February 24, 2022
Rochester Philharmonic Announces 2022-23 Season


Andreas Delfs, Music Director 

World Premiere by Derrick Skye
RPO Co-Commission by James Lee III

Guest Artists Include
Conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Vinay Parameswaran, Lan Shui, Mario Venzago ● Violinists Gil Shaham, Tai Murray, Stefan Jackiw ● Cellist Zlatomir Fung ● Percussionist Colin Currie ● Pianists Jonathan Biss, Stephen Hough, Simon Trpčeski ● Vocalists Christopher Maltman, Jasmine Habersham, Lester Lynch, Raven McMillon, Matthew White

Concerts performed in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY
Info and Tickets: 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced its 2022-23 season, with Maestro Andreas Delfs in his second season as Music Director of the orchestra.  Maestro Delfs continues to bring excitement and a new spirit of rebirth to the RPO with creative programming and an inclusive leadership style. This season, the orchestra presents a thoughtful and challenging mix of classic treasures, contemporary surprises, important premieres and passionate musical storytelling with world-renowned guest artists. The season features a world premiere by Derrick Skye and an RPO co-commission by James Lee III, as well as music by Jennifer Higdon, Wynton Marsalis and Roberto Sierra. A chronological list of concerts follows below.

A video conversation with   Maestro Delfs and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, which introduced the season to subscribers yesterday, is available here.  

“Music offers intangible but irreplaceable community connections – a kind of ‘social glue’ that can bind us together,” says Maestro Delfs. “During the 2022–23 season and beyond, the RPO is determined to create even closer community connections through diverse, accessible, exciting, and engaging programming.”

Derrick Skye, composer

World Premiere by Derrick Skye, November 17 & 19
In November, the RPO presents a concert that opens with a world-premiere by Derrick Skye, commissioned by the RPO as a companion piece to the monumental Brahms Requiem, which is performed in the second half of the concert. Skye’s new work explores themes of mentorship and love for those around you. Skye is a Los Angeles-based composer and musician who often integrates music practices from different cultural traditions around the world into his work, including those in his own ancestry: Ghanaian, Nigerian, British, Irish, and Native American. The concert concludes with Brahms’ Requiem, written while Brahms was grieving the death of his own mother and intended to comfort the living in the face of mortality. Baritone Christopher Maltman makes his RPO debut and is joined by soprano Jasmine Habersham, who appeared in the 2021 RPO opera concert Hansel and Gretel.

James Lee III, composer

A Celebrations of Black Composers
RPO Co-Commission by James Lee III, February 9 & 11
In February, the RPO presents a special concert to celebrate of the rich history of Black Rochesterians. The concert features James Lee III’s “Freedom’s Genuine Dawn” (an RPO co-commission) and William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony, which was premiered in Rochester by the RPO in 1931.  Also on the program are An American Fanfare by Adolphus Hailstork, who was born in Rochester; the orchestral song cycle Songs of Harriet Tubman by Nkeiru Okoye; and Duke Ellington’s The River Suite. Internationally acclaimed Rochester-based soprano Kearstin Piper Brown and dancer, educator, activist, and director of dance at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf Thomas Warfield join the RPO for this program.

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

Guest Artists & Conductors
Conducted by Maestro Delfs unless otherwise indicated.

  • RPO’s all-Beethoven opening night features violin superstar Gil Shaham performing Beethoven’s only violin concerto. (Sep 8 & 10)
  • Taiwanese-American conductor Mei-Ann Chen recently became the first female Asian conductor named to the role of Chief Conductor of an Austrian orchestra (at Recreation-Grosses Orchester Graz). With the RPO, she conducts Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral and Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3; she is joined by pianist Inon Barnatan for Chopin’s Concerto No. 1. (Oct 6 & 8)
  • Percussionist Colin Currie is featured in the Rochester premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Der gerettete Alberich, an informal musical sequel to Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. (Oct 20 & 22)
  • Conductor Vinay Parameswaran was recently named associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He is joined by violinist Tai Murray for Wynton Marsalis’ jazz-inflected Violin Concerto, which is paired with the lush—but rarely performed—Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius. (Nov 3 & 5)
  • Swiss conductor Mario Venzago, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, makes his RPO debut for an evening of masterpieces, including his own arrangement of Schubert’s Seventh Symphony. Pianist Jonathan Biss performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25. (Mar 2 & 4)

