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RPO Announces Upcoming Season

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has announced their 2016-2017 season. At Kodak Hall, Director Ward Stare emceed the free event Tuesday night, while the orchestra played excerpts from the upcoming season.

Among the big names announced, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform in Rochester on December 6th, 7 p.m. in Kodak Hall. Grammy award-winning singer Amy Grant makes her RPO debut next year on January 7th.

Stare says they'll be playing some pieces that regular RPO audiences may be familiar with -- Mahler's Fifth symphony, Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, and the First Symphony by Brahms -- but he says they are also featuring an American music festival for three weekends in the fall, which will include pieces never before played by the orchestra.

"Having grown up here, having been aware of the rich tradition that we have here, and of course being an American conductor myself, and the music conductor of a great American orchestra, it just made sense as a nice way to highlight that aspect of our history."

The theme of American music will carry throughout the season, Stare says.

Other highlights of the upcoming season include Mozart's Requiem performed with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus.

Stare says they'll be closing the season with opera.

"We had a concert opera which we brought to the theater a year ago, and it was very well received by the audience and I know that people loved hearing opera. So I wanted to bring it back to the season and we're going to close the season with La Boheme."

The semi-staged production won't have a full set or elaborate costumes, but will include props and action to reinforce the drama.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.