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New start time for Sept. 12th’s Perlman concert is 8 PM

Exotic RPO Habanera: A Celebration fundraiser on Sept. 8

Pops Series opens Sept. 15 & 16 with A cELLAbration

Philharmonics Series opens Sept. 21 & 23


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s much-anticipated 2017/18 season – presented by Rochester Regional Health and the Dawn and Jacques Lipson Cancer Institute – kicks off next month with an exotic event inspired by the Philharmonic’s Series finale in May: Bizet’s Carmen in Concert. RPO Habanera: A Celebration of the 2017-18 Season Opening will reflect the upcoming spirited season on Friday, September 8 at 6 p.m. at The Wintergarden by Monroes at One Bausch and Lomb Place. The premiere event will transport attendees to a vibrant world of 19th-century Seville and include Latin tapas, flamenco dancers, excerpts from Carmen, the music of the Dave Mancini Quartet featuring RPO Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert, a Spanish family-style dinner, and much more. Tickets are $200 per person (available via phone at (585) 454-2100 or online at, and all proceeds support RPO artistic and educational programming.


“We have an incredible season planned, with drama, romance, passion, and power as central themes, presented in many different forms throughout the year,” says RPO Music Director Ward Stare. “As always, audiences will experience music they know and love while hearing many new sounds along the way. There truly is something for everyone in our dynamic season ahead.”


The RPO’s 95th season opens with a Special Concert featuring world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 8 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE NEW START TIME) in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Beloved the world over for his charm, humanity, and irrepressible joy of music-making, Perlman is undeniably the reigning virtuoso of violin. Led by Ward Stare, the world-class RPO performs the first half of the concert, which includes Korngold’s Schauspiel Overture, Op. 4; Smetana’s Moldau from Ma Vlast; and Rossini’s William Tell Overture. After intermission, the legendary Perlman will join the Orchestra to perform beloved cinematic treasures, including the poignant Theme from Schindler’s List, which he recorded for the film itself. Also included: “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, “Love Theme” from Cinema Paradiso, Theme from Far and Away, Theme from Out of Africa, “Marian & Robin Love Theme” from The Adventures of Robin Hood, Theme from Sabrina, and“Tango” (“Por Una Cabeza”) from Scent of a Woman. Additional concert sponsorship is provided by Dr. Eva Pressman and Dr. Seth Zeidman, and by an anonymous donor. A limited number of (grand balcony only) tickets remain, starting at $75.


That weekend, Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik opens the 2017-18 Pops Series, sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans, with A cELLAbration: The Music of Ella & More on Friday and Saturday, September 15 & 16 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The evening honors the 100th anniversary of the birth of the “First Lady of Song” with renowned jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford. It also celebrates the American art form of jazz with some of Tyzik’s favorite jazz musicians and fellow Eastman alumni: world-renowned vibist Joe Locke, saxophonist Brian Scanlon, and the RPO’s own Herb Smith on trumpet. Additional featured guests include guitarist Bob Sneider and bassist Jeff Campbell, along with Concertmaster Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett &



(RPO’s 95th Season Opens, continued)


Clayla Ward Chair). Athayde will perform Burn, the Jazz Concerto for Violin and Orchestra that Tyzik composed for her. Additional Tyzik compositions and arrangements – as well as those by Locke – will be featured, along with Great American Songbook selections from George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, and more. Concert sponsorship is provided by St. John’s.


“Our exciting 95th Season Pops Opener will be a ‘one of a kind’ jazz event featuring world-renowned artists including Carmen Bradford – the last vocalist Count Basie asked to join his orchestra – in a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald,” says Tyzik. “Also included are phenomenal vibes artist Joe Locke and Brian Scanlon, a current member of the Los Angeles-based Big Phat Band. RPO member Herb Smith will perform as well as our amazing Concertmaster Juliana Athayde. This concert will ‘KICK’ off the season!”


Last but not least, the Philharmonics Series, sponsored by M&T Bank, opens on Thursday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 23 at 8 p.m. with Grieg’s Piano Concerto & Cinderella in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. With Ward Stare conducting, the evening of drama and passion will begin with an ode to history’s most legendary ladies’ man in Strauss’ famous tone poem, Don Juan – one of the all-time great showpieces for orchestra. Then, celebrated Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan (EE-non) – the first-ever Artist-in-Association with the New York Philharmonic – makes his RPO debut with Grieg’s immensely popular Piano Concerto in A Minor. The concert closes with a fairy-tale fantasy: excerpts from Prokofiev’s lushly romantic ballet score, Cinderella.


Single tickets for the above concerts – except where noted – start at $24, and are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s Patron Services Center at 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 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 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. 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 first endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches more than 16,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


Media please note: High-resolution images of 2017/18 concerts are available at and upon request, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.