Months in Review: September/October

Three Newly Endowed Chairs

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced today the creation of three new endowed musician chairs. The James E. Dumm Chair, The Rob W. Goodling Chair, and The Barbara and Patrick Fulford Chair are all funded in perpetuity.

Longtime RPO supporters Barbara and Patrick Fulford of Brighton have chosen to endow the second percussion chair currently held by Brian Stotz. Mr. Fulford is a percussionist with the New Horizons Band. The Fulfords are familiar faces at RPO Philharmonics and Pops concerts; Mr. Fulford is also Chairperson of the RPO’s Honorary Board and on the Governance and Marketing Committees. The Fulfords previously endowed The Christopher Seaman Chair, supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society in 2011.

The Fulfords remarked, “We are both passionate advocates for the RPO and the wonderful music-making the conductors and musicians provide week after week. This gift is in appreciation for our amazing orchestra and all it brings to our community.”

The Dumm Family has chosen the Assistant Principal Second Violin Chair in honor of their father, a former violinist with the RPO who also held the position of Personnel Manager for many years. The chair is currently held by Daryl Perlo, one of Mr. Dumm’s former students.

“His tenure with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra began in 1973 when he joined the violin section while his brother Thomas was Principal Violist. The Dumms carried on the family legacy when his son Bryan joined the cello section in 1981. Dr. Dumm’s most significant and treasured contribution to the RPO was his role as Personnel Manager, where he served the musicians of the Orchestra for many years with great respect and dedication,” stated The Dumm Family.

The Principal Tuba position, currently held by Craig Sutherland, has been endowed by music lover and educator Rob W. Goodling of Corn Hill. Music has had a life-long impact on Mr. Goodling; receiving a full scholarship that launched his professional career, he believes in returning that good fortune back to the community.

“Supporting the arts in Rochester is essential for me,” Mr. Goodling said. “So many organizations have connections to the RPO, so funding the RPO is my starting point.”

President and CEO Curt Long remarked, “The outpouring of significant gifts honoring our musicians in recent weeks is testament to the profound impact the RPO musicians individually have on our community. We are especially grateful to the Dumm Family, Mr. Goodling, and the Fulfords for recognizing the impact music and the RPO have in Rochester and beyond.”

American Rapture

The reviews are in! American Rapture has been well-received by critics. Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis‘ world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto, recorded live with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, has been submitted for consideration among this year’s entries for the GRAMMY Awards in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo! Click here to learn more.

American Rapture is available on Amazon, iTunes, and

Tales from the Maestro

Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman

Hosted by RPO’s Volunteer Enrichment Committee, we gave thanks to our dedicated volunteers with an appreciation night on October 21 at The Penthouse at One East Avenue. Tales from the Maestro featured Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman (The Christopher Seaman Chair, Supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society), who shared his experiences as a conductor with guests. RPO musicians prepared baked goods and desserts for the reception. Click here to view photos.

An Evening in Vienna

We toasted to Vienna – The City of Music – on October 12 during our annual gala concert. Audiences enjoyed an evening of Strauss waltzes, Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and selections from Lehár. The evening also raised funds for our Education & Community Engagement programs

A very special thank you to Jennifer Johnson for being our Master of Ceremonies at our annual fundraiser. Click here to view photos from the enchanting evening.

Scheherazade.2 + Mothership

Our Philharmonics Series Opener, on September 19 & 21, was critically acclaimed by CITY Newspaper’s David Raymond in his review. “Call them pseudo-rave, call them neo-Romantic, call them Minimalist, call them whatever, these composers definitely belong on RPO programs.” well-received by audiences! Part of KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, the program featured selections from four living composers, including Mason Bates’ Mothership and John Adams’ Scheherazade.2. Bates created Mothership as an electronic-fused composition, with interpretive freestyling by select musicians! We welcomed world-renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz as she performed in John Adams’ modern twist to Rimsky-Korsakov’s 19th-century masterpiece. Specifically written for Leila, Scheherazade.2 is a feminist retelling of the lead character in One Thousand and One Nights, using her skill to free herself from the sultan’s yoke.


Our Pops Series Opener, Prohibition, on September 27 & 28 celebrated the music of the 1920s and into the world of gangsters and intrigue. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik conducted your RPO as we welcomed vocalists Myra Maud, Madison Claire Parks, and Bronson Norris Murphy. Accompanied by imagery from the decadent period, songs ranged from Edith Pilaf’s La Vie en Rose to Al Dubin’s We’re in the Money.

Want to hear more? Click here to listen to a curated playlist of 1920s songs, available on Spotify.

Around the Town Concerts

September’s Around the Town Concerts, presented by the Pace Family Fund, brought your RPO to neighborhoods across our city on September 24-26. These free neighborhood concerts allow us to continue our mission to educate, inspire, and engage audiences with the art of music.

Conducted by our very own Herb Smith, the concerts featured select pieces from throughout the 2019-20 Season. Selections included Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor, Stravinsky’s Finale from The Firebird, and Menken’s The Little Mermaid Medley.

We sincerely thank Laurel Pace and her family for bringing our Around the Town concerts to our music-loving audiences. Thank you!

Nadezhda von Meck

When industrialist Karl von Meck died in 1876, he willed his financial empire to his wife, Nadezhda. She gave substantial endowments to the Russian Musical Society and Moscow Conservatory shortly after her husband’s death. Her generosity also coincided with the beginning of a long friendship with Tchaikovsky. Click here and learn more about the relationship between patroness and composer.

New Location

We moved! As we settle in our new location at 255 East Avenue, we invite you to visit our new Patron Services Center, located on the backside of the Farash Building, off Union Street. Free Parking is available there! Click here for directions to our new location.

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