Back to Posts

“The Nutcracker” Returns to Kodak Hall

Rochester’s longest-running holiday tradition is live and in-person again

The RPO and Rochester City Ballet team up for six performances Nov. 24-28

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) presents Rochester’s longest-running holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, live and in-person in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for six performances: Wednesday, November 24 at 7 pm; Friday, November 26 at 2 & 7 pm; Saturday, November 27 at 2 & 7 pm; and Sunday, November 28 at 2 pm. Partnering with Rochester City Ballet (RCB) for their 21st mutual  Nutcracker, the orchestra will be led by Tara Simoncic, who conducted 2019’s production and was scheduled to conduct last year’s canceled performances as well. Simoncic’s particular passion for the ballet has led her to guest conduct with some of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies, such as the New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and American Ballet Theater.

“I am thrilled to once again conduct the excellent Rochester Philharmonic musicians and work with the wonderful dancers of Rochester City Ballet to present Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet,” exclaims Simoncic. “The return of Rochester’s Nutcracker will be a truly memorable experience for the entire cast and audience.”

Although he has led Rochester City Ballet since February of 2020, RCB Artistic Director Robert Gardner will make his RPO debut with 2021’s production of this timeless tale of wonder and imagination.

“This collaboration between the RPO, conductor Tara Simoncic, and the artists of the Rochester City Ballet – along with the delightful children’s cast of 150 young dancers from throughout the Rochester area – brings this cherished holiday tradition to life once again,” says Gardner. “I look forward to the wonderment and joy that will fill our audience’s hearts!”

The Bach Children’s Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director) will return as well for this treasured family event.

“This experience gives many students their first chance to be a part of a production with a professional ballet company and orchestra, as well as to perform in the beautiful and historic Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre,” explains Krogstad.

The Nutcracker is sponsored in part by Caldwell Manufacturing. Tickets start at $21 and are available online anytime at, by phone at 585-454-2100 (Monday-Friday, 10 am –5 pm, please note that the Patron Services Center is currently closed to in-person purchases), and in person 90 minutes prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.) for Kodak Hall concerts.

Please notePatrons aged 12 and up are required to show proof of vaccination plus photo ID, and all patrons are required to wear masks during the entire performance. Venue capacity has been raised to 80%, but socially distanced areas are available 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.

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, 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.

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.

ROCHESTER CITY BALLET (RCB) is a professional ballet company presenting performances and events throughout Upstate NY and the Finger Lakes Region. Celebrating its 34th anniversary in the 2021-22 season led by Artistic Director Robert Gardner, RCB’s mission is to create inspiring, entertaining and educational experiences through the art of dance while providing the highest level of artistic and technical excellence. RCB is committed to making dance accessible through its educational and community outreach, with programming in the Rochester City School District, community centers, colleges, and specially produced sensory friendly productions that allow families with special needs to experience the joy of live dance.

Media please note: High-resolution images for The Nutcracker may be downloaded at Interviews and photo/footage opportunities are also available.