Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is an American orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

 based in the city of Rochester, Monroe County, New York
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

. Its primary concert venue is the Eastman Theatre
Eastman Theatre
The Eastman Theatre is the main building of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, located in downtown Rochester, New York....

 at the Eastman School of Music
Eastman School of Music
The Eastman School of Music is a music conservatory located in Rochester, New York. The Eastman School is a professional school within the University of Rochester...


The RPO was founded in 1922 by industrialist and music-lover George Eastman
George Eastman
George Eastman was an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream...

, founder of Eastman Kodak Company. The Orchestra, which performs more than 150 concerts annually, is currently led by Music Director Christopher Seaman
Christopher Seaman
Christopher Seaman is a British conductor, the son of Albert Edward Seaman and Ethel Margery Seaman. He was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School and The King's School, Canterbury, and later studied at King's College, Cambridge...

. Seaman continues the traditions of such notable former music directors as Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Mark Elder. The RPO has performed under the batons of such renowned guest conductors as Fritz Reiner, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Thomas Beecham, and Leopold Stokowski.

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik
Jeff Tyzik
Jeff Tyzik is an American conductor, arranger, and trumpeter from Rochester, New York, working primarily with orchestral and jazz styles.-Education:Tyzik, born in Hyde Park, New York, started playing cornet at age 9...

 (1994–present) has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his tenure with the RPO.

On September 15, 2010, the RPO named Norwegian conductor Arild Remmereit as the Orchestra's 11th Music Director. Maestro Remmereit will begin his tenure with the RPO in September 2011. His inaugural concert on September 30 and October 1, 2011 features the music of Amy Beach
Amy Beach
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H.H.A. Beach.-Early years:Beach was born Amy Marcy Cheney in Henniker, New Hampshire into...

, Johan Halvorsen
Johan Halvorsen
Johan Halvorsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist.-Biography:Born in Drammen, Norway he was an accomplished violinist from a very early age and became a prominent figure in Norwegian musical life...

, Johan Svendsen
Johan Svendsen
Johan Severin Svendsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. Born in Christiania , Norway, he lived most his life in Copenhagen, Denmark....

, and Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II , also known as Johann Baptist Strauss or Johann Strauss, Jr., the Younger, or the Son , was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas...


The Orchestra is also a national leader of music education. In 2000, the RPO named Michael Butterman Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first position of its kind in the country. In addition to performing concerts for students of all ages, RPO musicians visit elementary schools in the Rochester City School District through the Primary Ensembles Program.

The RPO serves an estimated quarter of a million people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. RPO concerts also are rebroadcast on WXXI 91.5 FM.

The RPO sponsors the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, founded in 1970 and composed of Rochester-area student musicians in the eighth through twelfth grades. Under the direction of Dr. David Harman, the RPYO performs three concerts annually, including one side-by-side with the RPO. Members of the RPO serve as mentors for the Youth Orchestra.

From 1939 through 1964, the Rochester Philharmonic, usually supplemented by faculty members of the Eastman School, often recorded under the names Eastman-Rochester Orchestra under the direction of Howard Hanson
Howard Hanson
Howard Harold Hanson was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music. As director for 40 years of the Eastman School of Music, he built a high-quality school and provided opportunities for commissioning and performing American music...

 and Eastman-Rochester Pops under Frederick Fennell
Frederick Fennell
Frederick Fennell was an internationally recognized conductor, and one of the primary figures in promoting the wind ensemble as a performing group. He was also influential as a band pedagogue, and greatly affected the field of music education in the USA and abroad...

. (See below for additional recording information.)

From 1990 through 2008, the RPO has was in summer residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, in Vail, Colorado
Vail, Colorado
The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The population of the town was 4,589 in 2005. The town was established and built as the base village to Vail Ski Resort, with which it was originally conceived...


