Last night, we had an overflow crowd of approximately 225 people at the Gleason Auditorium at the Rochester Public Library. We are grateful to everyone who showed up to support Maestro Arild Remmereit!
For those who were unable to attend, here is the full text of the Maestro’s speech:
Fellow Rochesterians: Thank you for inviting me to participate at this event.
I am speaking to you as someone who has lived in this wonderful community for nearly 17 months. My wife Honami, our then 6 months old son Leonardo and I moved from Vienna, Austria, to a new country, culture, language and job.
We moved with great excitement.
We are thrilled and moved by how you, as community members and audiences have welcomed us. We were met with open arms and heartfelt appreciation. We are grateful for that.
I am also grateful for your warm, spontaneous and quick embrace of the way I program concerts.
The desire has been to build bridges between the RPO and a wider part of the community, aiming also to reach those who don’t usually go, or who have never been, to concerts. This was done, in part, by reconnecting to Rochester’s rich past.
Inspired by Susan B. Anthony, programs were made, for two seasons, so far, around women composers. This has captured the attention of many community members, some who aren’t traditionally concert-goers. It has also attracted national attention in the press and it resulted in programming awards for the RPO, including the first ever Amy award, generously given by the “Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy” headed by Liane Curtis, who I am thrilled to see here tonight.
The concerts coming up on the 7th and 9th of February were planned to mark the beginning of a similar, multi-year project called the “Underground Railroad”, with programs inspired by Frederick Douglass and African-American history.
The inclusion of exhibited art and staged poetry during my concerts are further examples on projects where we engage, interact and collaborate with curious and creative groups and individuals in our community.
The artists, especially the younger ones, may, through the process of having their creative work presented at concerts, form life-long relationships to what the RPO does, which is vitally important: bringing music into people’s lives.
These individuals become part of the performances. Rather than being entertained by us, they are now entertainers together WITH us, sharing center stage! The impression this leaves on the artists themselves, but also on their friends and families, is powerful.
This is a time of trouble for many in the RPO community; emotions are running high. Passionate views are being expressed. May this passion be channeled towards reaching the obvious common goal:
A GREAT FUTURE FOR THE ROCHESTER PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.
This is a time of great opportunity to grow and to prosper. The goal must be to have as many community members as possible; actively engaged with, connected to and passionate about the RPO, so that collectively every Rochesterian can say with pride: “The RPO is MY orchestra!”