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RPO’s 98th Season is the first for Andreas Delfs as Music Director. 

World Premieres by Jessie Montgomery and Roberto Sierra and works by Jennifer Higdon, Lera Auerbach, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Brian Nabors
Guest Conductors Joseph Young, Lina González-Granados and Ken-David Masur in their RPO Debuts

M & T Bank and Rochester Regional Health are Season Co-Sponsors


February 4, 2021. Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) today unveiled its 2021-22 Season. The 21-22 Philharmonics season is the first under the baton of Maestro Andreas Delfs as Music Director and is one of the most diverse in the history of the nearly 100-year-old orchestra. The season features two world premieres, by Jessie Montgomery and Roberto Sierra, and works by living composers presented throughout the season alongside eclectic and beloved selections from the classical repertoire.

An overview of RPO’s Pops season and a chronological listing of all concerts follow below.

The 2021-22 Philharmonics Series at Rochester’s Kodak Hall features beloved classics as well as exciting contemporary music by some of today’s leading composers, with an emphasis on bringing new and diverse perspectives and voices to the concert hall. “As we approach the orchestra’s next century,” said Music Director Andreas Delfs, “we embark on a journey that will include new and diverse voices in our music to reflect the rich cultural tapestry of our community.”

The RPO is proud to present the world premiere of Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra’s Violin Concerto. For more than three decades, Sierra’s works have been commissioned and performed by leading orchestras and ensembles around the US and Europe. The orchestra performs the world premiere of a Piano Concerto by Jessie Montgomery, whose music weaves classical music together with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice.

The season opens with a program including Jennifer Higdon’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Violin Concerto. In November, the orchestra performs the breathtaking soundscape Onward by Brian Nabors, a Birmingham, Alabama native whose music often draws on Jazz Funk, R&B, and Gospel music. In January, guest conductor David Danzmayr conducts Icarus by Lera Auerbach, a renaissance artist recognized not only as a composer, but also a concert pianist, conductor, writer and visual artist. In March, the orchestra performs two pieces by American composers that relate to a sense of place: Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout by Gabriela Lena Frank, whose music often draws on her multicultural background, especially her mother’s Peruvian heritage; and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Something for the Dark, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony and inspired by the Detroit poet Philip Levine.

The season is also full of beloved classics such as Brahms Symphony No. 1, Dvorak Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1 and No. 7 and “Emperor” concerto; Saint-Saëns’ “Organ” symphony; Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”; and Mahler’s spectacular “Resurrection” symphony. The RPO’s annual opera presentation this season will be a semi-staged production of Humperdinck’s family classic Hansel and Gretel, sung in English.

Some of the world’s most renowned artists – many of them making their RPO debuts – perform with the orchestra this season, including: pianists Olga Kern, Jorge Osorio, Natasha Paremski and Awadagin Pratt; violinists Benjamin Beilman, William Hagen and Alexandra Soumm; cellist Claudio Bohórquez; vocal soloists Nicole Cabell and Michelle DeYoung; guitarist Jiji Kim; and conductors David Danzmayr, Lina González-Granados, Christoph König, Ken-David Masur and Joseph Young.


This past season, unfortunately, all live performances had to be cancelled due to COVID.  Despite the disruption, the orchestra continued to create and share beautiful music through livestreamed concerts that have reached viewers in all fifty states and three countries. This popular streaming series will continue through May 2021, even after live performances return. “The orchestra is very much looking forward to returning to Kodak Hall this fall,” said Maestro Delfs, “and  our medical advisors are optimistic that live performances will resume in 2021. As always, our first priority is to keep our orchestra members, staff and audience safe, so we are also preparing alternative programs to keep the music alive, whatever circumstances we face this fall.” The RPO will provide updates on program changes and streaming plans closer to the start of the season.

