For its 2018-2019 season opener, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra follows the standard "rousing overture/concerto with big-name soloist/favorite Romantic symphony" template. Thankfully, it's wonderfully curated by Music Director Ward Stare: the overture is Berlioz's brilliant "Roman Carnival," and the symphony is definitely a favorite: the "New World Symphony" of Dvorák (a composer who appears several times this season on the RPO schedule). The big excitement is in the concerto slot. Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto is a huge, fearsomely virtuosic piece that caused a scandal at its premiere, and it can still startle an audience when it's well done. That seems likely under the direction of Stare and in the capable hands of pianist Yefim Bronfman, a proven powerhouse with Prokofiev's piano music.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform on Thursday, September 13, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 15, 8 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. $24-$106. 454-2100. rpo.org; yefimbronfman.com.