ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Perhaps Rochester’s most iconic music hall is having a centennial celebration. The Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra are hosting the “Eastman Theatre Centennial Concert,” September 24 at 8 p.m. This centennial follows Eastman’s centennial last year, and previews RPO’s centennial in 2023.
The program features the Eastman Philharmonia performing Don Juan, conducted by Neil Varon, as well as music composed by a former director of the Eastman School, Howard Hanson. The RPO, conducted by Andreas Delfs will perform Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, Romantic, conducted by Andreas Delfs.
Following those performances, both orchestras will share the stage to perform “The Cathedral,” a piece composed by notable Eastman alumnus, Jeff Beal. Beal is best known for his soundtrack for “House of Cards.” He will also be conducting the joint orchestra.
“The Eastman Theater is a magnificent and historic concert and gathering space. Having spent my formative years performing there as a student, I’m honored to compose and conduct a new work to ring in its centennial,” Beal said in a statement. “‘The Cathedral’ will celebrate in sound the two orchestras who call the theater their home: the Rochester Philharmonic and the Eastman Philharmonia. As in a dialog between mentor and student, the two orchestras will be placed around the listener, and I hope will give us all attending the thrilling experience of these two wonderful ensembles in a beloved space.”
“It is an honor to have our Eastman Philharmonia perform with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, especially on a world-premiere work by Jeff Beal,” said Neil Varon, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles and conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia in a statement. “It is always important to give our students opportunities to perform new and exciting works, including Don Juan, and to experience performing alongside professional musicians such as the RPO is a special experience.”