Jeff Tyzik celebrates 20 years

Updated: 03/06/2014 6:04 PM
Created: 03/06/2014 2:08 PM WHEC.com
By: Janet Lomax

He's calling it a once in a lifetime concert and for good reason. RPO Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik is celebrating his 20th anniversary this month with something he says you won't ever see again.

Tyzik was appointed in 1994 and says he knew he had to gain the respect of the musicians.

"I walked on the podium my first day of rehearsal having just been announced and I looked at the orchestra and I said, 'By the way, I'll be here as long as we both like each other. 

That mutual respect and friendship between the musicians has lasted now two decades, 500 concerts in all.

AT 62 years old, Tyzik says he has gained wisdom over the years,not just in the technical aspects and finesse that a conductor needs to communicate on the podium, but in something else.

Tyzik said, "90 percent of it is being a psychiatrist. You're standing in front of 70 to 90 incredibly talented musicians who have emotions and their own opinions about things and you have to figure out how to channel all of that energy in a positive way to get them to play their very best. That's what it really comes down to."

Looking back Tyzik said he is happy and grateful for the opportunities he's had. In addition to his work in Rochester, he is also the Principal Pops Conductor for five other symphony orchestras: Detroit, Dallas, Seattle, Oregon and Florida.

He is really excited about the anniversary concerts in Rochester. They will bring some of his closest friends together: Doc Severinsen of  the Tonight Show band and  trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, and trombonist Jim Pugh, fellow Eastman School grads.

Tyzik said, "You're never going to get this combination of people again in a room together making great music."

There is no doubt, those concerts on March 21 and 22 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre will create one more special moment for Tyzik, who wanted to be a conductor since the age of 13.

Tyzik said, "I never thought it would get to this point. Life has exceeded my expectations."

For more information on Tyzik's 20th Season Celebration, click here.

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