  • British pianist Stephen Hough performs Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1. (Mar 16 & 18)

  • Zlatomir Fung is the youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division, and he joins the orchestra for Lalo’s Cello Concerto.  (Apr 13 & 15)

  • Conductor Laureate of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Lan Shui makes his RPO debut with violinist Stefan Jackiw on Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, along with music by Dvořák and Barber. (May 4 & 6)

  • The RPO’s Annual opera concert this season is Verdi’s Rigoletto, featuring three singers making their RPO debuts: baritone Lester Lynch, soprano Raven McMillon and tenor Matthew White. (May 18 & 20)

  • Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski joins Maestro Delfs and the RPO for the season’s closing concert, performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which is followed by Mahler’s “Titan” symphony. (Jun 1 & 3)

    Simon Trpčeski, piano (Photo: B. Ealovega)

The RPO Pops Series
Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will celebrate his 29th RPO season with a Pops series that offers something for everyone, starting with HEARTLAND: The Stories of Country Music with vocalist Rick Brantley in September, right through DANCING IN THE STREET: Music of Motown in May. Other Pops highlights include the return of Troupe Vertigo performing its dare-devil circus feats right over the orchestra to Jeff Tyzik’s original music, Decades: Back to the 80s (think Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Huey Lewis & The News, etc.), and The Envelope Please, featuring Grammy, Tony, and Academy Award winning songs. Guest artists include world-renowned double bassist and jazz vocalist Nicki Parrott, the soulful Shayna Steele, Broadway vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Lisa Vroman, and trumpeter Byron Stripling. Harry Potter fans will no doubt rejoice at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert in October.

Holiday Shows
Holiday shows next season will include audience favorites The Nutcracker with Rochester City Ballet, as well as Gala Holiday Pops with Jeff Tyzik and vocalist Shayna Steele. RPO Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman (The Christopher Seaman Chair, supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and the Conductor Laureate Society) will lead Handel’s Messiah, and a collaboration with the Strong Museum will result in a brand-new, family-friendly Holiday Event.

About the RPO
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its origins in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Music Director Andreas Delfs joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Mark Elder, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, now in his 28th season, has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his tenure with the RPO. The RPO reaches more than 15,000 youth through its specific education programs.

Since the 2019-2000 Season, M & T Bank has been the RPO’s Season Sponsor. They are joined by Rochester Regional Health as Season Co-Sponsor. The Pops Season is sponsored by Wegmans and Canandaigua National Bank.

Season Preview Video with Andreas Delfs, Music Director, and Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor

2022-23 RPO Classical Season
Thursdays at 7:30 pm & Saturdays at 8 pm
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

SEPT 8 & 10, 2022

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin
BEETHOVEN Ruins of Athens Overture
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto in D Major
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
Violinist Gil Shaham joins the RPO for Beethoven’s one-and-only violin concerto. Also on the program is Beethoven’s 5th symphony, the work that first brought Music Director Andreas Delfs to Kodak Hall as a guest conductor with the RPO in 1994.

OCT 6 & 8, 2022

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor; Inon Barnatan, piano
HIGDON Blue Cathedral
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor
FARRENC Symphony No. 3 in G Minor
Bold, dynamic, and passionate, Maestra Mei-Ann Chen joins the RPO for her Rochester debut. Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral tells a story of loss and mourning with its evocative harmonies and masterful construction. Inon Barnatan returns to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Because the much-admired work of French composer Louise Farrenc was all but forgotten after her death, the RPO is proud to join orchestras around the world in bringing well-deserved attention to her symphonic output.

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Colin Currie, percussion
R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel
ROUSE Der gerettete Alberich
Music Director Andreas Delfs leads the RPO in a collection of musical stories. Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel tells the tale of a medieval German trickster, with the first heroic motif even spelling out the syllables of his name. Percussionist Colin Currie hops across the pond to join the RPO for the Rochester premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Der gerettete Alberich, an informal musical sequel to Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. Petrushka tells the tragic story of a puppet, a character popular in Russian folktales. Stravinsky’s compelling score brings the title character into uniquely human experiences, including soaring love and tragic death.

