Author: Kate Mockler

In the studio: The World of The Ring

When Klaus Heymann, founding chairman of Naxos, asked the Buffalo Philharmonic (BPO) to record the seven orchestral interludes from Wagner’s Ring cycle, he set in motion a series of events that resulted in an extraordinary and highly unusual concert programme.

JoAnn Falletta

The BPO and music director JoAnn Falletta always present an upcoming CD programme in concert form before producer Tim Handley makes the recording; in this way the Buffalo audience is given a first glimpse into the music that will become the orchestra’s next release. They await the arrival of the finished product with great anticipation, and feel that they have had a real part in experiencing the music that will document the next phase of the musicians’ relationship with Naxos.

Very often, Falletta spreads the repertoire throughout the season as a kind of a yearlong “voyage of discovery”, but in the case of Wagner’s orchestral selections she pursued a different approach: to present all of the Ring orchestral sections in one concert, in the order in which they appear in the operas, creating a two-hour symphonic odyssey of power and beauty. Many believe that Richard Wagner lavished his greatest genius on the purely orchestral sections in the operas, creating a world of magical orchestral sound that had never been conceived before. In Wagner’s hands, the orchestra glows with colour and imagination, extending and enhancing the story with astonishing musical poetry.

Falletta and the BPO believed that the music on its own could spin Wagner’s wonderful tale of Teutonic gods creating heaven and earth (only to destroy them through greed, jealousy and war), transporting the audience from the music of Das Rheingold, through Die Valkyrie and Siegfried, to the final scene of Götterdämmerung.

To ensure that the wonder and magic of this fairy tale was potently clear, however, narration was constructed to underscore the connections between the musical selections. Actor Doug Zscheigner spoke with eloquence, emotion and power as he wove the tale around the music. The final touch was a bold experiment in light and colour: a group of artists, designers and animators was engaged to create a moving “light show”, focused directly on the architectural design of Kleinhans Hall, “light-mapping” the stage with images of Wotan, Brünnhilde, Siegfried and other characters, all set in enchanted landscapes.

The result was a BPO presentation that astounded and thrilled the audiences, presenting the story and music of The Ring of the Niebelung in an unforgettable production. To maintain Wagner’s masterful music as the focal point, the stage was darkened in between the orchestral interludes, while Zscheigner and the light artists spun the magical tale. An indication of the magnificence of the visual enhancement can be seen in the selection of images reproduced here.

JoAnn Falletta and the BPO once again express thanks to Klaus Heymann for inspiring them to new levels of imagination and creativity in their joint ventures with Naxos.



Dates Announced for the 2018 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

Dates Announced for the 2018 JoAnn Falletta
International Guitar Concerto Competition
Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, Artistic Directors
International talents to compete in prestigious classical guitar competition June 6, 7 and 9
BUFFALO, N.Y. – WNED | WBFO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are pleased to announce the dates for the 2018 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.
The competition will be taking place on June 6, 7 and 9, 2018.
The semifinals will take place in the WNED-TV Studios in downtown Buffalo on June 6 and 7, with the finals being held at Kleinhans Music Hall on June 9. The semifinals will be broadcast live on Classical 94.5 WNED and streamed online at
Named in honor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director, the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition has been produced by WNED | WBFO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) since 2004. The competition, run by Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, themselves renowned concert guitarists, identifies and encourages talented young classical guitarists and helps them on their musical journeys. Every two years, extraordinarily gifted competitors from all over the world come to compete in Buffalo, N.Y., for one week and perform publicly in competition for an exciting grand prize package.
The 2018 first place winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, a return engagement with the BPO and other prizes to be announced.

For updates visit:

Facebook: The 2018 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition returns to #Buffalo June 6-9. #fallettacomp18
Twitter: The 2018 @fallettacomp returns to #Buffalo June 6-9 #fallettacomp18
The WNED | WBFO family of stations broadcasts PBS, NPR and Classical music programming throughout the Western New York and Southern Ontario regions. These high-quality programs and community outreach services inform, enlighten, entertain and educate our local and regional communities. Our member-supported stations include WNED-TV (PBS), WBFO-FM 88.7 (NPR), Classical 94.5 WNED, Jazzworks, WNED thinkbright Create® and WNED PBS Kids 24/7. WNED-TV is also a national producer of award-winning documentaries. Additional information about WNED ǀ WBFO can be found at
About the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy® winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is an internationally recognized symphony of the highest artistic caliber and an indispensable part of the Western New York community’s quality of life. For more information about the BPO, visit
About Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio
The Competition Artistic Directors have enjoyed a celebrated career as one of the foremost guitar duos in the world. Having received numerous awards and distinctions from the very beginning, they have won two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships, toured internationally and recorded extensively. For more information, visit


