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Eastman House and RPO collaborate to present ‘Cinematic Symphony’ May 3

Event celebrates 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz

Rochester, N.Y., March 2, 2009 — There’s no place like Rochester … a city that boasts the collections of George Eastman Houseand the music of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). On Sunday, May 3, these two world-class cultural icons are teaming up for a special collaboration to celebrate the 70th anniversary of MGM classic The Wizard of Oz — a film that has given us some of our most unforgettable musical memories and for which Eastman House holds in preservation the original camera negatives.

“Cinematic Symphony: Oz & Beyond with Eastman House & RPO” begins by taking the stage and screen for a concert at the Eastman Theatre at 3 p.m. The RPO will perform the live orchestral soundtrack to Oscar®-winning The Wizard of Oz, accompanying the Technicolor® triumph projected on the big screen. Audiences still will hear the memorable singing voices of Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Burt Lahr, but with Harold Arlen’s dazzling score performed live.

This trip over the rainbow will feature pre-concert movie and music activities and an Oz costume parade through the Eastman Theatre — lions, scarecrows, and Dorothys, oh my! 

The Oz celebration continues with a spectacular evening gala at 5:30 p.m. at Eastman House, featuring behind-the-scenes wonderment and a rare showcase of the treasures of the motion picture archive. The museum houses the world’s largest Technicolor® film collection, including many of the original negatives — the actual film in the camera when the movie is shot.

“Cinematic Symphony” is a joint fundraiser for Eastman House and the RPO, which was founded by George Eastman in 1922 as the orchestra for Eastman Theatre. This celebration of these Rochester cultural treasures is part of the yearlong recognition of the City of Rochester’s 175th anniversary.  The afternoon concert is sponsored by Wendy’s.

Tickets to the RPO concert begin at $24 (children’s tickets start at $18) and may be purchased online at www.rpo.org; by calling the RPO at (585) 454-2100; or in-person at the RPO Box Office at 108 East Ave. RPO Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. non-concert Saturdays). The gala dinner at Eastman House includes a ticket to the afternoon concert and starts at $175, with sponsor tables available. For more information, visit www.rpo.org.

This event marks the culmination of the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House film series that celebrates the work of director Victor Fleming.

Eastman House programs and RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; and the City of Rochester.  

About George Eastman House

Located on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman, the father of popular photography and motion picture film, George Eastman House is one of the most important film archives in the world. Founded in 1947, the archive houses 30,000 film titles and 3.5 million pieces of film-related publicity stills, posters, scores, scripts, and pre-cinema artifacts. It is the archive of choice for many filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. Eastman House also holds the world’s largest technology collection with 20,000 pieces of camera technology. Its Selznick School, established by L. Jeffrey Selznick, son of famed film producer David O. Selznick, is regarded as the premier school of professional training in film preservation, restoration, and archiving. George Eastman House restores more than 500 reels of film on average each year.

About Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebrating its 86th season in 2008-09, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music, presenting nearly 200 performances each season to a combined audience of an estimated quarter of a million people, including more than 70,000 who experience the RPO’s broad range of educational and community programs. The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense, and a deep and enduring engagement with the community. The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.