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ARTS: RPO announces part two of 2014-15 season

Season to feature Audra McDonald, OrKIDStra series, and Sunday Matinees

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The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced the remainder of its 2014-15 season, today, which will incorporate five family-friendly OrKIDStra Concerts, two 3-concert Sunday Matinee series, and five special concerts, including a performance from Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, and a night of video game scores with Video Games Live.

In February, the RPO announced its 2014-15 Philharmonics and Pops concerts, along with news that the organization will change its approach to programming, setting 12 weekends of Philharmonics offerings instead of the usual 14, and 9 Pops weekends instead of 10. In that announcement, the RPO said the change "[opens] up three weekends for a set of innovative and new concert offering."

The five special concerts announced today are a result of that repurposed schedule, the RPO says in today's release.

Along with Video Games Live -- Friday, Nov. 21 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre -- and Audra McDonald -- who will perform with the RPO on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 -- the special concert series will also feature Beyond the Score: "Scheherazade," part of Chicago Symphony's Beyond the Score series, on Saturday, Nov. 22. On Jan. 15, 2015, the RPO presents a production of Lawrence Siegel's "Kaddish," in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the beginnings to liberation of Nazi concentration camps during World War II. A performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" ends the special concert series on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 19, with a performance of "Superheroes and Heroines," the OrKIDStra Concerts will offer families a chance for Sunday afternoons filled with music. The series will include "The Snowman," on Dec. 14, "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," on Jan. 25, "Peter and the Wolf," on March 29, and "Two by Seuss!" on May 17.

Adding to its Sunday offerings, the RPO will host two 3-concert series -- "Musical Connections" and "Baroque and Beyond" -- at the Performance Hall at Hochstein. See the release below for full details.

Subscriptions to OrKIDStra and Sunday Matinees are available now to new and renewing subscribers, and tickets for Specials are now available as add-ons to all 2014-2015 subscribers.

Single tickets for all concerts go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 1.

The full RPO announcement follows:

RPO ANNOUNCES PART TWO OF 2014/15 SEASON:

SPECIALS, ORKIDSTRA & SUNDAY MATINEES

Highlights include Audra McDonald, Video Games LiveTM

Rochester, NY - The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced its 2014-15 Philharmonics and Pops concerts in February, but today reveals the remainder of its 92nd season, presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson. Subscriptions to OrKIDStraandSunday Matinees are available today to new and renewing subscribers, and tickets for Specials are now available as add-ons to all 14/15 subscribers. Single tickets for all 14/15 concerts go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 1, 2014.

"We are proud to announce our 14/15 Special, OrKIDStra and Sunday Matinee concerts," says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. "The new Special Concerts especiallygive us a chance to experiment with program content and format with an eye toward theRPO's long-term strategic goals in audience development and diversity, and we're confident that Rochester audiences will enjoy these new concert experiences."

SPECIAL CONCERTS: these five new concerts are a result of the repurposed 14/15 subscription weekends (12 Philharmonics instead of 14; nine Pops weekends instead of 10). Not part of a subscription package, they are available as add-ons to all 14/15 subscribers today for presale discount, before going on sale to the general public August 1.

· The award-winning Video Games LiveTM will take over Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. This immersive concert event features music from the most popular video games of all times, including Final Fantasy, Zelda, Pong, Halo, Mario, Warcraft and more, performed with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments. Video Games LiveTM creates an entertainment experience that exposes new generations of music lovers and fans to the symphonic orchestral experience while also providing a completely new and unique experience for families and/or non-gamers.

· Part of the Chicago Symphony's acclaimed Beyond the Score® series, Beyond the Score®: Scheherazade on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 8 p.m.in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre will explore Rimsky-Korsakov's exotic masterpiece in a fascinating multimedia concert that includes video, excerpts and narration. The first half of the program is a stunning visual presentation that puts the composition into an important contextual perspective. Then, with new-found background, the complete performance of the work in the second half brings listeners into the music as they have never experienced it before. The series weaves together theater, music and design to draw audiences into the concert hall and into the spirit of a work.

· Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied Forces' liberation of the World War II Nazi concentration camps that began in January 1945, the RPO presents an intensely moving and thought-provoking composition entitled Kaddish by Lawrence Siegel in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Featuring a libretto drawn verbatim from interviews with Holocaust survivors, this choral masterpiece also incorporates elements of folk songs and Klezmer music with vocal soloists. Visit http://kaddishproject.org/ for more information.