Vinay Parameswaran, conductor | Tai Murray, violin

NOV 3 & 5, 2022

Vinay Parameswaran, conductor; Tai Murray, violin
MARSALIS Violin Concerto in D Major
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5 in Eb Major
The Cleveland Orchestra’s Vinay Parameswaran joins the RPO for an evening of Rochester debuts. Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis’ violin concerto makes its way to the stage of Kodak Hall for the first time. Performed by Tai Murray, making her RPO debut, the piece combines elements of jazz, blues, and classical music to create something that is uniquely American. First premiered in 1915, Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony demonstrates the composer’s commitment to lush, romantic harmony during a period of radical changes in the harmonic language of younger composers.

NOV 17 & 19, 2022

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Jasmine Habersham, soprano; Christopher Maltman, baritone; Eastman-Rochester Chorus
DERRICK SKYE New Work (RPO Commission / World Premiere)
BRAHMS A German Requiem
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “enormous fun to listen to,” Los Angeles-based composer Derrick Skye brings his unique musical voice to Rochester with a World Premiere. Skye’s new work, commissioned by the RPO as a companion piece to the monumental Brahms Requiem, explores themes of mentorship and love for those around you. A German Requiem, called a “Human Requiem” by the composer himself, was written as a piece to comfort the living in the face of mortality. Brahms wrote the piece while grieving the death of his own mother. 

JAN 12 & 14, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Juliana Athayde, violin (The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair)
WAGNER Lohengrin Prelude
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E Minor
BRUCKNER Symphony 6 in A Major
Beloved RPO concertmaster Juliana Athayde takes center stage alongside Music Director Andreas Delfs to exhibit her artistry in Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto – a seasoned staple of the repertoire. Wagner’s colorful prelude to his romantic opera, Lohengrin, is just a precursor to the operatic innovations that the composer would soon develop. Anton Bruckner's dynamic, rhythmically inventive, sophisticated, and masterfully subtle 6th Symphony was described by the composer himself as "saucy."

JAN 26 & 28, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor; RPO Soloists
HAYDN Symphony No. 44 in E Minor
SCHULHOFF Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, “Pathétique”
Music Director Andreas Delfs leads the RPO in a program featuring soloists from the orchestra. Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 is one of the composer’s few symphonies written in a minor key, and the composer requested the slow movement to be played at his funeral, hence the nickname “Trauer,” or mourning. Erwin Schulhoff, a student of Debussy, was among the first classical composers to use jazz as an influence. His Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra embodies his belief that “absolute art is revolution.” Tchaikovsky’s beloved final work, his Symphony No. 6, closes the program.

Kearstin Piper Brown, soprano | Thomas Warfield, narrator | Nkeiru Okoye, composer

FEB 9 & 11, 2023

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Kearstin Piper Brown, soprano; Thomas Warfield, narrator
NKEIRU OKOYE Songs of Harriet Tubman
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Symphony No. 1 in Ab Major, “Afro-American”
JAMES LEE III Freedom’s Genuine Dawn (RPO Co-Commission)
RPO’s Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik makes a guest appearance in the Philharmonics series to conduct this special concert, a celebration of the rich history of black Rochesterians. Internationally acclaimed Rochesterians Kearstin Piper Brown and Thomas Warfield join the RPO for this program, featuring works connected to Rochester by Adolphus Hailstork, Nkeiru Okoye, Duke Ellington, and an RPO co-comission by James Lee III. A highlight of the night will be William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony, which was premiered in Rochester by the RPO in 1931.

MAR 2 & 4, 2023

Mario Venzago, conductor; Jonathan Biss, piano
ROSSINI Ouverture Il Viaggio a Reims
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Conductor Mario Venzago makes his debut with the RPO for an evening of Classical masterpieces. Renowned American pianist Jonathan Biss takes the stage for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, a piece widely recognized as one of Mozart’s concerto masterpieces. Two reconstructions bookend the concerto: Rossini’s Overture to Il Viaggio a Reims was once lost to time, only recently reconstructed by scholars; and Schubert’s Seventh Symphony only ever existed as a piano score during the composer’s lifetime. Maestro Venzago brings his own completed arrangement of Schubert’s Seventh Symphony to the stage of Kodak Hall.

