Riverside Symphony to Hold Concert Featuring Puppetry
Led by conductor George Rothman, Riverside Symphony principal players will join Robert Rogers Puppets and actress Eleanor Ruth at Merkin Concert Hall on Sunday afternoon, February 25 at 3:00PM. In a program sure to engage children (ages nine and up) and adults, Camille Saint-Saëns's disarming Carnival of the Animals and Igor Stravinsky's urbane chamber masterpiece, l'Histoire du soldat, will both be transformed through the magical melding of virtuoso musicianship and exquisite puppetry. Since 1980, Rogers' internationally acclaimed troupe has delighted audiences of all ages. Profiled on the PBS TV series "Expressions," Rogers' fantastical creations have embraced children's literature, original stories, Shakespeare, and vaudeville. A longtime member of Brooklyn-based Brave New World Repertory and Manhattan's Threshold Theater Company, Ms. Ruth has lent her unique vocal talents to countless puppet productions throughout the United States and Canada.
SUNDAY, February 25, 2018, 3pm
SAINT-SAËNS Carnival of the Animals
STRAVINSKY l'Histoire du Soldat
MEET THE ARTISTS
Growing up in and around New York City with parents who were avid theatergoers, Robert Rogers became fascinated with the art of puppetry at a very early age. After more than thirty years, hundreds of puppets, and dozens of productions, he and his troupe have made thousands of appearances across the country and abroad. Internationally, he has appeared in the Neopolis Children's Theater Festival in Nabeul, Tunisia; the Global Puppet Theater Festival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; the World Puppet Festival in Prague, the Czech Republic; the Puppets Up! Festival in Almonte, Canada; the Children's Palace in Beijing, the People's Republic of China; and FANA, the Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children in Bogota, Colombia. He and his puppets were the subject of an episode of the PBS television series, "Expressions," produced by WSKG-TV.
Besides his accomplishments as a theater producer, director, playwright, and designer, Robert is devoted to teaching young people the art of puppetry. In 1999 he established The American Puppetry Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping classroom students explore topics of study by means of puppet-making and dramatic arts workshops and residencies.
Eleanor Ruth has worked in professional theater for over 40 years. A member of Brooklyn-based Brave New World Repertory Theatre and Actors' Equity Association, her most recent New York performances include the premiere productions of Charles Mee's The Immortals and R. N. Healey's NUN$. She has played such diverse roles as the lead in Angela's Flying Bed, Mr. Stubb in Orson Welles' Moby Dick - Rehearsed, Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress, and Lady Macbeth. Other NYC appearances include roles in The Crucible, Fuddy Meers, To Kill a Mockingbird, The House of Blue Leaves, Sister, Steinway Grand, No Conductor, and Dubliners, as well as performance art pieces with Paul Walker, Erol Tamerman, Roni Gross, and Linda Kohl. Also a long-time member of Manhattan's Threshold Theater Company, Ms. Roth has served as Coordinator for their OBIE-winning Caught in the Act one-act festival at HERE in SoHo. Eleanor is appreciated for her quirky character voices, which led her into the puppetry world early in her career. She has performed, designed, and led workshops in theaters, schools, and community venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, while touring extensively with Robert Rogers, Puppet Projects, and Starry Night Puppet Theatre.
George Rothman, Riverside Symphony's founding music director and conductor, has led orchestras throughout the United States, as well as in South America, Asia, and Europe. Praised as "adventurous, committed, [and] energetic" by Musical America, his performances of an unusually diverse repertory are also routinely acclaimed by The New York Times and other leading publications. As an advocate for new music, Mr. Rothman has led well over 150 world and local premieres from both established and emerging composers around the world, while Riverside Symphony's seven CDs of major contemporary orchestral works-mainly world premiere recordings-under his leadership have been lauded by Fanfare for their "awesomely assured performances." Furthermore, Mr. Rothman is active as a pianist and lecturer, regularly participating in workshops and seminars with leading American composers.
He has served on the music faculties of Columbia and Yale Universities and, since 2005, Brooklyn College, where he is currently Conductor of the Conservatory Orchestra and Professor of Music.Riverside Symphony, co-founded in 1981 by George Rothman and Anthony Korf, has been widely noted for its unique focus on discovery-of young artists, unfamiliar works by the great masters, and important new pieces by living composers from around the world, for which it provides a rare forum at its annual Lincoln Center concert series at Alice Tully Hall. Critically acclaimed for its vibrant performances of music from all periods, the orchestra counts New York's finest instrumentalists among its membership. Riverside Symphony CDs have brought international acclaim, including a Grammy nomination and Editor's Pick from Britain's Gramophone and The New York Times. The orchestra can be heard on Riverside Symphony Records (1401 Constant), Bridge Records (9057 Ruders; 9091 Imbrie; 9112 Davidovsky; 9294 Korf), and New World Records (383 Davidovsky, Korf, Wright).
These concerts are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.