Buffalo Philharmonic announces jam-packed summer season

For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

BUFFALO, NY – The BPO’s summer schedule features the traditional Independence Eve performance after the Bisons game at Coca-Cola Field; a trip to the Ellicottville Music Festival; a celebration of Canada 150 at Canalside with Strictly Hip; performances with Shakespeare in Delaware Park and at Artpark; visits to many parts of Buffalo and Western New York for free outdoor concerts; and the grand re-opening of the Richardson Olmsted Campus, with a dazzling light show projected on the iconic Richardson Towers.
On June 30, the BPO celebrates Canada Day Eve and Canada 150 with a brand-new show featuring Strictly Hip, Western New York’s top tribute band to The Tragically Hip. Canadian conductor Bradley Thachuk has been working with both Strictly Hip and The Tragically Hip to arrange the band’s music for orchestra and rock band. The event takes place at Canalside in Buffalo at 8 PM and is presented by Consulate General of Canada and Labatt USA. Admission to Canalside is $5.
No author has inspired more classical music than William Shakespeare. Centuries after his death, the themes explored in his plays continue to resonate with audiences. On July 18, the BPO joins forces with the company of Shakespeare in Delaware Park to present an evening of music and theater, featuring “Macbeth,” “The Tempest,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and more. The free concert takes place on the recently-renovated Shakespeare in Delaware Park stage and begins at 7 PM. Gurney Becker and Bourne and Brian Parisi Copier Systems are sponsors of this concert.
From “Wicked” to “The Lion King,” the past 20 years have brought us dozens of Broadway shows with songs we can’t stop singing. On Friday, July 21, that music comes to Artpark with the help of the BPO and three phenomenal vocalists. “Broadway Today” features music from “Beautiful,” “Mamma Mia,” and an entire medley of songs from Disney’s series of smash Broadway hits, as well as music from Broadway mainstays like “Cabaret” and “The Sound of Music.”
The capstone to the summer is enLIGHTen: a celebration of the successful completion of the first phase of the redevelopment at the Richardson Olmsted Campus. One of only a handful of National Historic Landmarks in Buffalo, the Richardson sat empty for decades before the multi-million dollar renovation which converted it into a hotel, conference center, and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center. This free concert takes place on Friday, July 28 at 9 p.m. on the South Lawn of the Richardson. Western New York visual artists Projex, with artistic direction by Keith Harrington, are designing and choreographing a light show using the latest in light mapping technology to transform the Richardson towers. JoAnn Falletta will conduct the BPO in music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and more. This BPO’s performance is made possible through a Regional Economic Development Council Arts Implementation grant from the New York State Council for the Arts with additional support from Iroquois Bar Corporation and National Grid.

Summer traditions continue

On July 1, the BPO will headline the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival with a “Pirates and Princesses” program. Featuring music from “Pirates of the Carribean,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Frozen,” this event provides an opportunity to enjoy the Ellicottville summer experience. July 3 is the BPO’s traditional Independence Eve concert, following the 6 p.m. Bisons game at Coca-Cola Field, and concluding with the biggest fireworks show of the Bisons’ season. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus joins forces with the orchestra in the classic Western New York event, conducted by Stefan Sanders.

Free concerts in Western New York’s parks

The BPO will perform a number of free concerts throughout Western New York this summer. Stefan Sanders will conduct each concert. The varied and crowd-pleasing programs feature music celebrating the lives and legacies of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher; the fortieth anniversary of the Star Wars franchise; the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal; the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald; and more. John Williams’ iconic “Leia’s Theme” and “Cantina Band” are featured on the program, as is music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The free summer series is financially supported by West Herr Auto Group.
These concerts include:

  • Tuesday, June 27, 7 PM: Elmwood Village Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert Series, Bidwell Park. Sponsored by Delaware District City Councilmember Joel Feroleto and an anonymous friend.
  • Thursday, July 6, 7 PM: BPO at the North Park Academy Lawn, 780 Parkside Avenue. Sponsored by Delaware District City Councilmember Joel Feroleto.
  • Sunday, July 9, 7 PM: Niawanda Park, Tonawanda. This concert is made possible through  the support of NYS Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Tuesday, July 11, 11:45 AM: M & T Plaza Concert Series, Downtown Buffalo.
  • Wednesday, July 19, 7 PM: Clarence Town Park, Main St., Clarence. Sponsored by Kelly Schultz Antiques.

“It’s so much fun to lead these summer parks programs,” Sanders said. “It’s a quintessential summer experience for a lot of people. They bring their picnics and their lawn chairs, the kids are playing while they listen. It’s a great time for everyone and a great way to experience music. We love having the chance to come directly to our audience and to help highlight the natural beauty of Western New York.”

The BPO’s summer schedule

Tuesday, June 27, 7 PM:Elmwood Village Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert Series, Bidwell Park. Free concert.

Friday, June 30, 8 PM: The Buffalo Philharmonic and Strictly Hip Performing music by The Tragically Hip @Canalside. Presented by Consulate General of Canada and Labatt USA. $5 admission.

Saturday, July 1, 8 PM: Pirates and Princesses at the Ellicottville Music Festival, Holiday Valley Resort. Tickets are $30 and are available at

Monday, July 3, concert at 9 PM: Independence Eve Celebration at Coca-Cola Field with the Buffalo Bisons. Tickets are available at

Thursday, July 6, 7 PM: BPO at the North Park Academy Lawn, 780 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo. Free concert.

Sunday, July 9, 7 PM: Free concertat Niawanda Park.

Tuesday, July 11, 11:45 AM: The BPO performs at the freeM & T Plaza Concert Series.

Tuesday, July 18, 7 PM: Free concert on Delaware Park’s Shakespeare Hill with Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

Wednesday, July 19, 7 PM: Free concert at the Clarence Town Park.

Friday, July 21, 8 PM: Broadway Today at Artpark. Tickets available at

Friday, July 28, 9 PM: enLIGHTen at the Richardson Olmsted Campus, 44 Forest Ave., Buffalo.
For more information, visit


As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 120 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 40 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit



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The Richardson Olmsted Campus & the BPO present enLIGHTen Fri. July 28, 9 PM

The Richardson Olmsted Campus and the Buffalo Philharmonic present


Iconic architecture.  Stunning visuals. Inspiring LIVE music.

Fri. July 28, 9 PM

For Immediate Release

Ms. Corey Fabian Borenstein

Visitor Services Coordinator

Richardson Olmsted Campus

726 Exchange St., Suite 1006

Buffalo, NY 14210

Direct: (716) 601-1153



Kate Jenkins

Communications Coordinator

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

499 Franklin St.

Buffalo, NY 14201

(716) 242-7819

In celebration of the successful completion of the first phase of redevelopment at the Richardson Olmsted Campus and as a special thank you to the community for its support, the Richardson and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by JoAnn Falletta, illuminate the night and invite Western New Yorkers to witness a “first” for this region.

enLIGHTen will feature an outdoor concert on the renewed South Lawn of the Richardson. Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Rachmaninoff, and more will be choreographed to a custom-designed light show projected onto the iconic Richardson Towers.  Brilliant displays of color, images, and light will trace the history of the Richardson and reflect the music being performed.

