Two of Eastman’s most prestigious orchestras, the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra (ESSO), under the baton of celebrated conductor Neil Varon, present a beautiful series of concerts this fall/winter. With repertoire that ranges from Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Beethoven to the premiere of a very special piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, these performances have something for everyone, free of charge.
Of the upcoming performances, Varon says, “The coming months will present a wonderful and diverse set of programs that we are very excited about. The next two concerts in particular will feature important works of the German Romantic era – the Philharmonia is playing the Brahms Second Symphony, which includes the famous ‘Brahms’ Lullaby,’ and the School Symphony is playing the revised version of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony. Along with these works, we are featuring one work of Florence Price, and the Peer Gynt Suite of Grieg.” Varon shares that he is delighted to feature two Eastman students on the programs, “Mezzo-soprano Meg Brilleslyper joins ESSO for the most enjoyable song cycle La Regatta Veniziana, by Rossini, and our own Austin Chanu, present fellowship conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, opens with the magical overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn.”
From the velvet seats of our wonderful concert halls, we welcome patrons to join us inside as we approach colder months. All concerts listed below are free and open to the public.
Philharmonia: Monday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Neil Varon, conductor with Austin Chanu, student conductor
MENDELSSOHN A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
PRICE The Oak
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 73
Doctoral conducting student Austin Chanu, now a Conducting Fellow with the Philadelphia Orchestra, leads a recently rediscovered tone poem by the African American woman composer Florence Price, whose music is being played more and more often by orchestras. This rare work is balanced by two favorite symphonic works by Mendelssohn and Brahms.
ESSO: Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Neil Varon, conductor with Matthew Straw, conductor
Featured student soloist Meg Brilleslyper, mezzo-soprano
WAGNER Flying Dutchman: Overture (Der fliegende Holländer, WWV 63)
GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
ROSSINI La Regatta Veniziana
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, op. 120
A varied and colorful program, with two familiar works by Wagner and Grieg, a suite of Italian songs by a great opera composer, and a fascinating one-movement symphony by Schumann.
ESSO & Eastman-Rochester Chorus: Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
William Weinert, conductor
Featured student soloists Mary Fetterman, soprano and Isaac Pendley, baritone
BRAHMS A German Requiem, op. 45 (Ein Deutsches Requiem)
Brahms’ choral masterpiece offers consolation to the bereaved of all faiths, as well as some of his most deeply felt music. William Weinert, Eastman’s Director of Choral Activities, has conducted this beloved score many times.
Philharmonia (Anthony Davis Premiere): Monday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall
Timothy Long, conductor and Neil Varon, conductor, with Nicholas Sharma, student conductor
Joy Harjo, narrator
Featured soloist James VanDemark, contrabass
ROSSINI Barber of Seville: Overture
DAVIS How Bright the Sunlight *Centennial Premiere
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68
Anthony Davis’ How Bright the Sunlight, is a work for symphony orchestra and narrator, with a libretto curated by the first Native American US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, based on the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address and her poem, Thanksgiving in a Time of War and Confusion. Eastman Associate Professor of Opera Timothy Long will conduct the world premiere as part of Eastman’s ongoing Centennial celebrations.
Media only: Lauren Sageer, Assistant Director of Public Relations and Digital Content,
(585) 451-8492, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.
More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.
The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration began in Fall 2021 and continues throughout 2022. Highlights include acclaimed guest artists performing alongside Eastman’s ensembles; national academic and music conferences; alumni events throughout the country; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more. For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at esm.rochester.edu/100.
About the University of Rochester:
The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.