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For Immediate Release:  April 13, 2017

Media Contacts:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, [email protected]




Returning for his 4th time, Fabien Gabel has deep affection for the RPO

Concertmaster Juliana Athayde finally performs ‘bucket’ list Bartók concerto


Rochester, NY –  The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2016/17 Season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, builds towards its grand finales in late May and early June, with Debussy’s La Mer on Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.


Parisian conductor Fabien Gabel continues his thrilling interpretations that have made him a Rochester favorite since his RPO debut in 2013. This time – his fourth return in as many seasons – he’ll lead one of the greatest of all French works: Debussy’s shimmering La mer. The concert opens with the cinematic sweep of Hermman’s Suite from (Hitchcock’s) Vertigo, and includes Dukas’ “Fanfare” and “poème dansé” from his ballet, La Péri (The Flower of Immortality). Concertmaster Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair) will take a sensational solo turn with a barn burner that mixes daunting technical demands with Romantic soul: Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2.


“I feel a close connection to Debussy’s La Mer both in its Gallic roots and extraordinary instrumental textures, and I find Hitchcock’s Vertigo film score to be an incredibly dramatic, powerful score in the way that it enhances the movie with its brilliant orchestration and evocative moods” says Maestro Gabel. “In addition, I have a deep affection for the RPO – both for the ensemble as a whole and for the individual musicians. I’m very much looking forward to performing the Bartók concerto with Juliana Athayde, a dear friend with whom I worked back in 2002 at the Aspen Music Festival before running into her again during my first time conducting the RPO!”


“When the opportunity came up to collaborate on a concerto performance with the RPO, Fabien and I were both interested in the second Bartók concerto. This piece has been on my personal ‘bucket list’ for years and it was great to find that he shared my passion for this work,” explains Athayde. “I’m thrilled to finally perform this concerto with the RPO – so many years after I first fell in love with it – and I hope our audience will feel the same excitement and intrigue I felt as a young musician hearing this music for the first time.”


Tickets start at $23, with $10 student tickets, and are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s new Patron Services Center (108 East Avenue) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations.


The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, and Juliana Athayde’s performance is made possible by the Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund. RPO performances are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by Monroe County, the City of Rochester, the Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund, the Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess, and the Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund.


The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 140 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 160,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 23-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), the RPO reaches more than 22,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


Media please note: High-resolution images of 2016/17 concerts are available at and upon request, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.