Music directors

Name Tenure
Eugène Goossens
Eugène Aynsley Goossens
Sir Eugene Aynsley Goossens was an English conductor and composer.-Biography:He was born in Camden Town, London, the son of the Belgian conductor and violinist Eugène Goossens and the grandson of the conductor Eugène Goossens...

Albert Coates
Albert Coates (musician)
Albert Coates was an English conductor and composer. Born in Saint Petersburg where his English father was a successful businessman, he studied in Russia, England and Germany, before beginning his career as a conductor in a series of German opera houses...

José Iturbi
José Iturbi
José Iturbi was a Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist. He appeared in several Hollywood films of the 1940s, notably playing himself in the 1943 musical, Thousands Cheer and in the 1945 film, Anchors Aweigh...

Erich Leinsdorf
Erich Leinsdorf
Erich Leinsdorf was a naturalized American Austrian conductor. He performed and recorded with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, earning a reputation for exacting standards as well as an acerbic personality...

Theodore Bloomfield
Theodore Bloomfield
Theodore Robert Bloomfield was an American conductor.Born in Cleveland, Ohio he studied music at Oberlin College in Ohio and conducting with Edgar Schenkman for two years on a fellowship at The Juilliard School in Manhattan...

László Somogyi
László Somogyi
László Somogyi was an Hungarian conductor.- Biography :Somogyi received his musical training under Zoltán Kodály and Leo Weiner at the Ferenc Liszt Academy at Budapest, where he was later to become leading professor of the Conductor's Class...

Walter Hendl
Walter Hendl
Walter Hendl was an American conductor, composer and pianist.-Biography:Hendl was born in West New York, New Jersey, and later went on to study with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. From 1939 to 1941 he taught at Sarah Lawrence College in New York City...

Samuel Jones
Samuel Jones (composer)
Samuel Jones is an American composer and conductor.-Biography:Samuel Jones, a native of Mississippi , graduated from the Central High School in Jackson and received his undergraduate degree with highest honors at Millsaps College. He acquired his professional training at the Eastman School of...

David Zinman
David Zinman
David Zinman is an American conductor and violinist.After early violin studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Zinman studied theory and composition at the University of Minnesota and took up conducting at Tanglewood...

Jerzy Semkow
Jerzy Semkow
Jerzy Semkow is a Polish conductor. He has served as music director of the Saint Louis Symphony, principal conductor of the Royal Danish Opera and the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen, Music Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic, Music Director of the Orchestra of...

Mark Elder
Mark Elder
Sir Mark Philip Elder, CBE is a British conductor. He is the music director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England.-Biography:Elder was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England, the son of a dentist...

Robert Bernhardt
Robert Bernhardt
Robert "Bob" Bernhardt is an American conductor, currently the musical director and conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, and the principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra...

Christopher Seaman
Christopher Seaman
Christopher Seaman is a British conductor, the son of Albert Edward Seaman and Ethel Margery Seaman. He was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School and The King's School, Canterbury, and later studied at King's College, Cambridge...

Arild Remmereit 2011–


The RPO has recorded under at least three different names: Eastman Rochester Orchestra, Rochester Pops Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Recordings have featured many prominent American composers, including George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

, Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. His Adagio for Strings is his most popular composition and widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music...

, Morton Gould
Morton Gould
Morton Gould was an American composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist.Born in Richmond Hill, New York, Gould was recognized early as a child prodigy with abilities in improvisation and composition. His first composition was published at age six...

, and Howard Hanson).

The Orchestra's first recordings were from the late 1930s and early 1940s, conducted by Dr. Hanson and José Iturbi
José Iturbi
José Iturbi was a Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist. He appeared in several Hollywood films of the 1940s, notably playing himself in the 1943 musical, Thousands Cheer and in the 1945 film, Anchors Aweigh...

. Among these was a 1939 recording of William Grant Still
William Grant Still
William Grant Still was an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. He was the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony performed by a leading orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major...

