The more things change . . .

Next month, the longest-serving music director in the RPO’s history retires.  Christopher Seaman will become the orchestra’s first conductor for life, and his departure sets the stage for the next artistic leader, Norwegian conductor Arild Remmereit.  Remmereit has been all over the U.S. these past few months, conducting the Detroit, Atlanta, and Seattle symphonies and impressing critics with his sensitivity and attention to detail.

His upcoming arrival is the most conspicuous change on the horizon. But others unfold almost every week in Rochester.  Henry Lebedinsky has reorganized The Publick Musick, a long-dormant group which specializes in performances of Baroque and early music. On Sunday, May 15th, the New York-based soprano Abigail Lennox appeared with the chamber orchestra to sing “music for a mad emperor."  In a recent conversation with WXXI’s Music Director Julia Figueras, Lebedinsky traced his path to the harpsichord and explained his view that all music-making is, at heart, a form of singing.  The podcast should be available soon at

This coming Thursday, May 19th at 7:30 p.m. a new chamber choir makes its debut. Brandon Johnson founded Vox Lumine (Voices of Light) on the conviction that music can be an agent for peace and reconciliation. You’ll hear a preview Thursday morning around 8:35 a.m. on Classical 91.5.

Other significant changes in the works include the departure of the Associate Director of Eastman Opera Theatre, Johnathon Pape, who’s leaving after four years at the Eastman School to teach at the New England Conservatory.  And this fall, you may see a new chamber orchestra performing regularly at Asbury United Methodist Church in Rochester.

Here’s what’s coming up in the mornings between six and ten on Classical 91.5 this week:


Tuesday, May 17

Works by Faure, Mozart, and Satie

Composer’s Datebook: Debussy and the persistence of Ms. Elisa Hall

Writers Almanac: the surprising premiere of Beethoven’s famous Kreutzer Sonata


Wednesday, May 18

Music by Robert Schumann, Vincent d’Indy, and Ron Goodwin (New Zealand Suite)

Composer’s Datebook: Satie's "surreal" premiere in wartime Paris

Writers Almanac: Beethoven’s flash on the future


Thursday, May 19

Selim Palgren’s dreamy evocation of a night in May, Maytime in Sussex

Richard Strauss’ vivid and commanding first horn concerto

Composer’s Datebook: Bach in the U.S.A

FEATURE  Brandon Johnson, founder of Vox Lumine (Voices of Light)  Vox Lumine’s premier concert is Thursday, May 19th at 7:30 at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs Street, Rochester.


Friday, May 20

An all-request show!  Make your request at or by calling (585)258-0371.

Composer’s Datebook: Ives makes the "Pops" circuit

FEATURE   Rochester’s 2011 Classical Idol winner Kathryn Lewek tells the story of a big audition, a request, and the moment of honesty she thought blew her chances at landing a  great role  (Soprano Kathryn Lewek performs a solo recital Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 36 South Main Street, Pittsford)