Local projectionist crew PROJEX will design the light show, with artistic direction by Keith Harrington and partnerships with local artists and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Using the latest light mapping technology and beautiful architecture, PROJEX will transform the historic Richardson with vivid visuals and lighting, while highlighting its architectural elements and the history of the Campus.

The 145-year-old Richardson Olmsted Campus is being renewed after years of neglect. Designed by one of America’s premier architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the famed landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the building was completed in the late 1800s as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. Over the years, as mental health treatment changed and resources were diverted, the buildings and grounds began a slow deterioration.

Today, the Richardson Olmsted Campus is being transformed into a cultural amenity for the city. Key features of a massive rehabilitation and adaptive reuse project began in 2017 with Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center in the iconic Towers Building and two flanking buildings (about one third of the campus). Future phases of renovation and landscape improvements are continuing and will be directed by the nonprofit Richardson Center Corporation.

enLIGHTen will spotlight the history of the Richardson as a place of healing and innovative treatment. It will feature music by famous composers who lived with mental illness and created astounding music, often finding healing properties in their work.

This event is FREE and open to the public. More details will soon be available at The BPO’s performance at this event is made possible in part through a Regional Economic Development Council Arts Implementation grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, with additional support from Iroquois Bar Corporation and National Grid.


About the Richardson Olmsted Campus

One of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 145-year-old Richardson Olmsted Campus is home to a hotel, conference center, and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center, key features of a massive rehabilitation and adaptive reuse project.

The Campus was originally built as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane and was the remarkable achievement of three geniuses: the great American architect Henry Hobson Richardson; Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape design; and Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, innovative psychiatrist and father of the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2006, the Richardson Center Corporation (RCC) was formed with a mandate to save the buildings and bring the Campus back to life through a New York State appropriation. Today, the RCC works to explore future uses for this impressive landmark.

About the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning BPO led by JoAnn Falletta presents Classics, Pops, Rock, Kids, Youth and summer concerts reaching more than 200,000 people each year.

The BPO was founded in 1935. During the Great Depression, the orchestra was initially supported by funds from the Works Progress Administration and the Emergency Relief Bureau. Over the decades, the orchestra found outstanding leadership with conductors including Lukas Foss, Michael Tilson Thomas, Julius Rudel, and Semyon Bychkov. Countless distinguished guest performers have graced the stage, including Igor Stravinsky, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Van Cliburn, Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma.

Since 1940, the orchestra’s permanent home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen with an international reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States.


Projex combines more than ten years of electronic music experience with elements of video, music, projection and art. Using light mapping technology, Projex blurs the lines between audio and visual.

Projex is known for its poetic approach to storytelling through manipulating digital media, music, and video projection. Projex has shared the stage with Bonobo and Diplo among others, and most recently, Flux Pavilion at the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Buffalo is the canvas where Projex drops electronica, produces multi-sensory art installations, and enhances environmental surroundings with light mapping projections. Projex is constantly evolving, creating and inspiring through sight and sound.

About Buffalo Audio Visual

BAV is a multiple-award winning Audio Visual Rental, Staging and Production Company. Founded in 1988, BAV has been servicing a prestigious list of National Association, Corporate, and Government clientele and exceeding their expectations with an unmatched level of service, experience, industry knowledge, and attention to detail. BAV is the gold standard in conference and event production.

Travelling throughout the United States and Canada, BAV offers the complete package of conference, meeting, and special event services including state of the art audio, video, computer, and lighting equipment as well as custom scenic stage set designs. Its management and staff take the time to understand our clients’ goals, missions, objectives, programs, and personnel and actually function as an extension of their staff, rather than being just a vendor.





BPO season puts America in the spotlight, Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News

Timpani roll, please. And better beat the snare drum, too.

The theme of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017-2018 season, just announced, is America.

The Classics season kicks off on Sept. 16 with a rare appearance by German superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, playing Tchaikovsky. But after that, the orchestra begins a two-week celebration of American masters. From then on it’s full speed ahead, as the BPO perform some of the best music of both the Old and New Worlds.

“What was in my mind was America – a tribute to our country, this year,” said JoAnn Falletta, the BPO’s music director.

She pointed out that 2018 marks the 100th birthday anniversary of Leonard Bernstein, a milestone that sparked the tribute.

“Every American musician has been inspired by him, by this extraordinarily gifted American who was known all over the world as a composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, lecturer — he was just amazing. So there is this thread of American classics, of American masters, throughout the season. We’re looking back on the greatest composers of the last 100 years, and honoring them.”

Bernstein played a unique part in the evolution of music in America.

“He was so generous to composers, so helpful to young composers to create an America that would survive,” she said. “He was so generous to composers. He and Aaron Copland were so helpful to young composers to create an America that would survive. We start to see a real American music that’s so distinct, like a shining light to our country, not able to be imitated anywhere in the world.”

Copland’s Symphony No. 3 is in the offing. So is “The Grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofe, a lovely classic more famous in the ’50s than now. A Gershwin program spotlights the in-demand young pianist Conrad Tao. Another much-talked-about pianist, Charlie Albright, is also playing Gershwin.

Dennis Kim, the BPO’s concertmaster, is performing a violin concerto by Philip Glass. Grammy-winning electric bass player Victor Wooten, known for his association with Bela Fleck, will be joining the BPO to perform a concerto he wrote.

BPO Concertmaster Dennis Kim is featured in Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1 in a program that includes Bernstein’s Three Dances from “On the Town,” and Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite.” 8 p.m. Oct. 7, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 8:

European classics also shine throughout the season, and provide an ongoing juxtaposition.

Former BPO Music Director Maximiano Valdes is conducting Tchaikovsky and Lalo. Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist, is performing Saint-Saens. Chopin’s bittersweet Second Piano Concerto; Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony; Brahms’ glorious Symphony No. 1; Schumann’s Piano Concerto; Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin”; Respighi’s thrilling “The Pines of Rome”; Richard Strauss’ capricious “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” — they’re all on tap this season, as is Carl Orff’s ever-popular “Carmina Burana.” (See schedule below.)