's Afro-American Symphony, conducted by Dr. Hanson. The RPO presented the world premiere of this work in 1931.

José Iturbi and David Zinman
David Zinman
David Zinman is an American conductor and violinist.After early violin studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Zinman studied theory and composition at the University of Minnesota and took up conducting at Tanglewood...

 appear to have had similar tastes when it came to recording. A 1941 RPO recording features Iturbi and his sister Amparo in Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos, K. 365. Nearly 40 years later, David Zinman conducted a recording of that same piece, with pianists Rudolf Firkusny and Alan Weiss. Maestros Iturbi and Zinman also both recorded Mendelssohn's Third Symphony (the "Scottish") with the RPO.

A 1957 recording features Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F, featuring pianist Eugene List. In 2007, the RPO released another Gershwin recording – which includes those two works and Cuban Overture – with conductor Jeff Tyzik and pianist Jon Nakamatsu
Jon Nakamatsu
Jon Yasuhiro Nakamatsu is a Japanese American classical pianist who still resides in San Jose but mostly performs away from home. He is the son of David Y. Nakamatsu and Karen F. Maeda Nakamatsu .In June 1997 Nakamatsu won the Gold Medal at the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition...

. That album reached No. 3 on the Billboard classical charts. A partial list of RPO recordings follows.


  • 2008 – HONOR: Portraits of America: Jeff Tyzik, conductor. Includes The Star Spangled Banner, National Emblem March, Fantasy on American Themes, Pleasant Valley Suite, Armed Forces Song Medley, Bravo! Colorado, Stars and Stripes Forever.
  • 2006 – A Holiday Celebration: Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Tonio Di Paolo, tenor; Festival High School Chorale. Includes Jeff Tyzik's The Twelve Gifts of Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, and Chanukah Suite.
  • 2006 – George Gershwin with Jon Nakamatsu: Jeff Tyzik, conductor; Jon Nakamatsu, piano. Includes Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, and Cuban Overture. (harmonia mundi)
  • 2003 – Tchaikovsky with Olga Kern: Christopher Seaman, conductor; Olga Kern, piano. Includes Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Francesca da Rimini. (harmonia mundi)
  • 2001 – Rachmaninov with Jon Nakamatsu: Christopher Seaman, conductor; Jon Nakamatsu, piano. Includes Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piano Concerto No. 3. (harmonia mundi)
  • 1997 – Encore 75: Robert Bernhardt, Jeff Tyzik, conductors. Includes American In Paris, Pictures at an Exhibition, Selections by Duke Ellington, Vernon Duke, Mercer Ellington, George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, and Louis Prima.
  • 1993 – Syncopated Clock and Other Favorites by Leroy Anderson: Erich Kunzel, conductor. (Proarte)
  • 1992 – Romancing the Film: Lalo Schifrin, conductor. Includes selections from Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, Dirty Dancing, Little Mermaid, Lawrence of Arabia. (Pro Arte)
  • 1985 – My First Concert: Isaiah Jackson, conductor. Recording for children including selections from works by Beethoven, Grieg, Dukas, Gounod, Bizet.
  • 1984 – Dvořák’s Legends, Op. 59: David Zinman, conductor. (Nonesuch Digital)
  • 1979 – Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.3 "Scottish": David Zinman, conductor. Also includes Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Symphony No.4 "Italian," Symphony No.5 "Reformation." (Vox)
  • 1978 – The Creatures of Prometheus: David Zinman, conductor; Eileen Malone, harp; Samuel Cristler, cello; Michael Webster, corno di bassetto; Robert Sprenkle, oboe. (Turnabout)
  • 1978 – Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos & Orchestra in E flat major, K. 365 (K. 316a): David Zinman, conductor; Rudolf Firkusny & Alan Weiss, pianos. (Vox)
  • 1971 – Together: Chuck Mangione, conductor, flugelhorn, electric and acoustic piano; Gerry Niewood, soprano, tenor, barisaxes, flute, and alto flute; Don Potter, voice, acoustic guitar, dobro, harmonica; Bat McGrath, voice, Fender bass; Gap Mangione, electric piano; Esther Satterfield, vocals; Stanley Watson, guitar. (Mercury, recorded live at Auditorium Theatre)
  • 1970 – Friends & Love: Chuck Mangione, conductor and flugelhorn; Don Potter, guitar & vocals; Bat McGrath, guitarron and vocals; Gap Mangione, electric piano; Stanley Watson, guitar; Marvin Stamm, trumpet; Gerry Niewood, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, and flute (Mercury, recorded live at Eastman Theatre)
  • 1960 – Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite and Concerto for piano & orchestra in D minor: Ferde Grofé, conductor; Jesús Maria Sanromá, piano. (Everest)
  • 1959 – Popovers: Frederick Fennell and Eastman-Rochester Pops. Includes selections by Liszt, Sibelius, Debussy, Shostakovich. (Mercury)
  • 1957 – Hi-Fi a la Española: Frederick Fennell and Eastman-Rochester Pops. Includes selections by Ernesto Lecuona, Percy Faith, Manuel de Falla. (Mercury)
  • 1957 – Gershwin: Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue: Howard Hanson, conductor; Eugene List, piano. (Mercury)
  • 1955 – Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A major, "Italian," Op. 90: Erich Leinsdorf, conductor. Also includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 in D major, "The Clock." (Harmony/Columbia)
  • 1953 – Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45: Erich Leinsdorf, conductor. (Columbia)
  • 1952 – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, "Eroica," Op. 55: Erich Leinsdorf, conductor. (Columbia Entré)
  • 1941 - Mozart’s Concerto in E flat Major K.365: José Iturbi, piano and conductor; Ampara Iturbi, piano. (RCA Victor)
  • 1941 - Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op.37: José Iturbi, piano and conductor. (RCA Victor)
  • 1940 - Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, "Scotch": José Iturbi, conductor. (RCA Victor)
  • 1940-41 – Hanson’s Suite from Merry Mount: Howard Hanson, conductor. (RCA)
  • 1939-40 – Hanson’s Symphony No. 2: Howard Hanson, conductor. (RCA)
  • 1939 – William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony: Howard Hanson, conductor. (RCA)

