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Rochester Philharmonic names music director

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra recently appointed Andreas Delfs, of Trumansburg, as the 13th music director in the organization's 98-year history. 

Delfs, a native of Flensburg, Germany, graduated from the Hamburg Conservatory and Juilliard School of Music. He held chief artistic posts with orchestras in Europe and North America. At 20 years old, he became the youngest music director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and musical assistant at the Hamburg State Opera. 

Throughout his 12 seasons as musical director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Delfs drew larger audiences to Uihlein Hall, selling out 40 concerts during the 2000-01 season. He led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as music director (2001-04) and artistic consultant (2004-06).

Delfs has been a frequent guest conductor with the RPO over the past 25 years.

“I have been in love with this remarkable orchestra for a long time,” Delfs said. “Every visit I have paid to my friends in this wonderful community has been a profound and rewarding musical experience. The prospect of leading this exceptional group of musicians into their next century is not only filling me with joy and gratitude, it is truly inspiring me to pull out all the stops at my creative and musical disposal. 

“My goal has always been to position the orchestras entrusted to me soundly and solidly in their communities. I will work tirelessly with the outstanding musicians of the RPO to anchor their vibrant presence so deeply into the Greater Rochester community that nobody will be able to imagine life without them.”

Delfs plans to foster new local talent by making music and musical training available to children in the city, regardless of their ability to pay for lessons or purchase instruments. His leadership will include overseeing the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and partnering with management on artistic planning, programming and music education activities. 

“We need to create access to great music for everybody in our communities, and shape our orchestras to be regarded as welcoming, inclusive and diverse by all,” Delfs said.

Delfs replaces Ward Stare, whose farewell season was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It has been a great honor to serve my beloved hometown these past seven years as music director of the RPO,” Stare said. “I want to say a heartfelt thank-you to the Rochester community for its strong support and enthusiasm during my tenure. It has been an incredible privilege to give back to the city that gave me so much during my formative years.  

“While our exciting plans for my final season did not come to fruition, I am immensely proud of our accomplishments together. We broadened our reach in the community through many new initiatives, expanded our repertoire to include more modern and American works (including several exciting world premieres), embraced technology as never before, saw multiple years of tremendous growth in ticket sales and made a wonderful recording together that garnered national and international praise. We welcomed many fantastic new musicians into the RPO family, which will have a lasting impact on the quality of the ensemble.  

“Rochester deserves the best and, while challenging times certainly lie ahead, I am confident that the community will continue to support our great orchestra, and it is my sincerest hope that the RPO will thrive for many years to come. I wish Andreas Delfs and all my colleagues the very best as they begin a new chapter in the orchestra’s rich history.”

Andreas Delfs.