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For Immediate Release:  December 1, 2016
Media Contact:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, [email protected]
RPO Info:,,,

Dollar-for-dollar match of Annual Fund donations through Dec. 31

Rochester, NY – In the midst of a holiday season full of festive concerts – The Nutcracker, Music from The Polar Express and Frozen, Handel’s Messiah, and Gala Holiday Pops – that attract almost 20,000 audience members, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announces a $250,000 Community Challenge that will double every donation to the Orchestra’s Annual Fund through the end of 2016.

“A member of our Board of Directors has generously committed to double the impact of every gift – up to a total of $250,000 – giving us the opportunity to ring in the New Year with stronger financial footing,” explains RPO President & CEO Ralph Craviso. “Our 2016/17 season has already seen a steadily growing subscriber base, increased ticket sales, and programming that affirms our commitment to both community engagement and artistic excellence.”

That optimism is reflected in a letter sent today to RPO patrons from Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik:

“Our incredible staff, led by President & CEO Ralph Craviso, and our world-class musicians, led by Music Director Ward Stare, are all working together to solve the immense difficulties that orchestras across the nation are facing,” he writes. “Over the last 23 years, I have developed great affection for our loyal audiences who have supported and encouraged me to continue to create new and interesting concerts of the highest musical integrity. However, to serve more people in this community through the power of music, we must be financially strong.”

Thousands of generous donors help support more than 60% of the annual costs of concert production, rent for performance venues, and education and community engagement programs for the residents of Greater Rochester. True financial strength requires increased annual support for yearly operations as well as for special artistic and community projects. Annual giving is the simplest, most convenient way to make an ongoing impact on the RPO’s musical performances and service to the community.

“With your Annual Fund commitment, you help the Orchestra plan for the future while supporting today’s work,” adds Tyzik. “Every dollar matters and YOU make a difference – to the RPO, to audiences, and to this community.”

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 22-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 our 2016/17 concerts are available at, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.