The success of this past season’s series of streaming concerts inspired the RPO to introduce a five-concert streaming package of selected Philharmonics and Pops concerts for 21-22. “We want to make sure that the RPO is accessible to everyone by bringing the RPO directly into their homes,” commented President and CEO Curt Long. “This series of five concerts is a blend of Philharmonic and Pops concerts and is a perfect way to introduce your family to the work of the RPO from the comfort of your home. It’s also a great way for those who live in other parts of the country and world to connect with the work of this storied orchestra and get acquainted with our new Music Director, Maestro Andreas Delfs.”

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.


The RPO Pops Series

The 2021-22 Pops Series, sponsored by Wegmans and Canandaigua National Bank and Trust, features fantastic songs and songwriting, including the music of Motown with The Kings of Soul, a concert devoted to the best of Broadway, and a 90th Birthday celebration of the great John Williams.  Several hugely anticipated programs that had to be cancelled in 20-21 have been rescheduled for 21-22: Legends: The Paul Simon Songbook (September 17 & 18, 2021) and Revolution: Music of the Beatles (April 22 & 23, 2022), both arranged by Jeff Tyzik; and the music of two of the largest movie franchises in history with Jurassic Park in Concert (January 21 & 22, 2022) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (May 27 & 28, 2022).

Guest artists include Broadway veterans Darren Lorenzo and Chester Gregory; American Idol finalist Michael Lynche; and conductors William Waldrop and Enrico Yanez-Lopez. Maestro Andreas Delfs steps in to conduct a Pops concert this year with Tony nominee and platinum-selling songwriter, Ann Hampton Callaway.

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik celebrates his 28th season with the orchestra. “I’m really excited about this season,” said Tyzik. “The opportunity to collaborate with Andreas Delfs to create the perfect season for Rochester has been fantastic, and to work with the exceptional musicians of this orchestra at this time is just inspiring.”

Ringing in the holidays with the RPO has become a tradition with the ever-popular production of The Nutcracker, with the Rochester City Ballet, and the traditional Gala Holiday Pops.

A four-concert Sunday Matinee Series will take place at Nazareth College’s Beston Hall at the Glazer Music Performance Center next season. Family favorites are the anchor of the OrKIDStra Season performed at Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Programming for both of these series will be announced at a later date.

Subscriptions for the full 2021-2022 Season are on sale now. The Philharmonic Series and Pops Series may be purchased separately. Subscribing is easy, flexible and affordable.  Subscribers enjoy the best seats at the best prices, plus a host of exclusive benefits like ticket exchange privileges, priority advance booking and discounts, money-saving coupons to area restaurants, and more. For more information on subscribing to the RPO’s 2021-22 visit or call 585.454.2100.  Tickets to all individual shows will go on sale to the general public on July 30, 2021. For information on the 2021-22 Season, visit All concerts, artists, and schedules are subject to change.


2021-2022 RPO Season

Sponsored by M & T Bank and Rochester Regional Health

2021-2022 Philharmonics Series:

Andreas Conducts Brahms 1 

September 23 & 25, 2021

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin

WAGNER Dawn & Siegfried’s Rhine Journey 
JENNIFER HIGDON  Violin Concerto
BRAHMS  Symphony No. 1

Music Director Andreas Delfs opens the program with Richard Wagner’s Dawn & Siegfried’s Rhine Journey. Jennifer Higdon’s award-winning Violin Concerto, praised as “an attractive, colourful work, scored most imaginatively and with great finesse” (Gramophone), features soloist Benjamin Beilman. Despite taking the composer over a decade to complete, Johann Brahms’s First Symphony was worth the wait – a melodic triumph worthy of his musical predecessors.