But the American thread surfaces, again and again – sometimes in subtle ways.

Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy” will be performed by famed violist Roberto Diaz on an extremely rare Stradivarius viola once owned by Buffalo music patron Cameron Baird. Alex Jokipii, the BPO’s principal trumpet, is performing a concerto by a Finnish composer. Jokipii left Finland to come to America. The seasons ends with the beautiful “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff, who sought refuge in America after fleeing the Bolsheviks in Russia.

Poignantly, a concert in April 2018 pairs Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony with a work by Peter Boyer that explores Ellis Island.

“I was thinking about people coming to America, becoming citizens, living here, and raising their families here,” Falletta said. “Buffalo is a shining example of that. Boyer’s Ellis Island piece is a dramatic piece with actors and visuals. We’re going to get the community involved.”

Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, who will be beginning his third season with the BPO, shares her inspiration. The Pops concerts, too, shine with American identity.

“It’s about the diversity of the American musical expression,” Russell said. “What makes pops so special, people ask? Pops is about American musical experience clothed in orchestral colors. About the meeting of European tradition and American tradition. When you think  about the things America will always be known for, music is at No. 1. The reason the music is amazing is that we’ve opened the doors for all cultures to come here. It’s not a melting pot,” he emphasized. “It’s a mosaic.”

The season itself opens with a blast of American pop culture, with the orchestra accompanying excerpts from Disney’s “Fantasia.” In a new twist, Russell is also conducting a Halloween-themed Cirque de la Symphonie event.  Another twist is in store for “John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops.” The extravaganza will feature “The Polar Express,” with the gorgeously illustrated book accompanied by the rich score from the movie.

Latin music gets the limelight when the BPO welcomes the Mambo Kings. The sound of Harlem in the 1920s comes alive in a tribute to Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway featuring Byron Stripling. A singer and tap dancer will help re-create the atmosphere of the Cotton Club.

And in what promises to be a boisterous event, April 2018 will bring “Buffalo Sings.” The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus join the BPO and other choirs to celebrate, as the BPO puts it, the songs we all love to sing. The audience gets to sing along. Online auditions beforehand will help determine the “Buffalo Sings” champion, who will ultimately sing native son Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” with the orchestra.

Russell is conducting a good portion of the pops concerts, and is emotionally involved with all of them.

“You look at the totality of season, we’ve got jazz and blues and rock and Hollywood and animation, and this is all about the American musical experience,” Russell said. “And how we take the summation of the parts of individuals together are not as great as the summation. It’s what we’re always going to be known for around the world in terms of our ethos. Specifically, it’s strength through diversity. We’ve opened the doors to everyone.”

Seen side by side, the classics and pops seasons add up to what promises to be a grand adventure. Starting Sept. 16, when the BPO opens the doors for Anne-Sophie Mutter, the orchestra is going for excitement.

Mutter, who was a protégé of the legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan, is a jet setting figure known both for her adventurous musicianship and strapless gowns.

“She’s very glamorous,” Falletta said. “I don’t know if you’d say the first superstar violinist, but the epitome of the superstar violinist.” Falletta added that Mutter touched off a fashion of strapless gowns among violinists. “She wanted to feel the vibrations of the violin against her skin rather than against the dress. Once she started to wear a sheath, without shoulders, everyone imitated it.”

This will not be Mutter’s debut with the BPO. She was here once before, Falletta pointed out. Mutter played Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in 1988 under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, who was then the orchestra’s music director.

Falletta said the BPO has been trying for years to arrange an encore performance

“It had to be right, at a time when she could manage to come here,” she said. “She was so excited about it, that we could make it work.”

Here is the schedule. For tickets or info on BPO events, call 885-5000 or visit


8 p.m. Sept. 16: Anne-Sophie Mutter is the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto for the BPO’s season-opening gala. Also, Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances” and Weiner’s Hungarian Folk Dance Suite.

10:30 a.m. Sept. 29, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 1: Pianist Charlie Albright joins the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Also, Duke Ellington’s “New World A-Comin’,” John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” and Copland’s Symphony No. 3.

8 p.m. Oct. 7, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 8: Concertmaster Dennis Kim is featured in Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1. Also, Bernstein’s Three Dances from “On the Town,” and Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite.”

8 p.m. Oct. 21, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22: Electric bass player Victor Wooten joins the BPO, the chorus and Stefan Sanders in Wooten’s “The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass.” Also, music from Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” and the Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s “Prince Igor.”

8 p.m. Nov. 4, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5: Pianist Konrad Skolarski joins the orchestra in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  Also, Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.”

10:30 a.m. Nov. 17, 8 p.m. Nov. 18: Maximiano Valdes, former BPO music director, leads the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s “The Tempest”; Lalo’s Cello Concerto, Liadov’s “The Enchanted Lake,” and Debussy’s “La Mer.” Julian Schwartz is the cello soloist.

8 p.m. Dec. 2, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3: Andre Raphael conducts Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin”; Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony; and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, with soloist Arnaud Sussmann.

10:30 a.m. Dec. 8, 8 p.m. Dec. 9: The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus joins the BPO for “JoAnn’s Classical Christmas.”

10:30 a.m. Jan. 12, 8 p.m. Jan. 13, 2018: Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist, is soloist in Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1. Also, “Iberia” from Debussy’s “Images,” and Ravel’s “Bolero.”

8 p.m. Jan. 27, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 28: Andrew Bisantz conducts a Mozart birthday celebration featuring vocal selections from his great operas.

8 p.m. Feb. 10, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 11: Violinist Elina Vahala is the soloist in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Also, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

10:30 a.m. Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Feb. 24, 2018: Rebecca Miller conducts Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, with Fei-Fei Dong as soloist. Also, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, and Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.”

