When the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced Arild Remmereit would succeed Christopher Seaman as the RPO’s Music Director in 2011, nearly every media outlet in town sent a reporter or crew to cover the story. I think that everyone, whether they listen to Jay-Z or Jewel or Janacek, recognizes the importance of the orchestra in any city.
Years ago I was a contestant in a live, Jeopardy-like quiz show hosted by conductor Peter Bay and the RPO at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center. Fresh out of college, I thought I knew a lot about music.Boy, did I eat humble pie.
Over the first weekend of October, nearly 8,000 people experienced Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" performed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester Oratorio Society in the newly-renovated Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. One patron blogged about what she saw and heard, and she inspired me to share this clip with you.
First of all, Eastman Theatre is a MESS, according to Eastman student and WXXI intern Dylan Smith. He poked his head in the other day, and tipped us off to the fact that the School is posting pictures. Thanks, Dylan!
Workers have less than two months to finish major renovations before the RPO opens the new digs October 8th, 9th, and 10th with a performance of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” The Rochester Oratorio Society will sing the famous ending (“Ode to Joy.”) Members of the Society got an e-mail this week announcing the group has been asked to sing Verdi’s “Requiem” next May with the RPO. This is a significant change. The orchestra’s current schedule lists Verdi's “Aida” in concert May 20th and 22th. So now, as it stands, ROS will bookend the season of Philharmonic concerts.
After a long hiatus, I'm back, writing about music and arts in Rochester, New York.
The big excitement in my life is the prospect of seeing Christopher Seaman conduct Haydn's Creation this weekend.
It's an oratorio telling the biblical story of the creation of the world, the animals, and Adam and Eve, who promptly fall in love and avoid the snakes. Splendid! Someone who heard the first performance in 1798 wrote in a letter to the editor of a Vienna newspaper,
"Already three days have passed since that happy evening, and it still sounds in my ears and heart, and my breast is constricted by many emotions even thinking of it."
Coinidentally, the big Rochester garden show opened last weekend with a Garden of Eden theme. I missed it, but eyewitnesses reported fewer blooms than usual and lots of snakes.
Christopher Seaman will conduct the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and soprano Barbara Shirvis, tenor Michael Colvin, and baritone Stephen Powell. WXXI-FM will broadcast/stream the concert on Classical 91.5, 90.3 and wxxi.org on Wednesday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m.
The LAGQ came to town for multiple concerts, both with your RPO and without, and master classes at the Eastman School of Music. Much to our surprise and pleasure, they agreed to appear on Backstage Pass. We got ready.
Aaron Copland's book "What to Listen for in Music" invites music fans of all types to consider listening to music on multiple levels and multiple planes. Last weekend at a concert, I caught myself listening on just one level, and it got me thinking how others listen.