Months in Review – Winter 2019/2020

A Special Message from Music Director Ward Stare

RPO’s first Live-Stream Concert!

The Intermediate Concerts had originally been scheduled for March 10-13 but were canceled in an attempt to limit the impact of the coronavirus. But we decided the show must go on, at least virtually, and the RPO performed a live-stream version of the Intermediate Concerts – Get Out the Vote! – on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Guest conductor and RPO trumpeter, Herb Smith, conducted this morning’s concert. More than 5,000 students viewed the live-stream in over 50 participating schools.

The RPO sincerely thanks the University of Rochester and videographers, Global Events, in helping to bring the first-ever live-stream concert to audiences. 

RPO Activities during Social Distancing

The RPO’s own Herb Smith, like many musicians around the world, are turning to social media to provide the art of music during this time of social distancing.

Though we are saddened to not play music in concert halls, we continue to find ways to bring music to the community: 

  • Special thanks to WXXI Classical 91.5 for agreeing to add encore broadcasts of 2018-19 Phils Series programs on Mondays at 8 pm. (Click here for details.) RPO musicians will host a live discussion of the concert during these broadcasts on Facebook. These added broadcasts will take us through the previously scheduled start of 2019-20 Phils program broadcasts in Mid-May.
  • RPO musicians are streaming weekly Living Room Series live performances from their homes on Saturdays at 6 pm. Videos are available on their Facebook Page
  • There are also a variety of RPO commercial recordings available for streaming, including the RPO’s recent Grammy-winning American Rapture, found here.
  • We’ve created an Activities page on our website, where you can view some material that household members of all ages can enjoy. You can also find fun and enriching at-home activities on our Teachers & Schools page.
  • We are currently working to find ways to share additional RPO recordings, including some classic radio broadcasts from over the decades. More to come. 

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit our website for the latest updates regarding postponed concerts and programs.

Unforgettable: 100 Years of Nat & Natalie

During Valentine’s Weekend – February 14 & 15 – Audiences joined us in Kodak Hall for two nights of serenading music from legends Nat & Natalie King Cole. Featuring vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Dee Daniels, selections included “Unforgettable” and “Mona Lisa,” to “This Will Be” and “Love.”

In the theme of Valentine’s Day, audiences were invited to send in pictures with their valentine! Click here to see a small portion of the video. 

Primary Concerts

Inspiring and educating the next generation of community leaders, artists, and musicians! First, second, and third graders from across the region visited us during our Primary Concerts, February 11 & 12!

Every year in February & March, over 7,500 students sing, clap, stomp, dance, and interact with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in specially designed concerts held in the Eastman Theatre and public venues throughout our community. For some students, this may be their first exposure to live orchestral music, and for many others, it may be their ONLY experience. Thanks to your support, we are able to provide the necessary resources to bring world-class orchestral music to the next generation of music lovers. Learn more about the importance of supporting future generations in the art of music at

The 20/21 Season is Here!

On Tuesday, February 11, we announced our 2020-21 Season during the M&T Bank Community Concert! From a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday and RPO debuts, to performing live music as a full-length film plays on the big screen, there’s something for everyone with RPO!

Only 2020-21 subscribers enjoy presale access to these highly anticipated concerts! Visit for more information.

Our 20/21 Season is made possible by the generous support of M&T Bank and Rochester Regional Health.

Women’s Suffrage + Mother of Us All

Rosanna Moore, harp; Curt S. Long, RPO President & CEO; Catherine Frangenberg, RPL President

From January 30 to February 8, we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and the 200th Birthday of Rochester’s own Susan B. Anthony – who decided to ‘visit’ us in Kodak Hall! (Click here for the video.) At the Thursday performance of Women’s Suffrage: Past + Present (Jan. 30), Catherine Frangenberg, President of the Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL), presented a check for $15,000 for your RPO’s educational programs. Since 1929, the RPL has collectively worked towards the common goal of providing quality educational and musical experiences for the community.

Learn more about the League at

Grammy Win for American Rapture

American Rapture won a GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Contemporary Classical Composition! The RPO hosted a Grammy party at RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studio on Sunday, January 26th. A BIG thank you to Dr. Jim Watters at RIT and Dr. Dawn Lipson for hosting us! 
Two days after the Grammy win, Music Director Ward Stare shared a video online to thank all who sent in their congratulations! Click here to view the clip. 

American Rapture is available on AmazoniTunes, and

50 Years of Garth Fagan Dance

On January 24 & 25, Garth Fagan Dance and RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik joined forces to inspire and excite audiences with movement and music from our organizations’ rich histories. Audiences were thrilled with Garth Fagan’s eclectic repertoire meets the RPO’s musical prowess to showcase an expansive breadth of music, including Fagan’s “Oatka Trail” set to Dvorak; “Dance Collage for Romie” with music by Jelly Roll Morton; and “Mudan 175/39” with musical selections by Lei Liang.  We also had the distinct honor to speak with Garth Fagan ahead of the celebrations. Click here to watch the exclusive interview. 

This is the moment to support your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Consider how music has inspired the rhythm of your life before and during this time of social distancing. And how it will after. Your donation will ensure that your RPO continues to play long after it returns to the stage. Click here to donate today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close