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Former AP reporter Mike Cidoni takes over in June

Rochester native returns after 23 years in LA


Rochester, NY –The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announces today that Mike Cidoni has been named its next PR and Communications Manager. He will transition to full responsibility in the job as longtime Rochester PR for Arts Consultant Sally Cohen heads to a planned retirement in June.

A native Rochesterian, Cidoni returns home after 23 years in Los Angeles, where he served as senior entertainment reporter for the Associated Press. In that capacity, he provided global, multi-media coverage of virtually every major Hollywood event, from the Grammy Awards to the Oscars, and interviewed thousands of stage, screen and musical artists including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Joshua Bell, film composer John Williams, soprano Renée Fleming and Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. He also spearheaded the transformation of the AP’s fledgling LA video bureau into one of the most prolific and highly regarded sources of entertainment news in the world.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Mike’s experience joining our Marketing and Communications team,” says RPO Vice President of Marketing and Communications Herb Griffith. “The fact that he knows and loves this community already is a huge benefit as well.”

“It’s such an honor to contribute to an organization that has given me so much, both as a music lover and an entertainment professional,” adds Cidoni, who believes that attending RPO concerts as a child fueled his lifelong passion for the performing arts.

Many Rochesterians may remember Cidoni from his days as an entertainment reporter on 13 WHAM TV, 98 WPXY FM and other outlets back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. His move to Los Angeles in 2000 led to working for the Associated Press, which paved the way for his transition into publicity, communications, and artist relations for Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) in 2018. It was then that he worked closely with Richard Carpenter on A&M Records’ global hit, Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as lead author of the best-selling biography, Carpenters: The Musical Legacy.

“As much as I loved LA, it never felt like home,” says Cidoni. “Researching many cities back east, it became clear that Rochester had everything we were looking for: family, dear friends and colleagues as well as a kinder and gentler pace – but with the vibrancy and cultural offerings of a much larger city.”

ABOUT THE RPO: The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its origins 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. Andreas Delfs was named music director in 2020 following notable RPO music directors Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Mark Elder and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, now in his 29th season, has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his tenure with the RPO. The RPO reaches more than 15,000 youth through its specific education programs.