König Conducts Saint-Saëns

October 7 & 9, 2021 

Christoph König, conductor
Alexandra Soumm, violin

SAINT-SAËNS “Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah 
LALO  Symphonie espagnole
SAINT-SAËNS  Symphony No. 3, “Organ”

Christoph König returns to conduct Camille Saint-Saëns’s “Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah. ÉdouardLalo’s Symphonie espagnole is considered a violin concerto by musicians and, indeed, inspired Tchaikovsky to write his own Violin Concerto. Alexandra Soumm makes her RPO debut with this charming and mischievous piece. Saint-Saëns’s energetic and powerful Third Symphony, composed in 1886 and popularly known as “the Organ Symphony,” shows Saint-Saëns at the peak of his career.


Paremski + Rachmaninov

October 21 & 23, 2021 

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano

WEILL Suite from The Threepenny Opera
RACHMANINOV  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
KHACHATURIAN  Suite from Spartacus
BLACHER  Orchestral Variations on a Theme by Paganini

Kurt Weill’s Suite from The Threepenny Opera showcases American jazz’s influence in 1920s Europe and features instrumentation that includes the banjo, bandoneon, and a trap set. Sergei Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with Natasha Paremski returning as soloist, evokes the three-movement form of Romanticist concertos but written as a single movement. Boris Blacher’s Orchestral Variations on a Theme by Paganini opens with Paganini’s theme, finishing with a grand ending in the final bars. Aram Khachaturian’s Suite from Spartacus remains one of his best-known works.


New World Symphony

November 4 & 6, 2021  

Joseph Young, conductor
William Hagen, violin

BARBER  Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

Joseph Young joins us for his RPO conducting debut. An homage to the triumphs, tribulations, and growth along the journey of life, Brian Nabors’s Onward is a musical journey that depicts the large and small changes in life that push us individually and collectively into the future. William Hagen also makes his RPO debut in Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto. Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, popularly known as “The New World Symphony,” was inspired the composer’s exposure to Black and Indigenous influences of the American musical landscape.


Hansel and Gretel

November 18 & 20, 2021 

RPO’s Annual Opera Concert

Andreas Delfs, conductor
James Alexander, stage director

HUMPERDINCK Hansel & Gretel (sung in English)

Engelbert Humperdinck’s retelling of the famous Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale is brought to life on the Kodak Hall Stage! Enjoy this semi-staged opera as a start to the holiday season.


SPECIAL EVENT:  The Nutcracker

November 24-28, 2021 

Tara Simoncic, conductor
The Rochester City Ballet 

The Nutcracker’s timeless tale of wonder and imagination has captivated audiences for nearly 130 years and has become a Rochester holiday tradition. Be whisked away to a magical land of sparkling snow and delectable sweets as enchanting dance from Rochester City Ballet pairs with Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, performed in all its glory by the RPO. This beloved story of a young girl’s Christmas Eve dream never fails to touch the heart!   (Not included as part of the subscription series.)


Andreas Conducts Beethoven   

January 13 & 15, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor 

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7

Music Director Andreas Delfs conducts an evening of classical music’s greatest composer! Beethoven’s First Symphony, inspired by the works of Haydn and Mozart, uses sforzandi and sudden shifts that make this composition undeniably his. Beethoven’s spirited Seventh Symphony features the haunting Allegretto that’s captivated listeners from concert hall to movie screen.


Danzmayr Returns

January 27 & 29, 2022 

David Danzmayr, conductor
Jiji Kim, guitar

RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

Conductor David Danzmayr opens the concert with Lera Auerbach’s Icarus, inspired by the classic Greek myth of flight and failure. Joaquin Rodrigo’s best-known work, Concierto de Aranjuez, features guitar soloist Jiji Kim making her RPO debut. Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s powerful and urgent Fourth Symphony, a staple in the orchestral repertoire, remains one of his best compositions.


Don Quixote 

February 10 & 12, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Claudio Bohórquez, cello
Aaron Mossburg, viola

HANSON  Symphony No. 2, “Romantic”
STRAUSS  Don Quixote 

One of Eastman School of Music’s first directors, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Howard Hanson was renowned for his gorgeously orchestrated and richly textured works. Written in 1930, Hanson’s Second Symphony was immediately hailed as a triumph and “the epitome of the twentieth-century symphony.” The second half of the program features Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote. Composed in 1897, this tone poem, based on Miguel de Cervantes’s novel of the same name, implements varied orchestra instruments to represent the novel’s themes of knightly glory and a colorful array of amusing characters.


