It was “love at first sight” for new Music Director Andreas Delfs
Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) officially opens its 2021-2022 Philharmonics Season this week with Andreas Conducts Brahms 1 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on September 23 at 7:30 PM and September 25 at 8 PM. It is the first concert of the first season for Andreas Delfs as Music Director, who has been a frequent and favorite RPO guest conductor for the past 25 years. “I think it’s no exaggeration to say that this remarkable orchestra – for me at least – was love at first sight,” admits Delfs. “The prospect of leading this exceptional group of musicians into their next century not only fills me with joy and gratitude, it truly inspires me to pull out all the stops at my creative and musical disposal.”
“In our search for a new Music Director, it was our priority to find someone who would build on a legacy of artistic excellence by leading powerful and inspired performances that will thrill Rochester audiences for years to come, and also bring creative ideas about how we connect with and stay relevant to our changing community,” adds RPO President & CEO Curt Long. “We found that person in Andreas Delfs.” Delfs promises one of the most exciting and diverse seasons in the history of the orchestra, featuring compositions and artists from all over the globe and beloved classics as well as new works. For example, this week’s program features Richard Wagner’s Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from The Ring’s Götterdämmerung, contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Violin Concerto with guest artist Benjamin Beilman, and Johannes Brahms’ moving and melodic triumph, Symphony No. 1.
“Brahms, who was from the same region of Germany as I, has always been one of my very favorite composers and I can’t wait to share the overwhelming spiritual power of his First Symphony with Rochester audiences,” explains Delfs. “The concert will also contrast the mesmerizing drama of Wagner’s The Ring with the bold excitement of the Violin Concerto from Jennifer Higdon, with whom the RPO won a Grammy Award in 2020 for its world-premiere recording of her Harp Concerto. It should be a transportive experience for us all.”
After a year and a half of pivoting to virtual concerts and then to outdoor summer concerts, the RPO’s 2021-2022 season also welcomes audiences back into the magnificent Kodak Hall, albeit with a few necessary precautions.*
Tickets for Andreas Conducts Brahms 1 start at $30 and are available online anytime at rpo.org, by phone 585-454-2100 (Monday-Friday from 10 AM-5 PM), and 90 minutes prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.).
*Patrons aged 12 and up are required to show proof of vaccination, and all patrons are required to wear masks. Socially distanced areas of Kodak Hall are designated for those with unvaccinated children or those who feel more comfortable with social distancing. The RPO continues to monitor CDC, state, and local guidelines, so protocols are subject to change.
More about Maestro Andreas Delfs: Appointed the RPO’s thirteenth music director in January, 2021, Delfs is a native of Flensburg, Germany. A graduate of the Hamburg Conservatory and Juilliard School of Music, he has established himself as a pre-eminent force in the classical music world and one of the finest conductors of his generation. Delfs has held chief artistic posts with orchestras in Europe and North America. At the age of 20, he became the youngest-ever Music Director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and Musical Assistant at the Hamburg State Opera. Throughout his 12 seasons as Musical Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Delfs drew larger audiences to Uihlein Hall, selling out a record 40 concerts there during the 2000-2001 Season. Delfs led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Music Director (2001-2004) and artistic consultant (2004-2006). He has conducted numerous world premieres and has close links with many of today’s composers. He counts among his profound musical inspirations musicians such as John Corigliano, Philip Glass, Roberto Sierra, and Hans Werner Henze. He is the frequent partner to many of the world’s most renowned solo artists, including André Watts, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Yo Yo Ma, Lang Lang, and Renée Fleming. Delfs has an extensive discography, including all five of the Beethoven Piano Concertos; opera and choral works such as Hansel and Gretel, and the Mozart Requiem; and new works for the classical repertoire such as Roberto Sierra’s Missa Latina, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. His recent recording project is a series of recordings with the Aarhus Symphony for the DaCapo label. His recording of Paul Ruder’s Handel Variations was nominated for “Album of the Year” (2018) by the Danish Radio. Delfs is well known for delivering electrifying performances and artistic excellence. He is equally passionate about supporting young musicians and building deep community relationships. He dedicates a substantial part of his time to share his knowledge with young instrumentalists and conductors, at Boyer College (Temple University/Philadelphia) and in international Masterclasses. During his tenure as Music Director at the RPO, he plans to foster new local talent by making music and musical training available to children in the City of Rochester, regardless of their ability to pay for lessons or purchase instruments. Delfs’ leadership will include oversight of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and partnering with the Philharmonic’s Management on artistic planning, programming and music education activities. Delfs and his wife, Amy, reside in Trumansburg, NY.
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. Music Director Andreas Delfs joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Mark Elder, Ward Stare, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, now in his 28th 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.
Please note: Andreas Conducts Brahms 1 guest violinist Benjamin Beilman’s appearance was made possible with support from Deborah Ronnen. Since the 2020-2021 Season, M & T Bank has sponsored the Philharmonic and Pops Series and continues its commitment as a Co-Sponsor for the 2021-22 Season. They are joined by Co-Sponsor Rochester Regional Health, now in its fourth year as a season sponsor. All concerts, artists, and schedules are subject to change.
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