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For Immediate Release:  March 13, 2017

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




David Brighton recreates pop legend at Kodak Ctr. for Performing Arts

Also in April: Around the Town concerts, Mahler 5, Star Wars & More, Mother Goose Suite


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2016/17 Season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, springs into April with its final Special Concert: The Music of David Bowie on Friday, April 7 at 8 p.m. at the Kodak Center for Performing Arts (formerly Theatre on the Ridge, 200 Ridge Road West).


Conducted by Brent Havens – arranger/guest conductor for 14 international, symphonic rock programs that include The Music of Led Zeppelin, The Music of Pink Floyd, The Music of Queen, and The Music of PrinceThe Music of David Bowie takes its audience on a 40+ year journey of Bowie’s innovative music. Vocalist David Brighton, who performed side by side with Bowie himself in television commercials including one for Bowie’s own CD (Reality), has also portrayed the legendary artist in Warner Bros.’ feature film, The Watchman, and in a video by pop star Shakira. Brighton is credited with being the world’s best Bowie impersonator, and will front a full rock band in addition to the RPO.  Additional support for this concert is provided by Ramerman Leadership Group


Earlier that week, the Orchestra will play three, free community concerts featuring music used in and composed for films. Around the Town: Movie Music will take place at 7:30 p.m. each day on Tuesday, April 4 at Edgerton Recreation Center (41 Backus Street); Wednesday, April 5 at Gantt Recreation Center (700 North Street); and Thursday, April 6 at Greece Baptist Church (1230 Long Pond Road).  RPO Principal Conductor for Education and Community Outreach Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) will conduct a program that includes classical music pieces used in films – such as Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” (Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket) and Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltzes” (2001: A Space Odyssey) – as well as two John Williams pieces: “E.T. Adventures on Earth” and “Harry’s Wondrous World.” String players and percussionists from The ROCmusic Collaborative (Alexander Peña, director) will also be featured in the April 4 & 5 performances. The Spring Around-the-Town Series is sponsored by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, ESL Charitable Foundation, and Xerox Foundation.


Next up: the 2016/17 Philharmonics Series (sponsored by M&T Bank) presents Stare Conducts Mahler 5 on Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. From the lone trumpet call to the final cry of triumph, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony casts its spell. At the heart of this musical odyssey is the breathtaking Adagietto, famously used in the film, Death in Venice. Hear why legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan said that hearing this symphony made one “forget that time had passed” as Music Director Ward Stare brings us music that could only be Mahler. Also on the program: internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin’s 2015 Kinah, written as an elegy to his late parents, Felix Slatkin and Eleanor Aller of the Hollywood String Quartet.


April’s Pops Series offers Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams on Friday and Saturday, April 28 & 29 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with frequent RPO guest conductor and Eastman alum, Stuart Chafetz. From a galaxy far, far away to a boy’s first day at Hogwarts, composer John Williams – who has won more Oscars than any actor or director – is the master behind the scores of the greatest films of our time. Included will be music from Star WarsIndiana JonesJawsJurassic Park, Harry Potter, and more. Also in attendance: costumed members of Garrison Excelsior, regional representatives of the 501st Legion of Imperial Stormtroopers. Cosplay (costume play) by concert attendees is also encouraged. The RPO’s 2016/17 Pops Series is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans. This concert is sponsored by KeyBank with additional support from Ramerman Leadership Group.

The Sunday Matinee Series also presents a compelling concert on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at Hochstein Performance Hall: Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. Maestro Butterman leads an afternoon of musical storytelling that includes Ravel’s enchanting Suite from Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose). The warriors, princesses, and monsters of Japanese folklore come alive in Korine Fujiwara’s The Storyteller, featuring noted violinist Charles Wetherbee, who premiered the piece by his Carpe Diem String Quartet colleague in 2012. And, the RPO’s Principal Clarinet Kenneth Grant (The Robert J. Strasenburgh Chair) and Principal Bassoon Matthew McDonald (The Ron and Donna Fielding Chair) take center stage for Richard Strauss’s Duet-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon. 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.