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Your RPO This April!!

Awadagin Pratt: Black in America,
Masur Conducts + Revolution: The Music of The Beatles
Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music jointly present a multimedia presentation chronicling the life and work of renowned pianist Awadagin Pratt with Awadagin Pratt: Black in America on
April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Admission is free to the public, but a ticket is required to attend. To reserve a ticket please visit:
Awadagin Pratt: Black in America is described by Pratt himself: “Fusing music performed by Pratt, original still and moving pictures by filmmaker Alrick Brown, and a Pratt-authored and delivered narration, the event captures the complexities of America’s original sin by chronicling the renowned pianist’s life from his time as a music student at the Peabody Conservatory through his ascent to international acclaim through graphic accounts of police stops for Driving While Black.”
“Until they’d heard the original audio version of this program, many people who knew me – and had known me for years – had no idea of the extent of my experience of Driving While Black,” shares Pratt. “I’m pleased that the RPO and Eastman have decided to make this a part of my appearance in Rochester. Those who attend Black in America will hopefully begin to understand this experience, which unfortunately is incredibly common regardless of someone’s ‘success’ or status.  My hope and desire are that with understanding will also come change.”
“We’re proud to be a partner in this moving, multi-media event with Mr. Pratt and the Eastman School of Music,” says RPO President & CEO Curtis S. Long. “We also look forward to his appearances with the orchestra later that week, in which he will give composer Jessie Montgomery’s Piano Concerto – an RPO co-commission – its exciting Rochester Premiere.”
That RPO concert, Masur Conducts, takes place Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall. Guest conductor Ken-David Masur – hailed as “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribune) – is Principal Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The son of world-renowned conductor, the late Kurt Masur, Maestro Masur makes his RPO conducting debut with Johannes Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Hayden. Pianist Awadagin Pratt, who has toured internationally and performed at the White House, will also make his RPO debut with the Rochester premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Piano Concerto, entitled “Rounds for Piano and String Orchestra,” an RPO co-commission with seven other orchestras. 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, which will include a pre-concert talk with Mr. Pratt one hour prior to each evening’s performance.
On Friday and Saturday, April 22 & 23 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall, Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead Revolution: The Music of The Beatles, A Symphonic Experiencefeaturing exciting vocalists and instrumentalists performing restorative orchestrations from the original sessions at Abbey Road, arranged by Grammy-winner Tyzik himself. Accompanied by hundreds of rare and unseen photos, Revolution takes audiences on a magical, musical, and visual journey of The Beatles. The production features arrangements of more than 25 top hits, including “Ticket to Ride,” Penny Lane,” “Because,” “Get Back,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Hey Jude.” (All music under license from Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and Harrisongs LTD. All photos under license from The Beatles Book Photo Library. The show is not endorsed by or connected to Apple Corps or The Beatles.)
“This concert is a phenomenal tribute to the revolutionary Beatles,” exclaims Tyzik. “Arranging the music for this concert was one of my most important projects. It had to be just right. I stayed true to the original George Martin orchestrations and enhanced them for our ‘Symphonic Rock Orchestra.’ It was an honor to work with this collection of Beatles masterpieces.”
Tickets for Kodak Hall shows (except for Awadagin Pratt: Black in America, which is free) start at $30 for adults/$18 for children (ages 3-17) 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 60 minutes prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.).
Please note: Current COVID protocols will be in effect through April 10: Patrons aged five and up are required to show proof of COVID vaccinations. Patrons are required to wear masks during the entire performance, except in the Masking-Optional section. Venue capacity is at 80%. Any updates in protocols will be provided prior to April concerts.
Awadagin Pratt: Black in America is sponsored by Two Point Capital ManagementJack McGowan, and Kathy Muscato. The Pops Series is sponsored by Wegmans and Canandaigua National BankSince 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. 
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, 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 can be found at Interviews and photo/footage opportunities are also available.