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RPO 2016/17 Season Closes with 4 Grand Finales

For Immediate Release:  April 27, 2017

Media Contact:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, [email protected]

RPO Info:,,,,



Philharmonics: Puccini’s La Bohème in Concert; Pops: Women Rock

OrKIDStra: 100th Anniversary of America’s National Parks

Sunday Matinée: Bach & Stravinsky


Rochester, NY –  The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2016/17 Season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, closes in late May and early June with four grand finales.


First up: the 2016/17 OrKIDStra Series ends with 100th Anniversary of America’s National Parks on Sunday, May 21 at 2 p.m. at the Hochstein Performance Hall. Led by Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), the Orchestra will celebrate the beauty of America’s National Parks with photography and music by composer/photographer Stephen Lias. Audiences will be transported to the Gates of the Arctic and Rocky Mountain National Parks, plus hear Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite. This concert is made possible in part by Dr. and Mrs. Tae B. Whang, with media sponsorship by Kids Out and Tickets are $17/$13 for children.


Closing out May and the 2016/17 Philharmonics Series is Puccini’s La Bohème in Concert in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 27 at 8 p.m. Music Director Ward Stare leads Puccini’s spellbinding tale of poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimi, set amidst the backdrop of Paris’ bohemian Latin Quarter. Filled with justly-famous arias, the RPO’s La Bohème features a cast of 11 superb vocalists from all over the country, including soprano Inna Dukach as Mimi, tenor Harold Meers as Rudolfo, soprano Jacqueline Echols as Musetta, and baritone Alexander Elliott as Marcello. The in-concert production will feature the entire orchestra as well as cast onstage – with some costuming, props, and English supertitles – and will include Rochester’s Madrigalia (Cary Ratcliff, director) and the Bach Children’s Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director).  The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by M&T Bank; concert sponsors are Gouvernet Arts Fund of Rochester Area Community Foundation and The Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Fund for Opera.


“Opera is very near and dear to my heart and I’m thrilled to bring semi-staged opera back to our Philharmonics Series,” says Stare.  “Puccini’s La Bohème is a great masterpiece – full of gorgeous melodies, lush orchestrations and incredible drama.  I can’t imagine a better way to close our phenomenal 2016/17 Season.”


Just one week later on Friday and Saturday, June 2 & 3 at 8 p.m., the 2016/17 Pops Series, sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans, closes with the world premiere of Women Rock in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, led by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik.Celebrating women in general and those who indelibly changed rock and roll in particular are three powerful, nationally renowned singers – Katrina Dideriksen, Cassidy Catanzaro, and Shayna Steele – along with the RPO, and video footage of the iconic artists projected on the big screen. This debut production is the result of a recent partnership involving Tyzik, Greenberg Artists (run by Tyzik’s daughter and longtime manager Jami Greenberg) and Schirmer Theatrical, LLC, part of G. Shirmer Music Sales Corporation, the president of which is fellow Eastman alum and longtime friend, Robert Thompson.


“I believe in the power of women and their huge contribution to the arts – especially to pop music. I wanted to create a concert that honors that contribution,” explains Tyzik. “Jami – who is extremely creative and without a doubt the best manager I’ve ever had – is on the cutting edge of new trends in the pops orchestra world. Robert Thompson is one of the most innovative leaders in the music industry. It’s been a wonderful experience collaborating with Jami and Robert on this first of many projects because we all believe in the highest standards of musical integrity in the work we are creating.”  


Women Rock includes music from Carole King, Holly Knight, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Irene Cara, Aretha Franklin, Minnie Ripperton, Pat Benatar, Heart, and Joan Jett. Songs include “I Feel the Earth Move,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Freeway of Love,” “Proud Mary,” “Piece Of My Heart,” “Dancing In The Street,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Invincible,” “These Dreams,” “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman,” and many more.


Finally, closing out the Sunday Matinee Series and the entire 2016/17 RPO Season is Bach & Stravinsky on Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m. at Hochstein Performance Hall. Led by Michael Butterman, the concert features very special guest, Simone Dinnerstein, a pianist of “arresting freshness” (TIME Magazine) with a brand-new album, Mozart in Havana. Dinnerstein will perform two of Bach’s most inventive concertos: Keyboard Concerto in D minor and Keyboard Concerto in F minor. Plus, the Orchestra will play two Stravinsky pieces: Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, and a suite from his neoclassical ballet score, Pulcinella. Tickets are $27.


Tickets for the concerts above, except where noted, start at $23, with student ticket info available at Tickets are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s new Patron Services Center (108 East Avenue) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations.


RPO performances are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by Monroe County, the City of Rochester, the Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund, the Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess, and the Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund.


The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 140 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 160,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 23-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), the RPO reaches more than 22,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


Media please note: High-resolution images of 2016/17 concerts are available at and upon request, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.