A program of dramatic works presented by the Eastman Philharmonia launches a new era of Eastman School of Music performances in the transformed Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
While the hall retains its grand elegance, renovations will improve the audience’s and performers’ concert experience and enjoyment of the music chosen for the first Eastman School orchestra performance in Kodak Hall on Friday, Oct. 9.
Under the baton of conductor Neil Varon, the Philharmonia will present Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Shostakovich’s powerful Symphony No. 5.
The evening’s program opens with the Beethoven overture, written for the opening of the Josephstadt Theater in Vienna in 1822. Beginning with a slow, processional march and growing in intensity, the piece reflects the growing excitement of an awaiting crowd. Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky consists of a theme and seven variations featuring a solo cellist with full orchestra. Eastman School of Music senior Michael Kaufman performs as soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia. Symphony No. 5, an often performed work by Dmitri Shostakovich, was very well received in 1937 at its Leningrad premiere, where it was performed as part of a festival celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Republic.
Varon’s conducting career spans almost 30 years and several continents. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty in 2002, he held positions at the Istanbul Opera, the Vienna Chamber Opera, the joint theaters of Krefeld and Mönchengladbach, the Bremen Opera, and the Nürnberg Opera. He continues to appear as guest conductor for operas, symphonies, and music festivals throughout Europe and Asia.
The historic occasion will be prefaced with a look at Eastman School history during a pre-concert talk and book signing by School historian Vincent Lenti. Lenti is the author of Serving a Great and Noble Art, his second book tracing the history of the Eastman School.
The Philharmonia concert begins at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Other highlights during the fall season of Eastman School concerts in Kodak Hall include an Oct. 14 benefit concert for the Gerry Niewood Memorial Scholarship, honoring jazz saxophonist and Eastman alumnus Gerry Niewood, with special guests Chuck Mangione, Lew Soloff, and Pat LaBarbera; a Dec. 4 program of music by Bach and Poulenc performed by the Eastman Rochester Chorus and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra under the direction of William Weinert; and a Dec. 11 concert by the world-famous Eastman Wind Ensemble under conductor Mark Davis Scatterday in advance of the group’s Midwestern tour.
A full schedule of concerts can be found online at www.esm.rochester.edu .
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Friday, Oct. 9
Eastman School of Music Celebrates Kodak Hall: Eastman Philharmonia
First Eastman School of Music concert in newly renovated Kodak Hall features Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, performed under conductor Neil Varon.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
60 Gibbs St.
Friday, Oct. 9
Book signing for Serving a Great and Noble Art, the second volume in the history of the Eastman School of Music by Vincent Lenti.
Please note new location: Kilbourn Hall Room 120, Eastman School of Music
26 Gibbs St.