8 p.m. March 10, 2:30 p.m. March 11, 2018: Pianist Conrad Tao performs Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Also, Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Aaron Jay Kernis’ “Musica Celestis,” and the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”

10:30 a.m. April 6, 8 p.m. April 7, 2018: Ward Store conducts Dvorak’s Violin Concerto, with Tessa Lark as soloist. Also, Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, “Tragic”; and Three Dances from Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.”

8 p.m. April 21, 2:30 p.m. April 22, 2018: Lawrence Loh leads the BPO in Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony and Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island.”

10:30 a.m. May 4, 8 p.m. May 5, 2018: Violist Roberto Diaz is soloist in a concert comprising Verdi’s Overture to “La Forza del Destino”; Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy”; Martucci’s “Notturno”; and Respighi’s “Roman Festivals.”

8 p.m. May 12, 2:30 p.m. May 13, 2018: Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and Kuusisto’s Trumpet Concerto, with Alex Jokipii, soloist.

8 p.m. June 2, 2:30 p.m. June 3, 2018: Pianist Benedetto Lupo is soloist in Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” Also, Pizzetti’s Three Symphonic Preludes from Sophocles “Oedipus Rex”; and Respighi’s “The Fountains of Rome” and “The Pines of Rome.”


8 p.m. Sept. 23: John Morris Russell conducts “Disney  ‘Fantasia’: Live in Concert.”

8 p.m. Oct. 14: Stefan Sanders conducts Latin music featuring the Mambo Kings.

10:30 a.m. Oct. 27, 8 p.m. Oct. 28: Russell conducts Cirque de la Symphonie.

8 p.m. Nov. 11: Stefan Sanders conducts a tribute to Neil Diamond.

10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 15; 8 p.m. Dec. 16; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17: John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops.


8 p.m. Jan. 20, 2018: Byron Stripling, “A Night at the Cotton Club.” Stripling has worked with the Count Basie Orchestra and the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck.

8 p.m. Feb. 3: Stefan Sanders, resident conductor, conducts “Piano Panache,” a concert featuring piano man and singer Tony DeSare in music by Elton John, Billy Joel, John Lennon and others, in addition to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

10:30 a.m. Feb. 16; 8 p.m. Feb. 17: Sanders conducts a concert featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

8 p.m. March 3, 2018: Russell conducts “A Night at the Oscars,” Oscar-winning music from the movies including “Ben-Hur”; “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and “Titanic”; as well as “Star Wars” films. Patrons are invited to walk the BPO’s Red Carpet and meet Russell at an Oscars party after the concert.

8 p.m. April 14, 2018: Russell conducts “Buffalo Sings!”

10:30 a.m. April 27, 8 p.m. April 28, 2018: Sanders conducts A.J. Swearingen and Jayne Kelli in a tribute to James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jackson Browne, and other great 1970s singer/songwriters.

10:30 a.m. May 25, 8 p.m. May 26, 2018: Sanders conducts “Star-Spangled Spectacular.”

Buffalo Philharmonic’s 2017-18 season celebrates the power of music around the world and our American musical heritage

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017-18 season will feature a celebration of America’s musical heritage to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, a theme that’s evident in both the M&T Bank Classics Series and the KeyBank Pops Series.

For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
“It’s a very exciting time at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra,” said music director JoAnn Falletta. “This past season has been marked by high-quality programs, positive press coverage, and enthusiastic support from the community. Each year, we build on the previous year’s success, and we’ve got a great deal to look forward to in the coming season.”

Anne-Sophie Mutter kicks off season
The BPO’s 2017-18 season begins on Sept. 16 with renowned European violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Mutter is a four-time Grammy award winner who has dazzled audiences all over the world since her debut at age 13. She supports up-and-coming artists through her Friends of Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, and has had numerous new works dedicated to her. Mutter’s North American appearances are rare, and she has not performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic since 1989 when she joined the Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto on a program which will also include Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Weiner’s Hungarian Folk Dance Suite. JoAnn Falletta will conduct.
The Opening Night Gala takes place the same evening, and features pre-concert cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner by Oliver’s, premium concert seating, and a post-concert dessert reception. The Gala is sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation. Proceeds benefit the BPO’s education programs.

M&T Bank Classics Series contrasts American classics with European masterworks

As a student at Juilliard, Falletta had an opportunity to learn from the great Leonard Bernstein on several occasions, which she described as strongly influential.

“He showed us that the true meaning of music lay not in the veneer of technical perfection but in the beating heart of the deepest human emotion,” she said of the experience.

