We are excited to share with you our upcoming Philharmonic Series! The 2019-20 season explores a significant time in our musical history in the early years of the 20th century – a time when avant-garde artists like Debussy, Boulanger, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg were challenging and changing the face of classical music.



Thursdays at 7:30 PM & Saturdays at 8 PM



Scheherazade.2 – Sept. 19 & 21, 2019  Series: A B D

Ward Stare, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin

MASON BATES Mothership
CINDY MCTEE Einstein’s Dream
STEVE REICH Three Movements for Orchestra
JOHN ADAMS Scheherazade.2

Your RPO takes part in the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival in this adventurous and exciting program featuring four living composers: Bates, McTee, Reich, and Adams. The program opens with Mason Bates’ Mothership, an energetic piece that imagines the orchestra as a mothership that is ‘docked’ by visiting soloists, who offer brief but virtuosic riffs on the work’s thematic material over action-packed electro-acoustic orchestral figuration. Einstein’s Dream by Cindy McTee reads like a diary, each entry recording the dreams of Albert Einstein as he worked on his theory of relativity. Reich’s Three Movements for Orchestra will engage audiences with its unexpected orchestra layout and three movements – fast, slow fast! – that move from one into another without pause. The program concludes with world-renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz as soloist in John Adams’ Scheherazade.2.


Dvořák 8 – Oct. 3 & 4, 2019  Series: A C E 

Please Note: this concert will be presented on Thursday at 7:30 PM & Friday at 8 PM.  

David Danzmayr, conductor
Orli Shaham, piano

HAYDN Symphony No. 34
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 17, K. 453
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8

Guest conductor David Danzmayr makes his RPO debut with your RPO in a program featuring Dvořák’s decidedly genial and upbeat Eighth Symphony. But first, Orli Shaham performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 – a delightful piece with an immediately memorable melody.


Tchaikovsky 4  – Oct. 17 & 19, 2019  Series: A B F 

Christopher Seaman, conductor
Simone Porter, violin

HINDEMITH Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber
BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman brings Tchaikovsky’s incredible Symphony No. 4 to life. The Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, described by Classic FM as “one of the best works of the Romantic period,” will feature violinist Simone Porter. Hindemith’s Symphony Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber begins the program.



The Firebird – Oct. 31 & Nov. 2, 2019  Series: A C E 

Ward Stare, conductor
Andrei Ioniță, cello

DEBUSSY Printemps
ELGAR Cello Concerto
BOULANGER D’un soir triste
BOULANGER D’un matin de printemps
STRAVINSKY The Firebird Suite (1945)

As difficult as it may be to believe, The Firebird was Igor Stravinsky’s first large-scale work for orchestra. The ballet was such a tremendous success that the composer instantly became an international sensation. The program also features two works by Lili Boulanger, Nadia’s younger sister. This gifted composer’s career skyrocketed when she became the first woman to win the Prix de Rome at the age of 19, but was cut tragically short when she died five years later from a chronic illness. Elgar’s Cello Concerto, his last major work, speaks of the anguish and disillusionment the composer felt about the Great War and what it had done to the world. The concert opens with Debussy’s Printemps (Springtime), a misty blend of winds, strings, and brass.


Bach to Bartók – Nov. 7 & 9, 2019  Series: A B D 

Ward Stare, conductor
Tessa Lark, violin

BACH/WEBERN Ricercar No. 2 from Musical Offering
SCHOENBERG Five Pieces for Orchestra
BERG Violin Concerto
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

The program opens with Bach’s Ricercar No. 2 from Musical Offering. Then, violinist Tessa Lark makes her RPO debut as soloist in Berg’s Violin Concerto; dedicated to “the memory of an angel,” the piece may very well be a requiem for the composer himself. Bach, arguably one of the most important composers in western music is quoted in Berg’s concerto. Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra mirror the expressionist movement of the times, particularly its preoccupation with the subconscious.


