Musicians from a Faraway Land

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the St. Petersburg Philharmonic perform at the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, and they were pretty phenomenal! I attended with a friend who had lived in Russia for a few years, so she was able to provide fascinating insights about how different the concert would have been if it was performed in Russia rather than in Rochester. Apparently, in Russia, audience members often go up to the edge of the stage at the end of a show and have the chance to shake musicians’ hands. At that time, they usually bring the musicians a flower that they’ve brought with them to the show specifically for that purpose. Pretty interesting!

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic performed Brahms (Piano Concert No. 1, Opus 15) and Shoshtakovich (No. 5 in D Minor, Opus 47). Both were fabulous! Nikolai Lugansky was the featured pianist, and he was really fun to watch. He was incredibly animated in his playing, with such powerful gestures they were almost violent at times! And his expression was always grave. It was generally fun to people watch on stage- the dress and mannerisms of the musicians were a bit different from an American philharmonic orchestra. For example, I noticed the string section waving their bows to applaud the pianist, and I had never seen that before!

Shoshtakovich 5 was probably my favorite part of the evening- the booming of the drums was badass and exciting after the more emotional and moving sections of the piece. All and all, it was a really fun night, and I’m so glad we got to see the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Rochester! The last time they were here was 55 years ago, so it definitely felt special to be able to see them right here in ROC.

Next week, I’ll be attending Savion Glover: STePz, and I’m pretty excited about it! I’ve loved the variety of the “Eastman Presents” series this season. Such a diverse array of talented performers! From Norm Lewis to Garrison Keillor, from the St. Petersburg Phil to Savion Glover, it’s been an awesome season.

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Image via Eastman Theatre.

Savion Glover is a renowned choreographer and tap dancer who has even performed on Sesame Street! If you don’t believe me when I say this dude is insanely talented, check out his Instagram for some crazy videos. The guy can move! I’m so excited to watch him perform live next Tuesday.

Good news for you, my friends! I’m giving away tickets again! This is the last show in the current season of the “Eastman Presents” concert series, and it’s sure to be fantastic. Leave a comment below telling me why you’d love to attend, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show! Winner will be announced by the end of the week.

Best of luck, everyone!

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Working Downtown: A Whole New World

I started a new job back in November (hence the blogging hiatus for a few months) and one of the many perks of said new job is the opportunity to work downtown for a few days each week. Having worked on a college campus for four years while also working on a passion project about the city of Rochester, I longed to spend more time in the downtown area and less on an island of a campus. That’s why I’m overjoyed that I now get to spend significantly more time in downtown #ROC!

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The view from my office window during the golden hour.

My office is located in the historic Sibley Building, which used to be a department store in the heart of downtown. It has recently rebranded as Sibley Square and is going through some serious changes. Currently, the only tenants are a store called Rainbow, the Damon campus of Monroe Community College, and the nonprofit I work at, but the developer is working on bringing numerous new tenants on board. I’m excited to be there as the place evolves!

So what’s so cool about working downtown? For one thing, the food! When I worked on a college campus, you could eat at one of the dining halls pretty easily, and the food was pretty respectable. However, if you wanted to go off campus for a bite to eat, it was a long haul. You had to schlep to your car (usually parked about 15 minutes from your office building), drive somewhere (about 10-15 minutes away), eat super quickly, drive back, park, and hike in again. It was a pain in the butt. Now, I can walk to tons of awesome eateries! It’s so exciting.

I’m always a big fan of delicious and diverse food, but I’m perhaps an even bigger fan of excellent coffee. And working in the Sibley Building means Fuego Coffee is only a short walk away, just across Parcel 5! If you’ve never been, you should get your booty to Fuego ASAP.

Okay, so there’s coffee and food, but what ELSE is great about working downtown? Walkability is a big factor too. I can leave my car in a parking garage all day and still get around easily. I even learned about a system of tunnels connecting various buildings downtown thanks to my Twitter buddy, @MimZWay! As a kid growing up in the suburbs, I never spent much time downtown. It’s been fun getting to know the area more as a result of working right in Center City.

Last but not least, I’m lucky that in my job, I have the opportunity to get some sneak peeks at historic parts of Sibley. It’s so cool to see glimpses of a bygone era, and to have a hand in shaping what the future of downtown ROC will look like.

If you ever have a chance to take a job in downtown ROC, I’d highly recommend it! A nice walk or some good food nearby is a great way to maintain your work-life balance. Plus you really feel like you’re a part of things when you’re right in the heart of the downtown area. It’s pretty darn cool!