With the centennial of Bernstein’s birth in 2018, she has programmed a season to pay tribute not only to him, but to other great American composers who have brought classical music into the modern era.
The first two M&T Bank Classics concerts are devoted to celebrating American masters. On Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, Pianist Charlie Albright will be the featured soloist in “Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue.” In addition to Gershwin’s quintessentially American “Rhapsody in Blue,” the program also features Copland’s Symphony No. 3 which gave birth to his revered Fanfare for the Common Man, Ellington’s “New World A-Comin’,” and John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine.” The following week’s concert on Oct. 7 and 8 features BPO concertmaster Dennis Kim in Phillip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1. The program also includes Bernstein’s Three Dances from “On the Town” and Ferde Grofe’s beloved “Grand Canyon Suite.”
Five-time Grammy-winning bassist Victor Wooten continues the American theme. A founding member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, he was named one of the top ten bassists of all time by Rolling Stone. With acclaimed composer Conni Ellisor, he has penned “The Bass Whisperer: Concertofor Electric Bass,” which he will perform in his Oct. 21 and 22 BPO debut led by Resident Conductor Stefan Sanders.
Two more American programs are slated for the second half of the season. On March 10 and 11, composer/pianist Conrad Tao returns to perform Gershwin’s Concerto in F on a program that includes Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story.” On April 21 and 22, “Journey to the New World” makes a profound statement about what it means to be American. The program features Dvorak’s iconic Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” and a contemporary work, “Ellis Island,” by Peter Boyer. This multimedia work includes actors and video in an exploration of the immigrant experience, using text and images from the Ellis Island Project. Premiered in 2002, it’s been performed more than 160 times, including at the Chautauqua Institution, and has been seen by an estimated 200,000 people.
The 2017-18 Classics season does not neglect the European grand masters, nor does it ignore emerging voices from around the world. The BPO’s own principal cellist Roman Mekinulov will be in the spotlight on Jan. 12 and 13, performing Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 on a program that includes Ravel’s beloved Bolero. Next season’s celebration of Mozart’s birthday will focus on his operatic works, including selections from “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” and “Cosi fan tutte.” Five singers from the Juilliard Young Artist program and a narrator will join the BPO in this captivating presentation from some of Mozart’s most popular operas. On Feb. 10 and 11, Finnish violinist Elina Vahala returns to Buffalo to perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto on a program that includes the treasured “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov, and a fifteen-minute symphony by Chinese-American composer Wang Jie, which she describes as “a journey from yearning and tempest to peace.”
A major season highlight will come on May 12 and 13 with “Carmina Burana.” Orff’s tremendously popular, dramatic work for chorus and orchestra is often used in films, television, and commercials. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus is featured. It’s paired with a world premiere of Finnish composer Jaakko Kuusisto’s Trumpet Concerto, written for BPO Principal Trumpet Alex Jokipii. Jokipii and Kuusisto studied together in Finland, and reconnected in 2015 at FinnFest, where the idea for the work was born.
At the end of the 2017-18 season, the BPO will record Ottorino Respighi’s most popular works for the Naxos label. On May 4 and 5, the composer’s “Roman Festivals” will be part of a musical journey through Italy, featuring violist Roberto Diaz in Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy.” Diaz is the president and CEO of The Curtis Institute, and he customarily plays the very viola used in the premiere of “Harold in Italy.” However, for this concert, he will play one of only 13 extant Stradivarius violas, the 1690 Tuscan-Medici, commissioned by Cosimo III de’Medici and owned by Cameron Baird, founder of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and the UB Music Department, and co-founder of the BPO.
The final concert of the year on June 2 and 3 will feature both Respighi’s “The Fountains of Rome” and “The Pines of Rome.” Pianist Benedetto Lupo joins in this tribute to Italy, performing Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganinni.”
Other season highlights include a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4; Tessa Lark’s performance of Dvorak’s Violin Concerto; the return of former BPO music director Maximiano Valdes to lead the BPO in Debussy’s “La Mer;” violinist Arnaud Sussmann’s BPO debut with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, one of the most popular concertos in the repertoire; and the first performance in decades of Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” on a program that includes Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. The season also features the BPO debuts of conductors Ward Stare, music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, on April 6 and 7, and Lawrence Loh, conductor of Syracuse’s Symphoria, on April 21 and 22.

KeyBank Pops Series features celebrations of Hollywood, jazz, swing and rock n’roll

John Morris Russell
enters his third season as BPO Principal Pops Conductor with an exciting and varied season that echoes the American theme of the classics series, with tributes to American film, jazz, swing and rock.
“Pops is all about the panoply of the American musical experience, bathed in the vibrant orchestral colors of the BPO…the diverse array of musical styles we present throughout the 2017-18 season are thrilling and virtuosic-it’s going to be a wild ride!” Russell said.
The season kicks off with “Disney Live in Concert: Fantasia.” Featuring scenes from both “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000,” audiences will re-live Mickey Mouse’s struggles as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and experience the beauty of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.” Russell leads this concert in his inimitable style.
The BPO celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 14 with one of today’s leading Latin jazz groups: The Mambo Kings. The Rochester-based group incorporates music by artists as diverse as The Beatles, Tito Puente and Astor Piazzola into their show.
Russell returns to the podium on Oct. 27 and 28 with the astounding Cirque de la Symphonie performing a Halloween-inspired concert. This highly-acclaimed group provides entertainment on and high above the Kleinhans stage. Made up of veterans of cirque-style shows from around the world, the troupe will add a new dimension to classical and popular music.
On Feb. 3, Tony DeSare lends his romantic, swinging and sensual style, and outstanding vocal talents to music by Elton John, Billy Joel and Ray Charles in a concert which culminates with Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
The Pops turns rock ‘n roll for two concerts next year. On Nov. 11, Super Diamond brings the Neil Diamond concert experience to the symphony hall, with a full band led by Randy Cordero, aka, Surreal Neil, performing hits like “Sweet Caroline, “America,” and more. AJ Swearingen captured Buffalo’s heart when he performed in the 2015 “Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel” show. He returns with Jayne Kelli in a new show, “Fire and Rain,” featuring iconic singer-songwriters such as James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
You can’t celebrate American popular music without including swing. On Jan. 20, Buffalo favorite Byron Stripling brings “A Night at the Cotton Club” to the Kleinhans stage. Stripling has worked with The Count Basie Orchestra and the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck. He sings, plays trumpet, and leads this concert, which will also feature a singer and tap dancer, in music inspired by the famed Cotton Club in its heyday when Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway performed there. The Glenn Miller Orchestra returns on Feb. 16 and 17. The band that made “Moonlight Serenade” a standard brings its signature sound to Kleinhans once again.
John Morris Russell brings two one-of-a-kind programs to the BPO next season. On March 3, “A Night at the Oscars” celebrates the best of movie music: Miklos Rozsa’s 1959 score to “Ben Hur;” Henry Mancini’s smooth “Moon River,” which found its way from the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” soundtrack to the American songbook; James Horner’s score for “Titanic;” and John Williams’ decades of work with the “Star Wars” franchise. Patrons will have the opportunity to walk the BPO’s Red Carpet and stay for an Oscars after-party and meet John Morris Russell.
On April 14, the entire community will be part of the action with “Buffalo Sings.” The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus joins with the BPO and other spectacular Western New York vocal ensembles to celebrate the songs we all love to sing. The audience will get to sing along throughout the show. In the lead-up to the concert, the BPO will be on the hunt for the talented Western New Yorker who will become the “Buffalo Sings” champion and make their BPO debut at this concert.The search will focus on the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” composed by Buffalo native, Harold Arlen.


