2019-20 Phils Season Overview

The RPO has always been a trailblazing institution, and next year’s Phils Season ups the ante. The 2019-20 season explores a significant time in our musical history in the early years of the 20th century. A time when avant-garde artists like Debussy, Boulanger, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg were challenging and changing the face of classical music. For the first time, the RPO will take part in the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival with a program of original exploratory works. We’ll also celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment and the 200th Anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s birth.

SCHEHERAZADE .2
Sept. 19 & 21, 2019
Series: A B D

Leila Josefowicz
  • Our Phils Seasons Opener takes part in the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.
  • Program features works by four living composers: Mason Bates, Cindy McTee, Steve Reich, and John Adams.
  • World-renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz performs as soloist in Adams’ Scheherazade. 2.

DVOŘÁK 8
Oct. 3 & 4, 2019
Series: A C E

Orli Shaham
  • Guest conductor David Danzmayr makes his RPO debut in a program featuring Dvořák’s decidedly genial and upbeat Eighth Symphony.
  • Pianist Orli Shaham performs Mozart’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 17.
  • This concert is the ONLY Phils concert to have a Thursday and Friday program.

TCHAIKOVSKY 4
Oct. 17 & 19, 2019
Series: A B F

Simone Porter
  • Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman brings Tchaikovsky’s incredible Symphony No. 4 to life.
  • Program includes Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.
  • Violinist Simone Porter will be featured in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, described by Classic FM as “one of the best works of the Romantic period.”

THE FIREBIRD
Oct. 31 & Nov. 2, 2019
Series: A C E

Andrei Ionită
  • Igor Stravinsky’s exceptional large-scale work for orchestra is performed by your RPO!
  • Cellist Andrei Ionită is featured in this concert.
  • Program includes Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the composer’s interpretation of the anguish brought on by WWI.
  • We will also perform two works by Lili Boulanger, Nadia’s younger sister, whose skyrocketing career was cut short when she died aged 24.


BACH TO BARTÓK
Nov. 7 & 9, 2019
Series: A B D

Tessa Lark
  • Violinist Tessa Lark makes her RPO debut as a soloist in Berg’s Violin Concerto.
  • Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra mirror the expressionist movement of the times.
  • We begin the concert with Bach’s Ricercar No. 2 from Musical Offering.

JOANN FALLETTA + SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE
Nov. 21 & 23, 2019
Series: A C F

JoAnn Falletta
  • Guest conductor JoAnn Falletta brings Hector Berlioz’ Symphony fantastique visionary piece alive at Kodak Hall.
  • Principal Fute Rebecca Gilbert is featured as soloist in Rouse’s Celtic-influenced Flute Concerto.
  • The program also includes Taillerferre’s Ouverture pour orchestre.

GABEL CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN
Jan. 16 & 18, 2020
Series: A C

Fabien Gabel
  • Guest conductor Fabien Gabel returns to lead your RPO in Prokofiev’s Symphony Suite from War and Peace.
  • Pianist Juho Pohjonen makes his RPO debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Poulenc’s Suite from Les Animaux modéles, a piece of significant resistance at the beginning of the 20th century, is also on the program, which begins with Beethoven’s beautiful Egmont Overture.

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE: PAST + PRESENT
Jan. 30 & Feb. 1, 2020
Series: A B


  • Mark Mobley’s theatrical work setting the stories strong Rochester women, past and present, to music.
  • World premiere of new work by an emerging female composer.

THE MOTHER OF US ALL
Feb. 6 & 8, 2020
Series: A B D

  • Our annual opera concerts have taken you on a tour of Europe. This year, we’ve decided to keep it local.
  • The Mother of Us All, an opera by Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein, chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony.
  • In fanciful style, it brings together characters, fictional and non-fictional, from different periods of American history.

TCHAIKOVSKY + ATHAYDE
Feb. 27 & 29, 2020
Series: A C E

Concertmaster Juliana Athayde
  • Concertmaster Juliana Athayde performs one of the most well-known violin concertos ever written – Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.
  • Guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger leads the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.

BRAHMS 4
Mar. 19 & 21, 2020
Series: A B F

Music Director Ward Stare
  • Ward Stare conducts Johannes Brahms tremendous and noble Fourth Symphony.
  • Pianist Andreas Haefliger returns as the evening’s guest artist.

THE YEAR 1905
Apr. 30 & May 2, 2020
Series: A C D

Isabel Leonard
  • Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard returns for this program.
  • Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, “The Year 1905,” became an instant success, with the composer being awarded the highest prize for Russian music.
  • The program will also feature Shostakovich’s student, Galina Ustovlskaya, who wrote her Symphonic Poem No. 2 at the same time he was writing Symphony No. 11.
  • Also played in this concert is Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’ete.

“ORGAN” SYMPHONY
May 7 & 9, 2020
Series: A B E

Christoph König
  • Christoph König returns to conduct Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with violinist Alexandra Soumm making her RPO debut.
  • Program also includes Saint-Saëns’ energetic and powerful “Organ” Symphony, and Liszt’s Les Préludes, taken from one of the composer’s earlier choral works,

THE “TITAN” SYMPHONY
May 28 & 30, 2020
Series: A C F

Inon Barnatan
  • Ward Stare continues the exploration of Mahler’s symphonies with “Titan”, the composer’s First Symphony.
  • Guest pianist Inon Barnatan joins us in this season finale concert of overpowering compositions!

Single tickets go on sale to the general public in July, but you can purchase a Full, Half or Mini Phils Series today! Click here to learn more about pricing for our packaged series.

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