Ginastera, Gershwin + Frank

March 3 & 5, 2022 

Lina González-Granados, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

GINASTERA  Four Dances from Estancia
GERSHWIN  Concerto in F
GERSHWIN Cuban Overture
GABRIELA LENA FRANK  Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout

Praised for her “attention to orchestral colors” (OperaWire), Lina González-Granados makes her RPO conducting debut. Alberto Ginastera’s Four Dances from Estancia, a ballet, featuring music inspired his native Argentinian rural landscape. George Gershwin, similarly, was inspired by the sounds and rhythms of Havana when he composed his Cuban Overture. Olga Kern brings her extraordinary talent and star power to Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout blends classical and Andean folk music traditions to perform in a sonorous space that co-exists together.


The Emperor Concerto 

March 24 & 26, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Jorge Osorio, piano

SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER  Something for the Dark 
BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”
PROKOFIEV  Symphony No. 5

Join your RPO for an evening of heroic and moving music! Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Something for the Dark is a musical journey of adversity, growth, and hope. Astounding generations of audiences, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto is known for its grandeur and bold melodies. Written in Russia during the summer of 1944, Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is an uplifting composition that enthused the Soviet populace as their army marched toward a victorious campaign.


Masur Conducts 

April 14 & 16, 2022 

Ken-David Masur, conductor
Awadagin Pratt, piano

BRAHMS  Variations on a Theme by Haydn
JESSIE MONTGOMERY  Piano Concerto (world premiere)
MENDELSSOHN  Symphony No. 5, “Reformation”

Hailed as “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribute), Ken-David Masur makes his RPO conducting debut with Johannes Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Pianist Awadagin Pratt, who has toured both internationally and performed at the White House, will make his RPO debut in the world premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Piano Concerto. Recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, Montgomery’s music meets at the longstanding intersection of classical music, improvisation, and social justice. Felix Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony is a powerful conclusion to this program.


The Blue Danube

May 5 & 7, 2022

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Juliana Athayde, violin (Concertmaster, The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair, funded in perpetuity)

MENDELSSOHN The Fair Melusine Overture
ROBERTO SIERRA  Violin Concerto (world premiere)
SCHUBERT  Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”
STRAUSS, JR.An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), op, 314

Felix Mendelssohn’s charming overture to The Fair Melusine is rarely performed, a musical treat you won’t want to miss. Concertmaster Juliana Athayde performs as soloist in the world premiere of a Violin Concerto, written by acclaimed composer Roberto Sierra. Despite being his last and unfinished composition, Franz Schubert’s Eighth Symphony is regarded as one of the Romantic period’s first musical works. Johann Strauss’s The Blue Danube is anostalgic dance that conjures up images of the grandeur of a lost age.


Symphonic Cinema

May 19 & 21, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Join Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and your RPO for an evening of music from the Golden Age of Hollywood! Featuring the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and others.


Mahler: The Resurrection Symphony

June 2 & 4, 2022  

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Rochester Oratorio Society

MAHLER  Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”

One of the greatest symphonies of all time closes out your season. Completed in 1894, Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony was the first significant work exploring his lifelong perspectives of the afterlife and established him as a leading composer of his day. An all-embracing work, it is the first of Mahler’s symphonies to use voices, words, and orchestra to create a musical experience that will stay with you far beyond the concert hall. Join us as we sound the trumpets and ring the bells for this grand Season Finale!


