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Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to Launch Partnership with Ithaca Community with a Concert at Ithaca College

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced today that it is taking the first step toward a long-term partnership with the Ithaca community with a concert on Sunday, February 12 at 3 p.m. in Ford Hall, Ithaca College.

President & CEO Charlie Owens remarked, “Two years ago, the RPO administration received a warm welcome when we visited Ithaca and floated the idea with community leaders about a future RPO residency.  As part of our new strategic plan, we aspire to build a multi-year relationship with the citizens, students, and institutions of Ithaca and Tompkins County.  We are excited to launch this new initiative with an inaugural concert with RPO Music Director Arild Remmereit in February 2012, and we hope that this will be the first of many RPO performances in that community.”

The RPO will officially roll out its new strategic at its Annual Meeting in January 2012.  One major strategic initiative the Orchestra plans is to broaden its reach throughout Western New York, the Finger Lakes region and the Southern Tier.  The centerpiece of this regional programming initiative is to develop a concert series in Ithaca.

“The Ithaca Convention and Visitors Bureau is thrilled to learn that the RPO is going to be having a presence in Ithaca.  This presence strengthens a very important business and cultural bridge between Ithaca and Rochester.  What could be better—wine, waterfalls, and now the Philharmonic,” remarked Fred Bonn, Director of the Visitors Bureau.

On February 12, 2012, Arild Remmereit will conduct the RPO in music by Richard Strauss, Karen Tanaka, and Roberto Sierra.  The Strauss works include his dramatic tone poem Don Juan and excerpts from his opera Der Rosenkavlier.  Japanese-born Karen Tanaka’s Rose Absolute is part of the theme of women composers that runs throughout Remmereit’s inaugural season as RPO Music Director.  Tanaka, who is on the composition faculty of California Institute of the Arts, has been invited as a composer-in-residence at many important festivals, and her music has been widely performed throughout the world by major orchestras and ensembles. She has composed extensively for both instrumental and electronic media.  

Cornell Music Department Chair Roberto Sierra’s Sinfonia No. 4, commissioned by the RPO, along with 11 other orchestras, as part of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, is also on the program.  The Sphinx Consortium is an initiative to highlight Black and Latino composers and encourage diversity in classical music.  The RPO will perform the piece for the first time on its Philharmonics Series Thursday, November 17 and Saturday, November 19 in Rochester’s Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Coincidentally, Remmereit conducted this piece with the New Jersey Symphony, one of the 12 orchestras to commission this piece, in October 2009.

Tickets to the RPO’s Ithaca concert ($25, students $10) can be purchased by calling Ticket Center Ithaca at 607.273.4497, in person at 171 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, or online at

Beginning in the 2011-2012 Season, Arild Remmereit joins the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as its eleventh Music Director. Remmereit adds to the Orchestra’s storied history, which includes such illustrious conductors as Eugene Goosens, Erich Leinsdorf, and David Zinman.  The Norwegian-born Remmereit made five dramatic debuts, over the course of five months in 2005, with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala, the Munich Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony, quickly establishing himself as a major talent on the international scene.  Remmereit  was immediately re-engaged in Pittsburgh, Vienna, Milan, and Baltimore, and since then has conducted a number of other prominent orchestras around the world, including the Detroit Symphony, England’s Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale in Florence, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Bamberg Symphoniker, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic, among many others.  In 2005, he made an acclaimed debut at the Teatro alla Scala conducting Tchaikovsky’s opera Cherevicki.

Founded by George Eastman in 1922, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra welcomed eleventh Music Director Arild Remmereit in September 2011.  The RPO is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense, and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  As one of the great American orchestras, the RPO aspires to be an institution driven by a culture of confidence, adventure, excellence, and success; the premier cultural organization in the region and the hub of cultural life year-round; and recognized nationally for artistic and organizational excellence, creativity, and innovation.  The RPO reaches more than 750,000 people annually with 180 concerts and broadcasts on WXXI each season. 

Editors Please Note:

Sunday, February 12, 2012
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Arild Remmereit, conductor
Vocal soloists from Eastman School of Music, tba

Ford Hall, Ithaca College
SIERRA Sinfonia No. 4
TANAKA Rose Absolute
R.STRAUSS Excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier

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