MAR 16 & 18, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Stephen Hough, piano
DEBUSSY Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
SCHOENBERG Verklaerte Nacht
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 D Minor
One of the most distinctive artists of a generation, Stephen Hough joins the RPO to perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1, a piece that is romantic, inventive, and unapologetically Brahms. The first half of the program details two different composers in the process of developing their own unique harmonic language. The first, Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is just a precursor to the impressionist movement of which Debussy would soon be a leading figure (although he himself never fully accepted that reputation). Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, although tonal, hints at the composer’s dissatisfaction with traditional harmonic structure.

APR 13 & 15, 2023
Andreas Delfs, conductor; Zlatomir Fung, cello
LALO Cello Concerto in D Minor
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
An American masterpiece, Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story tells of cultures colliding, a theme that plays out across this program. Declared by Mahler himself to be “the start of modern music,” Chabrier’s España is paired with Lalo’s rhapsodic Cello Concerto to make up the first half of the program. The first American in four decades and youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division, Zlatomir Fung, joins the RPO as soloist. Roberto Sierra’s colorful Fandangos, a rhythmic piece inspired by the triple meter Spanish dance, follows the Bernstein to end the lively evening.

Violinist Stefan Jackiw (Photo: Sangwook Lee)

MAY 4 & 6, 2023

Lan Shui, conductor; Stefan Jackiw, violin
BARBER Overture to The School for Scandal
BRUCH Scottish Fantasy
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 5 in F Major
Lan Shui, Conductor Laureate of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic, makes his RPO debut, opening with Samuel Barber’s first-ever composition for full orchestra. One of America’s foremost violinists, Stefan Jackiw, joins as soloist for Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, a piece that draws inspiration from the tunes of Scottish folk songs. The basis of folk music is echoed in the second half of the program in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5, which exemplifies the composer’s deep-rooted connection to the melodies and rhythms of his native Bohemia.

MAY 18 & 20, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Lester Lynch, Rigoletto; Raven McMillon, Gilda; Matthew White, Duca
VERDI Rigoletto
The RPO’s Annual Opera Concert brings drama, orchestral excellence, and world-class singing to the stage of Kodak Hall with Verdi’s Rigoletto. Considered a masterwork of the operatic genre, Rigoletto tells the tragic story of the Duke of Mantua, his court jester, Rigoletto, and Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda.

JUN 1 & 3, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor; Simon Trpčeski, piano
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan”
An unforgettable evening with Music Director Andreas Delfs closes out the 22-23 Philharmonics Season. Sergei Rachmaninov’s “youthful and spirited” Piano Concerto No. 1 opens the program with sought-after Macedonian soloist Simon Trpčeski. Then, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 closes the season. The piece is actually the composer’s fifth symphonic work, as his first four were tragically destroyed during World War II. Nicknamed the “Titan,” it exemplifies Mahler’s commitment to developing the symphonic style from the line of his Romantic predecessors, setting in motion his legacy as a visionary of the genre. 

Jeff Tyzik, RPO Principal Pops Conductor (Photo: smilliephoto.com)

2022-23 RPO Pops Series
Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre 

SEPT 16 & 17, 2022

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Rick Brantley, vocals

OCT 14 & 15, 2022

NOV 11 & 12, 2022

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Troupe Vertigo

DEC 16–18, 2022

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Shayna Steele, vocals

JAN 20 & 21, 2023

Byron Stripling, conductor, trumpet, & vocals; Nicki Parrott, bass & vocals

FEB 17 & 18, 2023

Andreas Delfs, conductor

APR 7 & 8, 2023

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

APR 21 & 22, 2023

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Lisa Vroman & Doug LaBrecque, vocalists

MAY 26 & 27, 2023

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Michael Lynche & Chester Gregory, vocalists

2022-23 RPO Holiday Shows
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

NOV 23-27, 2022 (various times/dates)

Tara Simoncic, conductor; Rochester City Ballet

DEC 9, 2022 (at 7:30 PM)

Christopher Seaman, conductor laureate

DEC 10, 2022  (Location and Details TBA)

DEC 16-18, 2022 (various times/dates)

Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Shayna Steele, vocals

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