OCT 6 & 8

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

Inon Barnatan, piano

HIGDON blue cathedral
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor
FARRENC Symphony No. 3 in G Minor

Bold, dynamic, and passionate, Maestra Mei-Ann Chen joins your RPO for her Rochester debut. Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral tells a story of loss and mourning with its evocative harmonies and masterful construction. Rochester favorite Inon Barnatan returns to perform Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The composer’s nuanced, intimate, and sensitive mastery of the pianistic voice is prevalent throughout the piece. Because the much-admired work of French composer Louise Farrenc was all but forgotten after her death, the RPO is proud to join orchestras around the world in bringing well-deserved attention to her symphonic output. Her 3rd Symphony is as unique in voice as it is sophisticated.


OCT 20 & 22

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Colin Currie, percussion

R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel
ROUSE Der gerettete Alberich

Music Director Andreas Delfs leads your RPO in a collection of musical stories. Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel tells the tale of a medieval German trickster, with the first heroic motif even spelling out the syllables of his name. Percussionist Colin Currie hops across the pond to join us for the Rochester premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Der gerettete Alberich, an informal musical sequel to Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. Petrushka tells the tragic story of a puppet, a character popular in Russian folktales. Stravinsky’s compelling score brings the title character into uniquely human experiences, including soaring love and tragic death.


NOV 3 & 5

Vinay Parameswaran, conductor

Tai Murray, violin

MARSALIS Violin Concerto in D Major
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5 in Eb Major

The Cleveland Orchestra’s Vinay Parameswaran joins your RPO for an evening of Rochester debuts! Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis’ violin concerto makes its way to the stage of Kodak Hall for the first time. Performed by Tai Murray, the piece combines the elements of jazz, blues, and classical music to create something that is uniquely American. First premiered in 1915, Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony demonstrates the composer’s commitment to lush, romantic harmony during a period of radical changes in the harmonic language of younger composers. The symphony underwent extensive revisions by the self-critical composer before it became the beloved masterpiece that is performed today.


NOV 17 & 19

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Jasmine Habersham, soprano

Christopher Maltman, baritone

Eastman Rochester Chorus

DERRICK SKYE New Work (RPO Commission)
BRAHMS A German Requiem

Described by the Los Angeles Times as “enormous fun to listen to,” Los Angeles based composer Derrick Skye brings his unique musical voice to Rochester with a World Premiere. The piece, commissioned by the RPO as a companion piece to the monumental Brahms Requiem, explores themes of motherhood, mentorship, and love for those around you. A German Requiem, called a “Human Requiem” by the composer himself, was written as a piece to comfort the living in the face of mortality. Brahms wrote the piece while grieving the death of his own mother.


JAN 12 & 14

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Juliana Athayde, violin

The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair

WAGNER Lohengrin Prelude
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E Minor
BRUCKNER Symphony 6 in A Major

Beloved RPO concertmaster Juliana Athayde takes center stage alongside Music Director Andreas Delfs to exhibit her artistry in Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto – a seasoned staple of the repertoire that has frequented the concert stage for almost two centuries. Wagner’s colorful prelude to his romantic opera, Lohengrin, is just precursor to the operatic innovations that the composer would soon develop. Anton Bruckner’s dynamic, rhythmically inventive, sophisticated, and masterfully subtle 6th Symphony was described by the composer himself as “saucy.”


JAN 26 & 28

Andreas Delfs, conductor

RPO Soloists

Sponsored by Jon and Katherine Schumacher

HAYDN Symphony No. 44 in E Minor
SCHULHOFF Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, “Pathétique”

Music Director Andreas Delfs leads your RPO in a program featuring soloists from the orchestra. Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 is one of the composer’s few symphonies written in a minor key and the composer requested the slow movement to be played at his funeral, giving the piece the nickname of “Trauer,” or mourning. Erwin Schulhoff, a student of Debussy, was among the first classical composers to use jazz as an influence. His Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra embodies his belief that “absolute art is revolution.” Tchaikovsky’s beloved final work, his Symphony No. 6 ends the program. The piece was titled as the “passionate” symphony by the composer, then translated from Russian into French as “Pathétique.


FEB 9 & 11

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Thomas Warfield, narrator

Kearstin Piper Brown, soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE Songs of Harriet Tubman
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Symphony No. 1 in Ab Major, “Afro-American”
JAMES LEE III Freedom’s Genuine Dawn (RPO Co-Commission)

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik makes a guest appearance in the Philharmonics series to conduct this special concert, a celebration of the rich history of black Rochesterians. Internationally acclaimed Rochesterians Kearstin Piper Brown and Thomas Warfield join the RPO for this program, featuring works with direct ties to our vibrant city by Adolphus Hailstork, Nkeiru Okoye, Duke Ellington, and an RPO Co-comission by James Lee III. A highlight of the night will be William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony, which was premiered in Rochester by the RPO in 1931.


MAR 2 & 4

Mario Venzago, conductor

Jonathan Biss, piano

ROSSINI Ouverture Il Viaggio a Reims
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 7 in E Major

Conductor Mario Venzago returns to Rochester for an evening of Classical masterpieces. Renowned American pianist Jonathan Biss takes the stage for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, a piece widely recognized as one of Mozart’s concerto masterpieces. Two reconstructions bookend the concerto: Rossini’s Overture to Il Viaggio a Reims was once lost to time, only recently reconstructed by scholars; and Schubert’s Seventh Symphony only ever existed as a piano score during the composer’s lifetime. Maestro Venzago brings his own completed arrangement of Schubert’s Seventh Symphony to the stage of Kodak Hall.


MAR 16 & 18

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Stephen Hough, piano

Sponsored by Deborah Ronnen

DEBUSSY Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
SCHOENBERG Verklaerte Nacht
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 D Minor

One of the most distinctive artists of a generation, Stephen Hough joins your RPO to perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1, a piece that is romantic, inventive, and unapologetically Brahms. The first half of the program details two different composers in the process of developing their own unique harmonic language. The first, Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is just a precursor to the impressionist movement of which Debussy would soon be a leading figure (although he himself never fully accepted that reputation). Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, although tonal, hints at the composer’s dissatisfaction with traditional harmonic structure.


APR 13 & 15

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Zlatomir Fung, cello

LALO Cello Concerto in D Major
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

An American masterpiece, Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story tells of cultures colliding, a theme that plays out across this program. Declared by Mahler himself to be “the start of modern music,” Chabrier’s España is paired with Lalo’s rhapsodic Cello Concerto to make up the first half of the program. The first American in four decades and the youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division, Zlatomir Fung, joins the RPO as soloist. Roberto Sierra’s colorful Fandangos, a rhythmic piece inspired by the triple meter Spanish dance, follows the Bernstein to end the lively evening.


MAY 4 & 6

Lan Shui, conductor

Stefan Jackiw, violin

BARBER Overture to The School For Scandal
BRUCH Scottish Fantasy
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 5 in F Major

Conductor Laureate of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Lan Shui, makes his RPO debut. Samuel Barber’s first-ever composition for full orchestra, the Overture to the School for Scandal, is brilliantly orchestrated and artistically unique. One of America’s foremost violinists, Stephen Jackiw, joins as soloist for Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, a piece which draws inspiration from the tunes of Scottish folk songs. The basis of folk music is echoed in the second half of the program in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5, a piece that exemplifies the composer’s deep-rooted connection to the melodies and rhythms of his native Bohemia.


MAY 18 & 20

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Lester Lynch, Rigoletto

Raven McMillon, Gilda

Matthew White, Duca

VERDI Rigoletto

The RPO’s Annual Opera Concert brings drama, orchestral excellence, and world-class singing to the stage of Kodak Hall with Verdi’s Rigoletto. Considered a masterwork of the operatic genre, Rigoletto tells the tragic story of the Duke of Mantua, his court jester, Rigoletto, and Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda. The opera was originally titled La maledizione, or The Curse, referencing a curse placed on Rigoletto and the Duke – thus the tragedy unfolds.


JUN 1 & 3

Andreas Delfs, conductor

Rochester Oratorio Society

MAHLER  Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”

One of the greatest symphonies of all time closes out your season. Completed in 1894, Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony was the first significant work exploring his lifelong perspectives of the afterlife and established him as a leading composer of his day. An all-embracing work, it is the first of Mahler’s symphonies to use voices, words, and orchestra to create a musical experience that will stay with you far beyond the concert hall. Join us as we sound the trumpets and ring the bells for this grand Season Finale!

Our 22/23 Season is made possible with the generous support of: