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For Immediate Release
October 4, 2013

For more information, contact
Stuart Soloway
(585) 395-2797

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Program of Russian Composers

The concert will be held on Friday, October 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street

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Press Release Photo RPO

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Press Release Photo Paul Shewan

Brockport, NY – As the world gets ready to convene in Sochi for the Olympics, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is also turning its attention to the Russians – Russian composers, in this case. The region’s finest musicians will play a concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Borodin and others on Friday, October 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, on the Brockport campus. Tickets are $16/General, $11/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $8.50/Students. They are available online at, by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office, 180 Holley Street, Brockport.

The program mixes familiar and less familiar works. Amongst the former, Borodin is represented by the “Polovtzian Dances” from his opera, Prince Igor. The dances include several themes that were later adapted into the classic Broadway musical, Kismet. When one hears the name Tchaikovsky, one usually thinks of his ballet scores for Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, but the RPO will be playing the finale from his Symphony No. 2, which several musicologists feel is his most “Russian” work, and which even Tchaikovsky himself felt was his “best work with respect to perfection of form.”

Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite tells the tale of the magical title character which, with assistance from Prince Ivan, is able to rescue captive princesses from the dastardly ogre, Katschei. In this score – his favorite, and one which he himself conducted many times – Stravinsky was able to juxtapose lush orchestral arrangements (even those utilizing a non-Western scale) with the simplicity of the Russian folksongs that inspired the ballet’s scenario. Three movements from Aram Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite will also be heard. While many may not know it by name, the “Waltz” will be familiar to most listeners, and will be followed by the “Romance” and the “Galop,” each bringing the vitality that courses through his most famous work, the “Sabre Dance.”

As a prelude to the concert, the RPO will perform the “Overture” to Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmilla. The piece sparkles with themes from the opera itself, which is a “magical” saga, full of fairy tale elements, wicked sorcerers, a beautiful princess, a valiant officer, death and resurrection. -more- This was pretty much the type of musical entertainment the Russians favored at the time, before becoming enamored with Italian opera. Still, Glinka’s work greatly influenced later Russian composers, including Tchaikovsky, who dubbed it “the Tsar of operas.”

The concert will be conducted by Paul Shewan, who is also an RPO musician. Shewan has frequently led the orchestra. When asked if he considered himself to be more of a conductor or a trumpet player, Shewan’s response was an unequivocal “‘Yes.’ They have both taken equal precedence in my career and I am equally attached and committed to both. It can be quite a juggling act, but it is worth the extra time that is required to make them work.”

The RPO has had a long-standing relationship with Brockport. In addition to its annual concert, they have a presence on campus throughout the year, providing course instructors and guest lecturers. -end- Photo Credits: Photo 1: The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will appear on Friday, October 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm at the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage at The College at Brockport.

Photo 2: Paul Shewan will conduct the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra when they appear on Friday, October 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm at the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage at The College at Brockport.

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The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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