And we're off!

The new season of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra kicked off this weekend, and it wasn't good.  It was great. 

Vacation time obviously reinvigorated everyone, because the RPO played with plenty of energy, and style to match it.  A simple program of complex pieces:  Shostakovich's Festival Overture, Beethoven's Emperor Concert with pianist Andre Watts, and Dvorak's New World Symphony.  The orchestra ripped through the Shostakovich (and our national anthem) to set the stage for Andre Watts, his Hamburg Steinway, and the Emperor.  From the first notes of the Beethoven, we knew it would be a bracing ride; Watts willed notes from the piano, crossing the keys with a grace and ease rarely matched.  I know, I know--it' hard. Somehow, Andre Watts made it all look easy. The Dvorak was divine--I have never heard the quiet parts so quiet, and the new RPO english horn player, Anna Steltenpohl, played that oh so famous melody just perfectly.  Two really long pieces, and both flew by as if, somehow, all of our timepieces stopped for 2 hours.

But the best part was the buzz that filled the lobby and the large number of people who filled the seats.  A big, excited house, with plenty of attendees under the age of 50.  The RPO now has a Facebook fan page, and they actively pushed this concert on it.  Based on the average age of opening night, I would say it's working.  If you have a Facebook account, check it out.  And if you don't, sign up! 

Next stop:  Celebrating Tyzik!  Hope you're there for the party!  Check out the RPO website to see the whole season: