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RPO Opens Its 2022-23 Philharmonics Season

RPO Opens Its 2022-23 Philharmonics Season

Music Director Andreas Delfs leads Beethoven’s 5th

Featuring violin superstar Gil Shaham on Sept. 8 + 10


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) officially opens its 2022-23 Philharmonics Season this week with Music Director Andreas Delfs leading Beethoven’s 5th in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, September 8 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, September 10 at 8 PM.

“What better way to kick off Rochester’s world-class orchestra’s 99th season than with this all-Beethoven concert,” exclaims Maestro Delfs. “No music has a stronger message about who we are as a species and what we can do and what we should aspire to – especially in his Fifth Symphony.”

The program begins with Beethoven’s Overture to The Ruins of Athens, commissioned to commemorate the opening of a beautiful new theatre on the banks of the Danube River in 1811. Then, Grammy Award-winner Gil Shaham brings his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. The recipient of countless awards and accolades including “Instrumentalist of the Year” from Musical America, Shaham has been called “A virtuoso and a player of deeply intense sincerity… One of today’s pre-eminent violinists” by The New York Times.

Closing out this powerful program will be Beethoven’s most recognizable composition with its four famous opening notes: his Symphony No. 5 in C Minor.

“The first movement is only five minutes long, but it leaves me completely out of breath like no other piece,” explains Maestro Delfs. “It has the power of compressed energy – like nuclear energy. No matter how hard I try to hold back, physically my heart is racing and I know the same goes for the audience.”

It was also the very first piece the Maestro led with the RPO, when he made his guest conductor debut in 1994. Now, almost three decades later, he begins his second season as the orchestra’s thirteenth Music Director.

“The start of a new season is always an auspicious time,” says RPO President & CEO Curt Long. “After many magical concerts in Andreas Delfs’s debut season with the orchestra, we’re excited to hear what comes next from the partnership of our new Music Director and the musicians of the RPO.”

The upcoming season promises a thoughtful and challenging mix of classic treasures, contemporary surprises, important premieres, world-renowned guest artists, and passionate musical storytelling. Next up in September:

·         The Pops Season opener, Country Hits: Songs From Nashville, on Friday and Saturday, September 16 & 17 at 8 PM in Kodak Hall. Created and led by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and featuring American singer/songwriter Rick Brantley (who wowed RPO audiences in his recent debut), this crowd-pleasing program also marks the start of free Pre-Concert Chats for every Pops concert this season from 7-7:30 PM.

·         RPO & Eastman Present: The Eastman Theatre Centennial Concert on Saturday, September 24 at 8 PM in Kodak Hall. This celebratory collaboration will feature a World Premiere commissioned for the occasion by Eastman alum, five-time Emmy winner, and acclaimed composer Jeff Beal (HBO’s Rome and The Newsroom, USA’s Monk, Netflix’s House of Cards), who will also conduct his piece. Eastman School of Music’s Professor of Conducting Neil Varon will lead Strauss’s Don Juan, and RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs will conduct Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 on this exciting program as well.

·         Mozart, Mendelssohn & Martinů, on Sunday, September 25 at 2 PM in Nazareth College’s Beston Hall at Glazer Music Performance Center. Music Director Andreas Delfs conducts the new season’s first Sunday Matinée, featuring RPO Principal Oboe Erik Behr.

Tickets for Beethoven’s 5th start at $24 and are available online anytime at, by phone at 585-454-2100 (Monday-Friday,10 AM-5 PM), and in person at RPO Patron Services at 225 East Avenue (Monday -Friday, 10 AM-5PM) and 60 minutes prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.). Incentivized subscription packages for the 2022-23 Season are also available via the locations above.

COVID protocols have been updated and will be in effect starting September 8, 2022: Vaccinations are no longer required to attend concerts at Kodak Hall. Following the University of Rochester masking protocols and guidelines, masking is currently optional at Eastman Theatre. In an effort to accommodate those patrons who prefer to mask, we are pleased to offer a masks-only section designated in a portion of the balcony.

The RPO thanks Season Sponsor M&T Bank, Pops Series Sponsors Canandaigua National Bank & Wegmans, and Special Series Sponsor Pittsford Federal Credit Union.

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.

Media please note: High-resolution images and other media assets for the 2022-23 Season can be found at Interviews and photo/footage opportunities are also available.