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20th Century Works That Have Become Orchestral Classics

Rochester, NY—Music Director Christopher Seaman brings some of the 20th century’s most prominent masterpieces to life with the RPO in the final Symphony 101 concert of the season on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 14 at 2:00 pm at the Performance Hall and Hochstein. The concert presents selections from “modern” pieces by Shostakovich, Britten, Stravinsky, and Bartók that have taken their place as classics in the orchestral repertoire.  A new Symphony 201 concert debuts on Sunday, April 18 with pianist Misha Dichter joining Seaman to demonstrate the style of “Theme and Variations” using Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

All of the featured 20th century works fit perfectly in Christopher’s interactive Symphony 101 format with social, political, or contextual references.  These include excerpts from Shostakovich’s ingenious Symphony No. 10, premiered in 1953 following the death of Stalin; the great English composer Benjamin Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” from his opera Peter Grimes; the 1947 revised version of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka composed for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes; and the orchestral Suite from Bartók’s innovative work, The Miraculous Mandarin, which was not premiered until years after its completion due to its unconventional story line. 

This season’s Symphony 101 Series focuses on four groundbreaking periods in the history of music when composers were writing some of their most influential music.  These engaging and innovative one-hour concerts feature discussion, musical examples, selections from significant works, and complete pieces.  Following each concert, Christopher Seaman takes questions from the audience. 

Special $10 student pricing is in effect for the Sunday Symphony 101 performances.  All other general admission tickets are $24, available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100), in-person from the RPO Box Office, and at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  RPO Box Office hours are 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Saturday (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm).