Rochester, NY; April 20, 2006 – It may not literally be a three-ring circus when celebrated pianist Horacio Gutiérrez comes to town to perform the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, but according to RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman, the concerto is “a tiger of a piece with a really virtuoso piano part, which Horacio will eat alive!” Audiences will get a chance to witness the performance of this thrilling work on Thursday, May 4, and Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre, in addition to the orchestra performing the brilliant Carnival Overture by Antonin Dvorák, and one of Maestro Seaman’s personal favorites, Schubert’s majestic and charming Symphony No. 9 “The Great.” Christopher Seaman will host the Pre-Concert Chat at 7 p.m.
“This is really one of the difficult, wonderful piano concertos,” Gutierrez has said. “Prokofiev had his own idiom, his own way of communicating. Concerto No. 3 sounds different from every other piano concerto; full of a lot of leaps, it’s visually very exciting.” Considered among today’s foremost pianists, Horacio Gutiérrez is praised consistently by critics and audiences alike for the poetic insight and technical mastery he brings to a diverse repertoire. Since his professional debut in 1970 with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Gutiérrez has appeared regularly with the world’s greatest orchestras, on its major recital series, and on chamber music venues with many of the well-known chamber ensembles. His many recordings include Prokofiev’s Concertos No. 2 and 3 with Neeme Jarvi and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Dvorák’s Carnival Overture is one of three symphonic poems intended to express the composer’s views on nature, and originally titled “Nature, Life, and Love.” Although the first and the third have been neglected, Carnival Overture has become the composer’s most popular short orchestral work, displaying his joyous enthusiasm for life.
Schubert’s “Great” C Major Symphony has great personal importance for Maestro Seaman, who first conducted it in his youth. The French horn opening heralds the message of the important musical journey to follow, as Schubert’s melodic genius comes fully into play. Although seeming to unfold effortlessly and naturally, the symphony is written on an enormous scale.
At the end of intermission during the Thursday, May 4 concert, the RPO’s annual 2006 Outstanding Music Educators Award recipients will be honored. This year’s winners are: Kathleen M. Coughlin of Willink Middle School, Kevin M. Coughlin of Wilson Foundation Academy, Cheryl A. Guth of Brighton High School, James E. Orgar of French Road School and Kathryn J. White of Byron-Bergen Middle-Senior High School.
Tickets for these performances are $22-$52, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at all Wegmans Video Departments. RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). The Wegmans Video Department is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.
The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb. This concert is made possible in part by Messenger Post Newspapers. The RPO gratefully acknowledges PAETEC Communications Inc. for the PAETEC Philharmonic Partners program, which offers discounted Philharmonics Series tickets to local college students.
Celebrating its 83rd season in 2005-06, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s mission is to perform and present a broad range of quality music; attract, entertain and educate audiences with superior musical performances; maintain and build the Orchestra’s national reputation; and enhance the reputation of the Rochester community as a place in which to live, work, play, visit and learn.
RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; the County of Monroe; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.