These will be Rundgren's first ever symphonic shows in North America; in September of last year, Todd performed two sold out concerts in the Netherlands backed by the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, and was smitten by the genre.
A Wizard, A True Star -- the title of Todd Rundgren's 1973 solo album aptly sums up the contributions of this multi-faceted artist to state-of-the-
Among his myriad hits are "Hello It's Me","I Saw the Light", "Can We Still be Friends", "We Gotta Get You A Woman", "Open My Eyes", and "Bang the Drum ", the latter a mainstay on ESPN and in television commercials. Rundgren's prolific producer's discography includes such classics as Next Position Please by Cheap Trick, Skylarking by XTC, We're an American Band by Grand Funk Railroad, War Babies by Hall & Oates, Wave by Patti Smith,and Meat Loaf's auspicious debut Bat Out of Hell, the fifth best selling album of all time (42 million).
Internationally acknowledged as the godfather of the marriage of music and multimedia, he is responsible for many pioneering "firsts" :
1978: The first interactive television concert, broadcast live over the Warner/QUBE system in Columbus, Ohio (the home audience chose each song.in real time during the concert by voting via QUBE's 2-way operating system)
1978: The first live nationally broadcast stereo radio concert (by microwave), linking 40 cities around the country
1979: The opening of Utopia Video Studios, a multi-million dollar state-of-the-
1980: Creation of the first color graphics tablet, which was licensed to Apple and released as The Utopia Graphics Tablet
1981: Time Heals, the first music video to utilize state-of-the-
1982: The first live national cablecast of a rock concert (on the USA Network), simulcast in stereo to over 120 radio stations
1982: The first two commercially released music videos, one of which was nominated for the first-ever Grammy awarded for "Best Short Form Video" the following year
1992: The release of "No World Order", the world's first interactive record album on CD-i. Also the first commercially available music downloads via CompuServe
1994: The release of "The Individualist"
1995: The world's first interactive concert tour
1998: Launches PatroNet, the world's first direct artist subscription service
The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is one of the leading cultural institutions in Northern Illinois, performing over twenty classical and pops concerts annually. The RSO was incorporated in 1943 after performing for the community for nine seasons under its first Music Director and Manager, Arthur Zack, who led the orchestra for twenty-seven years. In 1970, the Board of Directors appointed Crawford Gates its next music director, bringing renowned guest artists to perform with the orchestra including Van Cliburn (1972), Victor Borge (1973), Phyllis Diller (1974), and Benny Goodman (1975).
Upon the retirement of Crawford Gates, the RSO Board named Charles Bornstein as music director in 1986. Bornstein's intellectual and artistic vision were characteristics of his tenure.
In 1991, the Board named Steven Larsen as the RSO's fourth music director. Described as a "Renaissance musician," Larsen went to work and over the last seventeen years has expanded the orchestra's repertoire, attracting musicians of the highest caliber. Youth education and community outreach programs have expanded, increasing the RSO's presence in the lives of Rockford area residents. During his tenure, Larsen added a pops series, an outdoor summer performance series and a fully-staged opera to the Symphony's concert rosters. He has endeavored to bring the RSO's performances to wider audiences by performing in new and non-traditional venues. His accomplish-ments have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Illinois Council of Orchestras' 2006 Conductor of the Year and a 1999 Mayor's Arts Award for individual achievement.
Under Larsen's artistic leadership, the orchestra continues to develop the audiences of tomorrow through the RSO's Youth Concerts and KinderKonzert programs, and through a wide variety of other educational programs involving the entire Rockford community. Overall, the Rockford Symphony's mission is to enlighten, educate and entertain the people of Northern Illinois through symphonic music performance of the highest artistic excellence.
The Coronado opened on October 9, 1927 as an atmospheric style theatre and movie palace - complete with Spanish castles, Italian villas, oriental dragons, starlit skies and a Grande Barton Pipe Organ. Countless show business legends, including the Marx Brothers, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Gypsy Rose Lee have performed on the Coronado stage. .
The Coronado was the romantic setting for countless movie-going couples on their first date, and a Saturday outing for kids watching cartoons and movies through 1984. Over the years, the theatre has also played host to high school graduations, political rallies and community events.
After decades of use, the grand dame Coronado received a much needed facelift between 1999 and 2001, with the community-wide support of the city of Rockford, individuals and corporations. Spear-headed by the Friends of the Coronado, a non-profit organization formed in 1997, the theatre was reborn in January, 2001 in its original grand style as a state-of-the-
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RundgrenRadio.com is still actively presenting Todd Rundgren concerts and has a sister company, Onward Promotions, that presents concerts by artists other than Todd.