Mozart Performance Fund. The RPO gratefully acknowledges PAETEC Communications Inc. for the PAETEC Philharmonic Partners program, which offers discounted Philharmonics Series tickets to local college students.

In June 2005, at the age of 25, Alexander Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, along with three years of international concert engagements coordinated by IMG Artists Europe, and a compact disc recording of his award-winning Cliburn Competition performances for the harmonia mundi usa label. First-prize winner of the 1999 Busoni Competition and a top prizewinner of both the 2000 Chopin and 2003 Hamamatsu Competitions, Mr. Kobrin has toured extensively throughout Europe, South America and Asia. Last season, he toured Italy and Japan while completing his graduate studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the direction of Lev Naumov. In addition to the Cliburn Competition disc for harmonia mundi released fall 2005, Mr. Kobrin appears in In the Heart of Music, the film documentary about the 2005 Cliburn Competition, which aired on PBS stations in October 2005. When Alexander Kobrin is not performing, he teaches at the Moscow State Gnessin Academy of Music.

Celebrating its 83rd season in 2005-06, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s mission is to perform and present a broad range of quality music; attract, entertain and educate audiences with superior musical performances; maintain and build the Orchestra’s national reputation; and enhance the reputation of the Rochester community as a place in which to live, work, play, visit and learn.

RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; the County of Monroe; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.