The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra begins the new year with a guest conductor and an interesting program juxtaposing French and Russian composers. Marcelo Lehninger, the music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, is the guest conductor, and has put together a concert that begins and ends quietly, opening with Ravel's delicate "Mother Goose Suite" and closing with Debussy's rapturous "Nocturnes." The Russians come in between, with Shostakovich's tremendous Cello Concerto No. 1 and Modest Mussorgsky's raucous tone poem "Night on Bald Mountain" (of Fantasia fame), which gives this concert its title. The 24-year-old Rumanian cellist and Tchaikovsky Competition winner Andrei Ionita makes his North American concert debut as the soloist in the Shostakovich concerto. For a review of this concert, check out rochestercitynewspaper.com on Friday.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performs Thursday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, January 20, at 8 p.m., in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. $24-$104. 454-2100; rpo.org.