The KeyBank Pops season concludes with the traditional Star-Spangled Spectacular. Stefan Sanders leads the BPO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in this celebration of all things American, just in time for Memorial Day.



Start your weekend at the BPO at a Friday morning Coffee Concert

presented by Elderwood


When the BPO started offering Friday morning concerts more than ten years ago, it was hard to foresee how popular they’d become. Today, the Coffee Concert Series is well-attended by groups from churches, communities, and schools. With complimentary coffee and doughnuts available in the Mary Seaton Room an hour before the 10:30 a.m. concerts, these events have a social dimension valued by their patrons.
This season, there will be twelve concerts presented on Friday mornings:

Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue, Friday, Sept. 29
Cirque de la Symphonie, Friday, Oct. 27
Debussy’s La Mer, Friday, Nov. 17
JoAnn’s Classical Christmas, Friday Dec. 8
John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops, Friday Dec. 15
Bolero! Friday, Jan. 12
Glenn Miller Orchestra, Friday, Feb. 16
Schumann & Beethoven, Friday, Feb. 23
Dvorak’s Violin, Friday, April 6
Fire and Rain with AJ Swearingen and Jayne Kelli, Friday, April 27
Viva Italia, Friday, May 4
Star-Spangled Spectacular, Friday, May 25

BPO For the Holidays

The holiday season is the most anticipated time of year at the BPO, with many families maintaining concert-going traditions for decades. Next season, JoAnn Falletta will be on the podium for Classical Christmas on Dec. 8 and 9. John Morris Russell, “Mr. Christmas” himself, has a special treat planned for Holiday Pops: a reading of “The Polar Express,” with the book’s illustrations projected above the orchestra, while the BPO plays the gorgeous score from the film. However, this is only one of many holiday treats planned for the concerts taking place on Dec. 15, 16 and 17. On Dec. 10, the ever-popular Jingle Bell Jam will delight families with young children as part of the BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids series.

The BPO’s New Look

The BPO will have a fresh new look for the new season. Crowley Webb and designer David Buck donated their services to the BPO to help rebrand the Orchestra. After several months of research and design, the orchestra unveils its new logo along with the new season.

“I am very excited about our new logo because it vividly reflects the heart of our organization — our wonderful musicians,” said Falletta.  “They — and their music — resound in the logo and reach out to the audience with energy, color and joy.”


Subscribe now for best seats

As always, a subscription to the BPO is your best value. Patrons who subscribe save substantially on handling fees, lock in their seats early, and get the first chance to add other concerts to their package before the general public. With Western New York’s most flexible ticket exchange policy, your tickets can change when your schedule does. Single tickets will go on sale for all events on August 12, 2017.

Subscription packages range from as few as five concerts to full seasons of Classics and Pops. To subscribe, call (716) 885-5000 or visit today.

The BPO is grateful to its sponsors:

In honor of Carl V. Mazzio, April 18, 1963 – Jan. 17, 2017

Carl V. Mazzio of Snyder was the principal trombone of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995 to 2001, when he was forced to retire due to a medical condition. He died on January 17, 2017.

Hailing from Portland, Ore., he graduated from Sunset High School in Beaverton, Ore. Following high school he received his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music, and his Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While a student, he performed with National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, Roundtop Festival and at Tanglewood.

Mr. Mazzio was in his sixteenth year at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he was on staff as trombone instructor, Wind Symphony conductor, All College Band conductor and Fredonia Trombone Choir musical director.

While at Fredonia, he conducted over five hundred compositions, comprising much of the major band repertoire. He also acted as interim conductor for the University at Buffalo Concert Band numerous times. He was an active honor band clinician throughout New York State and a regular adjudicator at various festivals and competitions. Mr. Mazzio directed the Jazz Band at Williamsville East High School, and taught at DaVinci High School, Buffalo City Schools. He was a fellow at the 2007 Conductor’s Institute at Bard College and was the only American conductor selected to participate in the 2012 Sherborne Summer School, directed by Timothy Reynish in Sherborne, England. He has also participated in the conducting symposiums of Eugene Corporon, Mallory Thompson, Gary Hill, Craig Kirchhoff and Paula Holcomb. Additionally, he taught a full private brass studio at his residence in Snyder.

He had the privilege to work with many orchestral conductors and musicians including Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, Mstislav Rostropovich, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Doc Severinsen, Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett.

Mr. Mazzio recorded on the NAXOS label and was a featured soloist on numerous occasions. Most notable was his performance of the Leopold Mozart trombone concerto, the first trombone concerto programmed in the orchestra’s history. Prior to this, he held the same position with the New Haven Symphony (1990-94). He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, American Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Sacramento Symphony, San Francisco Brass Quintet, Hartford Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Minoria (Mexico City), Carmel Bach Festival (CA), California Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi (New York City), Bard Festival, at the Evian Festival (Evian, France), Fantasy Recording Studios (Berkeley, CA), on NBC’s Wide World of Sports, and for Pope John Paul II at Candlestick Park.

He enjoyed spending time with his son Clark and girlfriend Julie. He also took pleasure in hiking, wine, cars and spending time with family in Colorado and Maine.

The Carl Mazzio Memorial Trombone Scholarship is being established in his honor to be given to a trombone student studying at SUNY Fredonia.

Buffalo Philharmonic string quartet celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and legacy: Quartet to visit four East Side churches in two weeks

BUFFALO, NY – Four members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform during services in several East Side churches in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to raise awareness of the BPO’s new Diversity Council.

On Jan. 15 – King’s actual birthday – they will perform at 10 a.m. at Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St. and at 10:30 a.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St. On Jan. 29, they will perform at 9:30 a.m. at True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St. and at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St.

