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Make Holiday Memories With Your RPO


The NutcrackerHandel’s Messiah & Gala Holiday Pops

NEW: RPO & Strong Museum’s Winter Celebration

Rochester, NY – Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) kicks off the holiday season with Rochester’s longest-running holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, in conjunction with Rochester City Ballet (RCB) for six performances: Wednesday, November 23 at 7 PM; Friday, November 25 at 2 & 7 PM; Saturday, November 26 at 2 & 7 PM; and Sunday, November 27 at 2 PM in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets start at $24 for adults/$15 for children.
Returning guest conductor Tara Simoncic, one of the most in-demand woman conductors in ballet today, leads the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s cherished score while RCB welcomes eight new dancers to the stunning, annual production (performed without face masks this year). Paired with the chemistry of returning fan-favorite dancers, the Bach Children’s Chorus (Karla Krogstad, Founder/Director), and approximately 175 of the area’s most charming student dancers from ages five to 18, the timeless tale will entertain audiences of all ages with renewed energy.
“We also have two Deaf children participating in The Nutcracker with us this year,” adds RCB Artistic Director Robert Gardner. “We’re so excited to include them as Pages, and thanks to our Nutcracker Scholarship Fund, we are able to provide an interpreter for them at every rehearsal and performance so they can be a part of the magic as well.” 
Next up on the holiday must-do list: Handel’s Messiah for one night onlyFriday, December 9 at 8 PM in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Led by beloved RPO Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman, and featuring the Rochester Oratorio Society (Eric Townell, Artistic Director), the world-class RPO invites the community to rejoice with Baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s glorious English-language oratorio featuring the rousing “Hallelujah” chorus.
Brand-new this year is a partnership between the RPO and the Strong Museum of PlayLet’s Play: A Winter Celebration on Saturday, December 10. Families are invited from 11 AM – 4 PM for musical performances throughout the museum featuring RPO musicians as well as student musicians from Strings for SuccessROCmusic, and the School of the Arts (SOTA Choir). An instrument petting zoo, a musical story time, and music-related arts & crafts are also included in the regular museum admission: $19 (ages 2 and over); free for those under 2 and members.

The second Sunday matinee of the 2022-23 Season, Brandenburg Concerto (please note that this is a recent title and program change), takes place Sunday, December 11 at 2 PM in Beston Hall at GlazerMusic Performance Center at Nazareth College (4245 East Ave., 14618). Led by RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs, the program includes Bach’s famous Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in Bb Major, Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante, Mozart’s Impresario Overture, and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. General Admission tickets are $40 for adults/$20 for children up to 17 years of age.
Closing out RPO’s holiday season is the 29th Gala Holiday Pops – Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik’s inclusive, community holiday celebration – running for four performances in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre: Friday, December 16 at 8 PM; Saturday, December 17 at 2 & 8 PM; and Sunday, December 18 at 2 PM. Tyzik’s special guest this year is vocalist extraordinaire Shayna Steele, who’s traveled the world with Bette Midler, Chris Botti, and her own band, and has been featured with the RPO on several previous Pops programs. Plus: the Festival High School Chorale is back! Made up of select high school chorus members from seven counties, and under the direction of Brenda Nitsch and Anthony D’Agostino, it will be featured on both halves of this year’s program and will perform new arrangements of holiday classics with Shayna Steele as well. As is traditional, most of the concert’s program is arranged or composed by Maestro Tyzik, including his “A Christmas Overture,” “Mis zeh Hidlik (Behold the Lights),” and “Carol of the Kings.”
Tickets for all Kodak Hall shows (excluding The Nutcracker) start at $24/$12 for children ages 3-17 and are available online anytime at, by phone at 585-454-2100 (Monday-Friday,10 AM-5 PM), and in person at RPO Patron Services at 225 East Avenue (Monday -Friday, 10 AM-5 PM) and one hour prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.). Incentivized subscription packages for the 2022-23 Season are also available via the locations above.
COVID protocols have been updated: Vaccinations are no longer required to attend concerts and masking is currently optional in Kodak Hall. In an effort to accommodate those patrons who prefer to mask, the RPO is pleased to offer a masks-only section designated in a portion of the balcony.
The RPO thanks Season Sponsor M&T Bank, Pops Series Sponsors Canandaigua National Bank & Wegmans, and Special Series Sponsor Pittsford Federal Credit Union.
ABOUT THE RPO: The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its origins in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Music Director Andreas Delfs joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Mark Elder, Ward Stare, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, now in his 29th season, has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his tenure with the RPO. The RPO reaches more than 15,000 youth through its specific education programs.
Media please note: High-resolution images and other media assets for the 2022-23 Season can be found at Interviews and photo/footage opportunities are also available.