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Kurt Brownell

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra confirmed Tuesday that it is postponing or canceling all of its September, October and November traditional programming. In place of the performances: Five livestreamed concerts, without an audience, from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

The affected shows include all philharmonic, Pops, Sunday Matinee and orKIDStra Series performances, as well as a series of specials that are being rescheduled for next summer. Events scheduled for December and beyond remain in place while the RPO awaits further word from the state.

Kurt Brownell

Beating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the punch by one news cycle, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced Thursday afternoon that it was postponing all concerts through May 9.

And by Friday morning, that decision proved to be academic anyway, as Cuomo announced that all workers in nonessential businesses in the state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

RPO shows affected by its announcement are:

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra held its first livestreamed performance Friday morning for classrooms whose field trips were canceled due to coronavirus concerns and precautions.

This week, the RPO had to cancel a series of interactive, educational performances around the concept of voting for fourth- through sixth-graders. According to Marie-Andélina de la Farrière with the RPO, more than 5,000 students in 250 classrooms participated in the live-stream in more than 50 schools.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music have agreed to postpone all RPO concerts in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre effective immediately through April 15.

A statement from the RPO notes that following Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring a ‘state of emergency’ over the weekend, the University of Rochester issued plans to restrict campus events, including Eastman Theatre, in an attempt to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

RPO's 2020-21 season offers balance of old, new

Feb 11, 2020
ERICH CAMPING

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020-21 season will inevitably be viewed through the lens of Ward Stare’s final season as music director.

In six full seasons with the RPO, Stare has helped to create a period of stable artistic leadership following the uncertainty left in the wake of Arild Remmereit’s firing in 2013. On Tuesday, M&T Bank announced that it is awarding the RPO with a $110,000 grant over three years to bolster the orchestra’s resources for concert programming.

www.wardstare.com

American Rapture, a recording featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Ward Stare with soloist Yolanda Kondonassis, was nominated for two Grammy awards on Wednesday.  This album includes the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto, written for and dedicated to Yolanda Kondonassis.

The recording received the following nominations:

Best Classical Instrumental Solo - HIGDON: HARP CONCERTO--Yolanda Kondonassis; Ward Stare, conductor (The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)

Provided

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has played contemporary music on their concerts alongside older classics before -- but this weekend’s concert is the first time that the whole program is dedicated to the work of living composers.

Leila Josefowicz is the violin soloist for the RPO's concert this weekend. She says that she no longer plays the older classics and wants to work with music that is "more unexpected, more edgy, more contemporary."

Suzy Gorman/RPO

Ward Stare will be stepping down from his position as music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the end of the summer 2021, after seven years.

Stare announced his decision to the board late last week, and to the musicians on Monday. He will continue to lead the orchestra through its upcoming two seasons.

Stare will have led the RPO for seven years, a tenure that only five other music directors in the 97-year history of the Philharmonic have reached.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Tuesday announced its 2019/20 Philharmonics and Pops Series.

The RPO says that while two of the 14 Philharmonics weekends will focus specifically on Susan B. Anthony and the 19th Amendment, women composers, conductors, and guest artists are featured throughout.

The RPO's 96th season will include music from the classic repertoire, as well as programming aimed at the family. We sit down with music director Ward Stare and Curt Long, the new CEO.

Our conversation includes the criticism that some orchestras have received for not featuring enough music by women and people of color -- something the RPO says it is addressing this season. Our guests:

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