String quartet members Amy Licata(violin I), Diana Sachs (violin II), Janz Castelo (viola) and Robbie Hausmann (cello) will play Licata’s arrangements of gospel hymns as part of morning worship at each church. BPO Diversity Council co-chairs Otis N. Glover and Rev. Melody Rutherford will introduce the quartet to the congregation at each performance, increasing awareness of the newly-formed Council in the process.

“Community outreach is critical at the BPO,” said Robin Parkinson, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “Last spring, we formalized the commitment to diversity we’ve had for many years by forming this diversity council, but many people aren’t aware of it yet. These performances are an opportunity to not only extend a hand of welcome to the African-American community in Buffalo, but to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all that he has meant to every American.”

“As co-chairs of the BPO Diversity Council, we wholeheartedly support the BPO’s efforts to reach a more diverse audience. Since many congregations will be celebrating the continuing legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during their Sunday morning worship services and will already be immersed in the beauty of music, we look forward to engaging them along with the string quartet. The uplifting atmosphere the faith community provides will allow us the perfect opportunity to share the dynamic mission of the council,” Otis N. Glover and Rev. Melody Rutherford said.

The formation of the Diversity Council places the BPO at the vanguard of a national movement to diversify the American classical music scene. The Council will help the orchestra work towards the goals of featuring artists of color (soloists, conductors, composers) in concerts; creating programs tied to community events and history that are relevant to diverse audiences; establishing collaborative partnerships with diverse organizations; supporting music education in under-served areas and encouraging broad participation in music programs; and seeking diversity at all levels of the organization including the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and the orchestra itself.

Buffalo Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra performs two January concerts under baton of Dennis Kim East Aurora, Clarence churches to host Bach and Vivaldi concerts

BUFFALO, NY – Two Western New York communities will get the chance to hear the BPO in their own backyards this winter.

The BPO Chamber Orchestra will perform at Nativity Lutheran Church in East Aurora on January 11 and at Clarence Presbyterian Church on January 12. Both concerts begin at 7:30 PM. Concertmaster Dennis Kim will conduct the program, and is the featured soloist on Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe, along with new Principal Oboe Henry Ward.

This will mark Ward’s first solo appearance since assuming this role. He became Acting Principal Oboe in January 2015, and won the permanent role through the audition process in June 2015. Kim is also a relative newcomer to the BPO and Western New York, assuming the role of concertmaster at the start of the 2015-2016 season.  While Kim conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic during his performance of “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” in December 2015, this is his first time developing and leading a full program for the orchestra.

“This is something I’ve been interested in doing for a long time,” said Kim. “I programmed Baroque-era music because we so rarely get to perform it – the full symphonic orchestra didn’t come into vogue until more recently. But it’s some of the most beloved and enduring music ever written. We played well-received concerts in Clarence and East Aurora over the summer, and we look forward to returning. I hope these concerts are well attended and popular so we can have more opportunities to play this kind of repertoire in the future.”

“I’m excited about this piece because we’re both playing against each other and leading the orchestra without a conductor, which is very different from what you might see at Kleinhans. It will be a much more intimate experience, and we’re excited as well,” said Ward.

General admission tickets are $15 each, with a student price of $10, and can be purchased by calling (716) 885-5000 or visiting

Eminent Polish conductor/composer to lead Buffalo Philharmonic: Krzysztof Penderecki to guest-conduct Dec. 3 and 4

BUFFALO, NY – Poland’s most eminent classical music figure is coming to Buffalo.

Krzysztof Penderecki will guest-conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 8 p.m. Saturday Dec. 3 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in a concert titled “Poland’s Maestro.” The centerpiece of the program is Penderecki’s own Concerto for Violin and Cello, featuring BPO Concertmaster Dennis Kim and BPO Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov as soloists. The program also includes Beethoven’s Overture to “Creatures of Prometheus” and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7.

“Maestro Penderecki  is one of the most vibrant and profound composers of our time, truly a world treasure. He has honored our city, our orchestra and our audience by accepting our invitation. The musicians and I are eager to welcome him and his wife to Buffalo,” BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta said.

Penderecki has enjoyed a five-decade career as a composer and conductor. His “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” earned the UNESCO prize. He has been awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest honor. He has earned multiple Grammy and Emmy awards, as well as recognitions from the governments of Latvia, Luxembourg, and Armenia. Many of his works touch on historical themes and were written to commemorate important anniversaries, such as the “Hymn to St. Adalbert,” commissioned for the millennial anniversary of Gdansk, and the Polish Requiem, written for the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II. Others appear in noted films, such as “The Shining,” “The Exorcist,” “Children of Men,” and “Shutter Island.” He has taught and conducted all over the world.

The Buffalo Philharmonic long has championed Penderecki’s works. In 1968, they recorded his “Capriccio for Violin and Orchestra” and “De Natura Sonoris” for the Nonesuch label under the baton of Lukas Foss. In the same year, they gave “Capriccio” its New York City premiere at Carnegie Hall. BPO Principal Horn Jacek Muzyk recently performed Penderecki’s “Winterreise: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra” at a concert paying tribute to Polish composers.

This is the first time Penderecki has guest-conducted the BPO. When JoAnn Falletta conducted in Poland two years ago, she and several orchestra representatives met with Penderecki to discuss the potential appearance. With a strong and musically interested Polish population in Western New York, it was a natural connection.

Earlier in the week, the Buffalo Chamber Players will present an all-Penderecki concert. “An Evening with Krzysztof Penderecki” takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The ensemble, founded by BPO violist Janz Castelo, features many Buffalo Philharmonic musicians. Penderecki will be an honored guest at the event.

“Poland’s Maestro” takes place at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo. Tickets range from $29 to $82, with student tickets available for $11. To purchase, visit or call (716) 885-5000. For tickets to “An Evening with Krzysztof Penderecki,” contact the Albright-Knox Art Gallery at (716) 270-8292 or visit  and choose “Buffalo Chamber Players at the AK” under “Programs.”