· Five-time Tony-winner Audra McDonald performs with your RPO on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Known for her roles on Broadway in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Porgy and Bess--and currently starring in Broadway's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill--McDonald also won TV fame for Private Practice. With two Grammy Awards and a host of other accolades, McDonald is "a one-of-a-kind musical super-talent," says The New York Times, "...a defining voice of our time." A limited number of VIP meet-and-greet packages for $250 that include front row seating are now available to 14/15 subscribers (others on August 1).

· A concert performance of Verdi's La Traviata rounds out the 14/15 Special Concerts on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 28 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Guest conductor and Rochester native Ward Stare will lead your RPO and guest vocalists in this poignant and utterly timeless opera that features some of the world's most unforgettable arias.

ORKIDSTRA CONCERTS: sponsored by Wendy's, this series of five family-friendly concerts is available now to subscribers for $45. Single tickets ($15 adults/$10 kids) will go on sale August 1.

· Superheroes and Heroines on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein features iconic music from favorite superheroes and heroines, including Spider-Man, Superman, Harry Potter, Captain America and The Incredibles. Plus, our own stars of the RPO showcase tunes from Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and X-Men.

· The Snowman returns on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Along with live orchestral accompaniment to the classic animated film on the big screen, a reading of Dr. Seuss's beloved tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas!will round out this holiday offering.

· Benjamin Britten's masterpiece TheYoung Person's Guide to the Orchestra will take kids of all ages on a listening adventure on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Kids will make and play their own bottle flutes and hosaphones too.

· Prokofiev's enchanting symphonic fable Peter and the Wolf weaves music and narration for a woodland adventure that entertains young and old alike on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein. Marlene Pauleyguest conducts and Kevin Doran, WROC News 8 anchor, narrates this classic story that has delighted generations of young audiences.

· Two By Seuss!will enchant the whole family with two iconic stories from the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss: that ode to finicky eaters (Green Eggs and Ham) and the story of a girl bird who learns to like herself just as she is (Gertrude McFuzz). Concert is Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein with guest conductor Robert Franz.

SUNDAY MATINEE CONCERTS:theseinclude two 3-concert series: Musical Connections and Baroque & Beyond. Series subscriptions are now on sale: the six-concert package is $136; three-concert package (for either series) is $69. Single tickets go on saleAugust 1.

· Musical Connections Series

1)The Passion of Patriotism on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein:MichaelButterman conducts a program of symphonic compositions written to celebrate the homelands of famous composers including Sibelius (Finlandia), Copeland ("Hoe-down"), Elgar ("Pomp and Circumstance") and more.

2)Portraits of Film Music on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein: Michael Butterman and your RPO examine the relationship between music and film (projected above the orchestra) with some of the most famous examples in history, including John Williams' score to E.T. and Bernard Hermann's music for Psycho, along with sci-fi classic Metropolis and award-winning scores from recent documentaries.

3)Breaking Musical Boundaries on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein: Michael Butterman and the Orchestra explore the work of musical renegades who saw beyond the confines of genre to create something unique and unprecedented: Debussy, Stravinsky, Frank Zappa and more.

· Baroque & Beyond Series

1)Molière Two Ways on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Hochstein: guest conductorFabien Gabel returns after his triumphant RPO debut in 2014 to interpret two scores for Molière's satirical play Le bourgeois gentilhomme (The Middle Class Aristocrat)--Lully's original for King Louis XIV and Richard Strauss' version 200 years later--plus music by Respighi and Rameau.

2)Organ Masterworks on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2 p.m. (locationTBD) with special guest organ soloist David Higgs: hear some of the world's greatest organ works by J.S. Bach, Howard Hanson, Samuel Barber and others.

3) An English Springtime on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Hall at Hochstein: guest Conductor Daniel Meyer with special guests Concentus Women's Chorus (Gwen Gassler, director) will trace the legacy of musical landscape portraits from English composers Thomas Morley, Vaughan Williams, Handel ("Water Music") and Haydn ("London" Symphony).

All subscriptions and subscription add-ons are now available in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street), by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org. Single tickets on sale August 1 will also be available at all WegmansThat's T.H.E. Ticket! outlets.

The 2014-15 Season sponsors include: Dawn & Jacques Lipson; Canandaigua National Bank & Trust; Fibertech Networks; M&T Bank; Wendy's; County of Monroe; City of Rochester; NYSCA; The Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund; The Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess; and Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving more than 150,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Notable former music directors include Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman; Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)--the first endowed position of its kind in the country--the RPO reaches more than 13,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO's 2013-14 season highlights include Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik's 20th anniversary celebration, and a performance at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

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