RPO Says Farewell, But Not Goodbye, to Christopher Seaman

Christopher Seaman
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

This past weekend marked Christopher Seaman's final concerts as Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Following the June 4th concert, the RPO held a special gala—aptly called A Bow Tie Affair—at the Country Club of Rochester to celebrate Christopher, his time with the RPO, and all he has done for and with the Rochester community.

The RPO could not, however, let the concert end with Christopher's final downbeat. Following three curtain calls and a farewell speech to the audience from Christopher, the Rochester Oratorio Society entered Kodak Hall to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance waving American flags and Union Jacks! But instead of the traditional words (in England, it’s known as Land of Hope and Glory), Christopher's longtime friend and RPO supporter Peggy Savlov had re-written the lyrics to honor our beloved Maestro! The audience was able to sing to Christopher, who spontaneously decided to play the timpani along with the Orchestra. As a backdrop, an enormous British flag was unfurled from the ceiling, capping the moment in grand style.

Visit the RPO's Facebook page to view a photo album of images from this special night. (Note that you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the photos.) We will be posting a video of the encore on our YouTube page soon.

To learn more about Christopher, including a timeline of his career in Rochester, and view pictures from his 13 seasons with the RPO, click here. You can read the commemorative program book which includes numerous tributes as well as the lyrics to the musical tribute which closed Saturday's concert, by clicking here.

You can also read a review from the Democrat and Chronicle, view a video and profile of Christopher by Anna Reguero, and read a review from City Newspaper.

This is not goodbye, however: Christopher will assume the role of Conductor Laureate beginning with the 2011-2012 Season, and will return annually to conduct the RPO beginning in March 2012. Use this link to learn about his concert next season. The Christopher Seaman Chair is supported by Barbara and Patrick Fulford and The Conductor Laureate Society (click here for more information).

Before Christopher returns to Rochester, he’ll be back in New York State this summer conducting the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at the Chautauqua Institution. Join us for a special bus trip to see him on Tuesday, July 19th. Click here for details.