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RPO Pops Season Opener Goes Country

RPO Pops Season Opener Goes Country

Jeff Tyzik leads Country Hits: Songs From Nashville

World Premiere features Rick Brantley & Nashville band

Kicks off Pre-Concert Chats for all 22-23 Pops Concerts

Rochester, NY – Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) officially opens its 2022-23 Pops Season next weekend with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leading Country Hits: Songs From Nashville, on Friday and Saturday, September 16 & 17 at 8 PM in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

“I’ve been wanting to create a county music concert for quite a while, but I knew it had to be done right,” explains Tyzik. “It has to be authentic and done with respect for the genre, and – after a year of working with ‘real deal’ singer/songwriter Rick Brantley – I’m so excited to say that it’s making its World Premiere right here in Rochester next week.”

Rick Brantley –who wowed RPO audiences when he filled in at the last minute as guest artist for last season’s Pops opener, Legends: The Paul Simon Songbook—returns with a Nashville band that he assembled specifically for the new project. He and Tyzik hand-picked the program of 20 past and present country hits as well, including “Crazy” (Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson), “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” (Dolly Parton), “Callin’ Baton Rouge” (Garth Brooks), “Rainbow” (Kacey Musgraves), “Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie Daniels Band), “When You Say Nothing at All” (Alison Krauss), “Wide Open Spaces” (The Chicks), “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” (George Strait), and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (The Carter Family). Then, Grammy Award-winner Jeff Tyzik created brand-new symphonic arrangements for each song.

“Working with Jeff is truly the easiest and one of the most rewarding creative experiences of my career,” adds Brantley. “Any time he would call or email I’d get super excited to hear a new idea or some new creative arrangement for one of these songs.”

Because of the enthusiastic response to a special Pre-Concert Chat preceding Tyzik’s Revolution: The Music of The Beatles, A Symphonic Experience last season, this Pops opener also marks the start of free Pre-Concert Chats for every Pops performance this season from 7-7:30 PM in Kodak Hall. Country Hits ticket holders may join Tyzik and Brantley as they discuss the unique process of bringing the stories of country music to the stage of a symphony orchestra.

Tickets for Country Hits: Songs From Nashville start at $24 ($30 with fees) 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-5 PM) 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.