JoAnn Falletta + Symphonie Fantastique – Nov. 21 & 23, 2019  Series: A C F 

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Rebecca Gilbert, flute The Charlotte Whitney Allen Chair

TAILLEFERRE Ouverture pour orchestre
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

There was perhaps no more imaginative orchestrator than Hector Berlioz and his Symphonie fantastique is a quintessential example of his visionary genius. Guest conductor JoAnn Falletta brings this piece alive at Kodak Hall, along with Rouse’s Celtic-influenced Flute Concerto with Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert as soloist. The program also includes Taillerferre’s Ouverture pour orchestre.



Gabel Conducts Beethoven – Jan. 16 & 18, 2020  Series: A C 

Fabien Gabel, conductor
Juho Phjonen, piano

BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
BEETHOVEN Piano Concert No. 1
POULENC Suite from Les Animaux modéles
PROKOFIEV Symphonic Suite from War and Peace

Guest conductor Fabien Gabel returns to lead your RPO in Prokofiev’s Symphony Suite from War and Peace. Poulenc’s Suite from Les Animaux modéles, a piece of major resistance at the beginning of the 20th century, is also on the program. Pianist Juho Phjonen makes his RPO debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The program opens with Beethoven’s powerfully beautiful Egmont Overture.



Women’s Suffrage: Past + Present – Jan. 30 & Feb. 1, 2020  Series: A B 

Ward Stare, conductor
Mark Mobley, playwright

Join Music Director Ward Stare for the world premiere of a new work by an emerging female composer. Plus, playwright Mark Mobley is creating a new theatrical work setting the stories of strong Rochester women, past and present, to music.






The Mother of Us All – Feb. 6 & 8, 2020  Series: A B D RPO Annual Opera Concert 

Ward Stare, conductor

THOMSON The Mother of Us All

The Mother of Us All, an opera by Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein, chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony. In fanciful style, it brings together characters, fictional and non-fictional, from different periods of American history.





Tchaikovsky + Athayde – Feb. 27 & 29, 2020  Series: A C E 

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Juliana Athayde, violin The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair

TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto

Concertmaster Juliana Athayde performs one of the most well-known violin concertos ever written – Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Plus, guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger leads the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.



Brahms 4 – Mar. 19 & 21, 2020  Series: A B F 

Ward Stare, conductor
Andreas Haefliger, piano

WEBER Passacaglia
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Celebrate the Romantic genius of Johannes Brahms. Ward Stare leads the great and noble Fourth Symphony. Pianist Andreas Haefliger returns as the evening’s guest artist.


The Year 1905 – Apr. 30 & May 2, 2020  Series: A C D 

Ward Stare, conductor
Isabel Leonard, mezzo soprano

USTVOLSKAYA Symphonic Poem No. 2
BERLIOZ Les Nuits d’ete
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 11, “The Year 1905”

Written in 1957, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, “The Year 1905” was written in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution that year. A popular piece, the symphony was an instant success and won Shostakovich the Lenin Prize in 1958. Galina Ustvolskaya, wrote her Symphonic Poem No. 2 at the same time her teacher, Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 11. In a note to Ustvolskaya, Shostakovich wrote, “It is not you who are influenced by me; rather, it is I who am influenced by you.” Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’ete begins the program.



“Organ” Symphony – May 7 & 9, 2020  Series: A B E 

Christoph König, conductor
Alexandra Soumm, violin

LISZT Les Préludes
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto
SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 3, “Organ”

Christoph König returns to conduct Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with violinist Alexandra Soumm making her RPO debut. The program begins with Liszt’s Les Préludes, taken from one of the composer’s earlier choral works, this piece is one of the earliest symphonic poems. The program concludes with Saint-Saëns’ energetic and powerful “Organ” Symphony.




The “Titan” Symphony – May 28 & 30, 2020  Series: A C F 

Ward Stare, conductor
Inon Barnatan, piano

ADÈS Dances from Powder Her Face
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 1
MAHLER Symphony No. 1

Ward Stare continues the exploration of Mahler’s symphonies with “Titan”, the composer’s First Symphony. This grandiose and booming symphony incorporates themes and compositions earlier works. There’s no greater way to end the 2019/20 Season that with this overpowering piece!



Click here to view pricing for our 19/20 Philharmonic Season. Single tickets go on sale to the general public in July, but you can purchase a Full, Half or Mini Phils Series today! Our Patron Services Center is ready to assist you. Please call us at (585) 454-2100.


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