Back to Posts


For Immediate Release:  September 28, 2017

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




Boléro program features Met star Isabel Leonard

FREE Around the Town Concerts Oct. 12-14

Heroes: A Video Game Symphony Oct. 26

OrKIDStra & Sunday Matinee Series open


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2017/18 season continues with an abundant October featuring world-class guest artists performing some of classical music’s most beloved repertoire, the start of our acclaimed OrKIDStra and popular Sunday Matinee Series, and an all-new video games Special Concert.


It all kicks off with Ravel’s Boléro on Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Music Director Ward Stare conducts a concert of Spanish-inspired favorites that features Ravel’s famous sultry and sensual Boléro. Also on the program: Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Carpiccio espagnol, and Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 2. In a coup for Rochester audiences, Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard makes her RPO debut following her spring concerts with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Placido Domingo. She’ll sing Rossini’s “Una voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville – one of her signature Metropolitan Opera arias – along with the amorous art songs of Enrique Granados (Canciones amatorias) and de Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas (Seven Popular Spanish Songs). Concert sponsors are the AVANGRID Foundation and RG&E, with additional support by LaBella Associates and Mark & Lois Taubman.


“I’m thrilled to welcome Isabel Leonard to Rochester,” says Stare, a former Juilliard classmate of Leonard’s. “She is a world-class artist, a regular star at the Met in New York City, and this program is the perfect vehicle to highlight her depth, range, and virtuosity.  It will be a real treat for our audiences – definitely one of the ‘don’t miss’ events on our season this year!”


Next up in October is the 2017/18 OrKIDStra opener: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe: Opera for Kids 2 on Sunday, October 8 at 2 p.m. in Hochstein Performance Hall. Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) conducts an afternoon of lively music and laughter, as the RPO teams up with Eastman School of Music vocal and opera students (directed by Steven Daigle) to present a tyke-friendly version of the famous operetta about a fairy who falls in love with a human being. Don’t forget the free crafts and activities for kids that begin one hour prior to the concert! Tickets are $19 adults/$14 children. (Concert made possible in part by Dr. and Mrs. Tae B. Whang.)


The RPO’s FREE, fall Around the Town concerts take place October 12 – 14 at 7:30 p.m. at various locations around Rochester. Daniel Meyer will conduct all three community concerts, which will have a fantasy theme that includes John Williams’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Suite for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake, Ravel’s Suite of Five Pieces from Ma Mere l’Oye (Mother Goose) and much more:

  • Thursday, Oct. 12: St. Theodore’s Catholic Church, 168 Spencerport Rd., Rochester, NY 14606
  • Friday, Oct. 13: Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Dr., Rochester, NY 14624
  • Saturday, Oct. 14: Monroe Community College, 1000 E. Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14623

The fall Around the Town Series is sponsored by ESL Charitable Foundation and Monroe County.


Next up on the Philharmonics Series is the return of RPO’s beloved Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman (The Christopher Seaman Chair, Supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society) in Seaman Conducts Mozart & Sibelius on Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 24 will be Joyce Yang, an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) who took silver at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition when she was just 19 years old. The program will also feature Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Sibeilius’ Symphony No. 1. (This concert is made possible in part by The Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess.)


A very special Special Concert – Heroes: A Video Game Symphony – will attract a totally different audience to Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, October 26 at 8 p.m. From the creators of last season’s The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses comes this hero’s journey told through the amazing worlds of the most popular and beloved video games of all times. Guest conductor Miriam Burns will lead the RPO through arrangements from The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy, BioShock, Portal, and more, while stunning visual projections bring the art of video games to dazzling life. A free, post-concert panel of experts will discuss gaming and the music of games with audience members, coordinated by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games along with RIT’s Magic Spell Studios and its Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement. Also a sponsor: Upstate Region Interactive Technologies Hub.


October’s concerts close with the opening of the RPO’s 2017/18 Sunday Matinee Series: RPO Section Spotlight: Dvořák & More on Sunday, October 29 at 2 p.m. at Hochstein Performance Hall. Music Director Ward Stare leads a compelling program in this more intimate space that features three Orchestra sections: brass (Eric Ewazen’s Symphony in Brass), wind (Strauss’ Suite in B-flat for 13 Wind Instruments), and strings (Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings in E Major).


Single tickets for the above concerts – except where noted – start at $24, and are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s Patron Services Center at 108 East Avenue and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! Locations.


The 2017/18 Season is presented by Rochester Regional Health and the Dawn and Jacques Lipson Cancer Institute. The Philharmonics Series sponsor is M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust; the Pops Series is sponsored Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans. 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.


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 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. 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 first endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches more than 16,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


Media please note: High-resolution images of 2017/18 concerts are available at and upon request, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.