Honors and awards

From its earliest years, the RPO's educational programming has been exceptional, and the Orchestra was one of the first to use radio to help increase its outreach and education. The RPO first began national radio broadcasts, on the NBC Blue Network, in 1929. In 1939, the orchestra won First Place at the Exhibition of Educational Programs for its elementary school programming. The RPO won this honor again in 1941 and 1944.

In 1959, the Ford Foundation invited the RPO to participate in a program to promote new American composers and their works. The RPO has received the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming (1982, 2005, and 2006) in recognition of the Orchestra’s commitment to music written in the last 25 years. In 2002, the RPO was awarded the New York State Governor's Arts Award for excellence and community service. The Rochester Arts and Cultural Council's Artist Award has been given to both Jeff Tyzik (2002) and Christopher Seaman (2003).

The Concert Companion radio broadcast with Christopher Seaman on WXXI 91.5 FM
WXXI-FM is a public radio station in Rochester, New York. The station airs a classical music format. Its programs can also be heard in Houghton on WXXY 90.3 FM....

won both the Gabriel Award and the Silver Reel Award in 2002. In 2007, the RPO's web site received two of the Rochester Business Journal's "Best of the Web" awards; and that same year, the RPO's annual report received an award from the Rochester chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

For further reading

Rochester’s Orchestra: A History of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and its Educational Programming, 1922 to 1989; by William L. Cahn, published 1989.

The Eastman Theatre: Fulfilling George Eastman's Dream; by Elizabeth Brayer, photos by Andy Olenick, design by Kathryn D'Amanda; to be published in December 2010.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.