2021-2022 Pops Series

Sponsored by Wegmans and Canandaigua National Bank and Trust


Legends: the Paul Simon Songbook

September 17 & 18, 2021  

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Join your RPO and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik for an evening of music from the legendary Paul Simon. Explore his unique artistry as a songwriter from his years with Simon and Garfunkel through his solo albums Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. You’ll enjoy songs including “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”


Kings of Soul

October 15 & 16, 2021 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor
Darren Lorenzo, Chester Gregory and Michael Lynche, vocalists

Kings of Soul showcases the music of legendary artists Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Al Green, Barry White, Smokey Robinson, and Curtis Mayfield in an evening of soulful rhythms and melodies. Honoring the true “Kings” of classic soul, featured hits include “Soul Man,” “Shop Around,” “Get Ready,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” “Stand By Me,” “Move On Up,” and “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.”


Back to Broadway

November 12 & 13, 2021 

William Waldrop, conductor

Broadway comes to Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre! Enjoy classic and popular tunes well-known from some of the most outstanding productions ever put on The Great White Way. 


Gala Holiday Pops

December 17-19, 2021  

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Whether you drive to Kodak Hall or opt for a sleigh ride, you won’t want to miss this spectacular holiday concert, complete with a sing-a-long!


Jurassic Park in Concert

January 21 & 22, 2022 

Enrico LopezYañez, conductor

Celebrate one of the biggest movie franchises of all time with Jurassic Park! The action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Featuring visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects, this epic film is sheer movie magic 65 million years in the making. Now audiences can experience Jurassic Park as never before: projected in HD with a full symphony orchestra performing John Williams’s iconic score live to picture.  Welcome… to Jurassic Park!

Jurassic Park is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. 


Happy Birthday, John Williams!

February 18 & 19, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

The music of John Williams has transported us beyond our imagination and to new worlds through heart-pounding adventures. Join Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik as we celebrate John Williams’s 90th Birthday with music written by one of America’s greatest composers. Featuring music from some of the most iconic films of the 20th century.


Diva to Diva: An Evening with Ann Hampton Callaway 

March 18 & 19, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor
Ann Hampton Callaway, vocals

Tony nominee and platinum-selling songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway fuses a unique blend of jazz and pop that keeps her in demand around the world. In Diva to Diva, she honors all the great women of song from Ella Fitzgerald to Nina Simone to Carole King to Judy Garland in a magical symphonic night to remember. She will be accompanied by her good friend and new RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs.


Revolution: The Music of the Beatles – A Symphonic Experience

April 22 & 23, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Join your RPO for a unique symphonic experience featuring six of the world’s top vocalists and musicians together with restorative orchestrations from the original sessions at Abbey Road, arranged by Grammy-winner and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert

May 27 & 28, 2022 

Grab your broom and get ready for the tasks ahead! The Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts™ in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert. Relive the magic of Harry Potter™ soaring across the big screen in high-definition and experience the music of a live symphony orchestra performing Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s20)


5-Concert Streaming Series:

All concerts available for 45 days from first day of streaming.

Tickets for individual concerts are $25, series of five available for $100. Subscribers save up to 15%.

Paremski + Rachmaninov (From Oct 21, 2021)
Hansel and Gretel (From Nov 18, 2021)
Holiday Pops (From Dec 17, 2021)
Andreas Conducts Beethoven (From Jan 13, 2022)
Ann Hampton Callaway “Diva to Diva” (From March 18, 2022)

Subscriptions for the full 2021-2022 Season are on sale now. The Philharmonic Series and Pops Series may be purchased separately. Subscribing is easy, flexible and affordable.  Subscribers enjoy the best seats at the best prices, plus a host of exclusive benefits like ticket exchange privileges, priority advance booking and discounts, money-saving coupons to area restaurants, and more. For more information on subscribing to the RPO’s 2021-22 visit  Tickets to all individual shows will go on sale to the general public on July 30, 2021. For information on the 2021-22 Season, visit All concerts, artists, and schedules are subject to change.


ABOUT THE RPOThe 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. 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.