ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Just over a week the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced their new musical director — longtime guest conductor Andreas Defls — the orchestra unveiled their 2021-2022 program.

The orchestra calls this their most diverse season yet, and even at a cursory glance, the program lives up to that claim.

More|1-on-1 with Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s new musical director Andreas Delfs

The series features a world premiere of Puerto Rican composers Robert Sierra’s “Violin Concerto,” as well as a world premiere of a piano concerto from Jessie Montgomery, who according to the RPO, “whose music weaves classical music together with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice.”

The season even open with Jennifer Higdon’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Violin Concerto. The RPO was included for winning for the Grammy category “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” for Higdon: Harp Concerto in early 2020, composed by Jennifer Higdon in from the RPO’s release American Rapture.

More|Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra involved in Grammy award win

But this is a pandemic year, and while the orchestra says that they are optismtic that live music will return in some form by the season open (they added at the bottom of their press release that “are programs are subject to change”), they are bringing back a small series of streaming concerts:

Paremski + Rachmaninov (From Oct 21, 2021), Hansel and Gretel (From Nov 18, 2021), Holiday Pops (From Dec 17, 2021), Andreas Conducts Beethoven (From Jan 13, 2022), and Ann Hampton Callaway “Diva to Diva” (From March 18, 2022).

The orchestra also says that The Nutcracker, with the Rochester City Ballet, and the traditional Gala Holiday Pops, will return, as will a four-concert Sunday Matinee Series will take place at Nazareth College’s Beston Hall at the Glazer Music Performance Center next season (dates to be announced).

Subscriptions for the season are available now, and individual ticketing will be available July 30. Tickets and more information can be found here, or by calling 585-454-2100.

Here are a selection of highlighted shows from the program:

New World Symphony 

November 4 & 6, 2021  

Joseph Young, conductor 

William Hagen, violin  


BARBER  Violin Concerto  

DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” 

Joseph Young joins us for his RPO conducting debut. An homage to the triumphs, tribulations, and growth along the journey of life, Brian Nabors’s Onward is a musical journey that depicts the large and small changes in life that push us individually and collectively into the future. William Hagen also makes his RPO debut in Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto. Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, popularly known as “The New World Symphony,” was inspired the composer’s exposure to Black and Indigenous influences of the American musical landscape.  

Hansel and Gretel 

November 18 & 20, 2021 

RPO’s Annual Opera Concert 

Andreas Delfs, conductor 

James Alexander, stage director 

HUMPERDINCK Hansel & Gretel (sung in English)

Engelbert Humperdinck’s retelling of the famous Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale is brought to life on the Kodak Hall Stage! Enjoy this semi-staged opera as a start to the holiday season. 

SPECIAL EVENT:  The Nutcracker 

November 24-28, 2021 

Tara Simoncic, conductor

The Rochester City Ballet

The Nutcracker’s timeless tale of wonder and imagination has captivated audiences for nearly 130 years and has become a Rochester holiday tradition. Be whisked away to a magical land of sparkling snow and delectable sweets as enchanting dance from Rochester City Ballet pairs with Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, performed in all its glory by the RPO. This beloved story of a young girl’s Christmas Eve dream never fails to touch the heart!   (Not included as part of the subscription series.)

Andreas Conducts Beethoven    

January 13 & 15, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor 

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7 

Music Director Andreas Delfs conducts an evening of classical music’s greatest composer! Beethoven’s First Symphony, inspired by the works of Haydn and Mozart, uses sforzandi and sudden shifts that make this composition undeniably his. Beethoven’s spirited Seventh Symphony features the haunting Allegretto that’s captivated listeners from concert hall to movie screen. 

The Blue Danube 

May 5 & 7, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor 

Juliana Athayde, violin (Concertmaster, The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair, funded in perpetuity) 

MENDELSSOHN The Fair Melusine Overture 

ROBERTO SIERRA  Violin Concerto (world premiere) 

SCHUBERT  Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”  

J. STRAUSS, JR.An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), op, 314 

Felix Mendelssohn’s charming overture to The Fair Melusine is rarely performed, a musical treat you won’t want to miss. Concertmaster Juliana Athayde performs as soloist in the world premiere of a Violin Concerto, written by acclaimed composer Roberto Sierra. Despite being his last and unfinished composition, Franz Schubert’s Eighth Symphony is regarded as one of the Romantic period’s first musical works. Johann Strauss’s The Blue Danube is anostalgic dance that conjures up images of the grandeur of a lost age.

Symphonic Cinema 

May 19 & 21, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor 

Join Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and your RPO for an evening of music from the Golden Age of Hollywood! Featuring the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and others.  

2021-2022 Pops Series

Sponsored by Wegmans and Canandaigua National Bank and Trust

Legends: the Paul Simon Songbook 

September 17 & 18, 2021 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor 

Join your RPO and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik for an evening of music from the legendary Paul Simon. Explore his unique artistry as a songwriter from his years with Simon and Garfunkel through his solo albums Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. You’ll enjoy songs including “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

Jurassic Park in Concert 

January 21 & 22, 2022 

Enrico LopezYañez, conductor 

Celebrate one of the biggest movie franchises of all time with Jurassic Park! The action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Featuring visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects, this epic film is sheer movie magic 65 million years in the making. Now audiences can experience Jurassic Park as never before: projected in HD with a full symphony orchestra performing John Williams’s iconic score live to picture.  Welcome… to Jurassic Park! 

, John Williams! 

February 18 & 19, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor 

The music of John Williams has transported us beyond our imagination and to new worlds through heart-pounding adventures. Join Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik as we celebrate John Williams’s 90th Birthday with music written by one of America’s greatest composers. Featuring music from some of the most iconic films of the 20th century.  

Diva to Diva: An Evening with Ann Hampton Callaway  

March 18 & 19, 2022 

Andreas Delfs, conductor 

Ann Hampton Callaway, vocals 

Tony nominee and platinum-selling songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway fuses a unique blend of jazz and pop that keeps her in demand around the world. In Diva to Diva, she honors all the great women of song from Ella Fitzgerald to Nina Simone to Carole King to Judy Garland in a magical symphonic night to remember. She will be accompanied by her good friend and new RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs.

Revolution: The Music of the Beatles – A Symphonic Experience

April 22 & 23, 2022 

Jeff Tyzik, conductor 

Join your RPO for a unique symphonic experience featuring six of the world’s top vocalists and musicians together with restorative orchestrations from the original sessions at Abbey Road, arranged by Grammy-winner and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik.