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On Record with Ward Stare - RPO Season Opener

The 2017-18 season for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is just about to start. Round 1 has two pieces inspired by literature surrounding a great and beloved piano concerto. RPO Music Director Ward Stare talked with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about "Don Juan" by Richard Strauss (a favorite of Ward's), Grieg's sweeping Piano Concerto in a-minor (which will feature Inon Barnatan), Prokofiev's "Cinderella," and why Shostakovich kept a fully packed suitcase by the front door.

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Photo By imr.sv

Hey! Fringe Fest* is here. Snuck right up on me, even though I am playing in it this weekend. Here are a few things that caught my attention that I thought to share with you. 

Happy Birthday, Michael Haydn!

Sep 14, 2017

  That’s right, Michael Haydn.

What?! There were TWO HAYDNS who were revered composers in the late 18th century? So much talent in one family! (Must have had smart and encouraging parents.)

September 14 marks the 280th birthday of the composer Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806).  Michael Haydn was a prolific composer of many different types of music, but best known for his fine sacred works written in Salzburg, which were widely distributed throughout Europe during his lifetime.  Despite his reputation as a first-rate composer, his fame quickly faded following his death, as the stars of the great Viennese Classical trinity of Joseph Haydn, W. A. Mozart, and Beethoven became brighter than all of their contemporaries.  

News from the world of Classical Music

This week, I went to the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to sit in on a conducting class led by Marin Alsop, the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Maestra was showing several Peabody students — aspiring young conductors — some of the fine points of leading an orchestra, as they led musicians through Don Juan, the dramatic tone poem by Richard Strauss.

At first glance, Devonté Hynes and Philip Glass might appear like musical opposites. Hynes, the 31-year-old British producer and songwriter who performs under the name Blood Orange, makes hit records with Solange and Carly Rae Jepsen.

The Democrat & Chronicle has laid off some news staff.

Among those laid off was arts writer and music critic Jeff Spevak.  Over a nearly thirty-year career, Spevak earned five first-place finishes for features writing  for the D & C from the New York State Associated Press.

Making the case for performing arts center at Parcel 5

Sep 19, 2017

Those behind a proposal to put a performing arts center and residential tower at Parcel 5 say it will be an economic engine for downtown.

"Years ago in Rochester, we built Midtown, and that changed for many years how people perceived downtown.  This is the next step and it's going to reinvigorate downtown Rochester,"

said Arnie Rothschild, Board Chair and CEO with the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. 

He and Morgan Communities CEO Bob Morgan outlined their plan for a new theater and residential tower at today's Rochester Rotary Club Luncheon.

A New Generation of Hollywood Composers

Sep 18, 2017
The Oscars 2017

There's new blood in the industry of film scores. Composers like Justin Hurwitz ("La La Land") and Mica Levi ("Jackie") are challenging the long-standing traditions of Hollywood film music. Even though these composers haven't broken into the "blockbuster" category of movies, the sounds of Hollywood are changing.

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