Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare enjoys getting the season off to a brilliant start, and no doubt the orchestra's audiences do, too. Brilliance is on the agenda for the 2017-18 season opener. The guest soloist is Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan (the first artist-in-association with the New York Philharmonic) performing in the Grieg Piano Concerto, and the RPO will bookend this tuneful, popular piece with music the orchestra will excel in: the dashing tone poem "Don Juan" — by one of Stare's favorite composers, Richard Strauss — and selections from Prokofiev's score for the ballet "Cinderella." This is not performed nearly as often as Prokofiev's music for "Romeo and Juliet," but it is just as melodious and colorfully orchestrated, and really does have a "once upon a time" storytelling quality, even without the dancing.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Thursday, September 21, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, September 23, 8 p.m., at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. $24-$104. 454-2100; rpo.org.