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Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Announces Creation of The Christopher Seaman Chair, Supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society

ROCHESTER, NY  As Christopher Seaman’s final season as Music Director concludes this weekend, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced today the creation of The Christopher Seaman Chair, Supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society. Longtime RPO supporters Barbara and Patrick Fulford of Brighton have pledged the lead gift of $100,000 to support this chair. More than 30 other donors also have pledged their support, bringing the total raised to $435,000—which will be used to fund Christopher’s return appearances as Conductor Laureate in future seasons and will help to fill the projected deficit in the current season’s budget caused by sharp declines in corporate and government funding.
Seaman assumes the role of Conductor Laureate beginning with the 2011-2012 Season, and will return annually to conduct the RPO beginning in March 2012. Christopher Seaman is the RPO’s longest-tenured Music Director; the 2010-2011 Season marks his 13th in this position.

Board Chair Suzanne Welch said, “Our beloved Maestro Christopher Seaman has guided this Orchestra for the last 13 seasons. The generosity of Barbara and Patrick Fulford, like our Maestro, is simply beyond measure. Time and again, I have seen their love of this great orchestra at the forefront of their actions. I would like to publicly thank the Fulfords for their wonderful gift. Their gift, combined with those from The Conductor Laureate Society, enables us to bring Christopher to Rochester for many seasons to come and to continue the great music-making we all have come to love and admire.”

President and CEO Charlie Owens remarked, “The outpouring of significant gifts honoring Christopher in recent weeks is testament to the profound impact he has had on our community.  His musicianship and his humanity have touched the soul of so many, and we are especially proud to bestow upon him a lifetime appointment as Conductor Laureate in a chair that is named for him.”

and Patrick Fulford said, “Christopher Seaman has played such an important role in the Rochester community, the RPO, and to us personally for many years.  This gift is our way of showing our sincere appreciation for an amazing and dedicated Maestro, as well as our contribution to making sure Christopher returns to our beloved Orchestra for years to come.”

Christopher Seaman
noted, “I am so very touched that Barbara and Patrick, as well as The Conductor Laureate Society, have generously given this remarkable gift in my honor because they know it is my wish to leave this orchestra in a healthy financial state.”

Additional contributions of $10,000 or more to The Conductor Laureate Society are being accepted until July 31, 2011. To make a contribution, please contact Sarah Goldstein Post at 399.3638 or [email protected]


The Conductor Laureate Society

Gold Baton ($100,000)
Barbara & Patrick Fulford

Podium ($50,000-$99,999)
Joan & Harold Feinbloom

Concertmaster ($25,000-$49,999)
 Anonymous (2)    
Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Hurlbut, Sr.                   
Cricket & Frank Luellen

Principal ($10,000-$24,999)
Anonymous (2)                   
Lisa Brubaker, James Viscardi,
   Louise Woerner & Don Kollmorgen
William Eggers & Deborah McLean  
Louise Epstein    
Steven Hess & Sarah Atkinson, M.D. 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hursh  
Harold & Christine Kurland
Ann Mulligan    
Kathy & John Purcell  
Robin Lehman & Marie Rolf  
Elizabeth & Larry Rice  
Nick & Susan Robfogel   
Drs. Gwen & Richard Sterns   
Frank & Mary Lou Stotz   

Conductor Laureate Supporters
John & Carol Bennett    
Paul & Bea Briggs
David & Barrie Heiligman   
Jim & Marianne Koller  
Dawn & Jacques Lipson    
Charles H. Owens  
Jon & Katherine Schumacher   
Joel & Friederike Seligman 
Suzanne D. Welch & William D. Watson 
Robin & Michael Weintraub
Deborah Wilson