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RPO’s January Guest Violinist Leila Josefowicz Wins Prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant

Rochester, NY – Thirty year-old violin virtuoso Leila Josefowicz, performing later this season with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, has been named today as one of the 25 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius grants.”  And the $500,000 Fellowship award has no strings attached, other than the ones staying firmly in place on the instrument that helped bring her this recognition.

Ms. Josefowicz will be performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Music Director Christopher Seaman and the RPO at 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 29 and Saturday, January 31, 2009.  Ms. Josefowicz is credited with “broadening the instrument’s repertoire and captivating audiences through her juxtaposition of the avant-garde and eclectic with the more traditional.” 

According to the Foundation website,, “the MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.”

Tickets for Ms. Josefowicz’s performances begin at $20, available online at, by phone (454-2100), and in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm (non-concert Saturdays, 10 am-3 pm).  The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by The Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb. The RPO gratefully acknowledges PAETEC Communications Inc. for its PAETEC Philharmonic Partners program, which offers $9 Philharmonics Series tickets to local students.