RSO Announces Conductor Change for Saturday’s Concert

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Due to an injury, RSO Music Director Steven Larsen will be unable to conduct this Saturday’s opening Rockford Health System Pops Series concert.

It has been announced Michael Berkowitz will be conducting the RSO in his absence. Berkowitz appeared with the RSO during the 2006/07 season on the Simply Sinatra concert.

“Berkowitz has an outstanding reputation as a pops conductor,” says Larsen. “While I’m very disappointed not to be able to conduct this weekend, the RSO couldn’t be in better hands.” Mr. Larsen is expected to make a full recovery and be back conducting the RSO for the November 9 Classics Concert.

Michael Berkowitz is currently the Principal Pops Conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony in Santa Rosa, Ca. Most recently he served as Music Director/Conductor for Liza Minnelli, working with her on her Tony Award Winning, "Liza's At The Palace" on Broadway and in concerts around the World. He served as Marvin Hamlisch's Music Director for 9 years, appearing with him at the White House, the London Symphony and the Academy Awards as well as virtually every Symphony in the US. He also had a 13 year working relationship with arranger Nelson Riddle, as his Drummer, Assistant Conductor and Musical Contractor. On Broadway, Berkowitz has collaborated with Theatre Legends such as Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Michael Kidd. In addition to Ms. Minnelli, Berkowitz has appeared with Elaine Paige, Michael Crawford, Beyonce, Harry Connick Jr., Steve Lawrence, Helen Reddy, Jon Bon Jovi, Chuck Berry, Ringo Starr, Roger Daltrey, Hal Linden, Sting, and Billy Joel, to name a few.

Saturday’s concert, featuring saxophone quartet Capitol Quartet and a special appearance by the Rockford Wind Ensemble, begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for this concert are still available online at or by calling the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Box Office at (815) 965-0049. Ticket prices range from $22 to $65. Student tickets are $7.

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