Buffalo Philharmonic leads Western New York cultural institutions in celebration of composer Charles Ives

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


BUFFALO, NY – For one week in April, American composer Charles Ives will be everywhere in Western New York.

The Burchfield Penney Art Gallery, University at Buffalo, and Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries will join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in exploring the life and music of the man who is considered to be America’s first great classical composer from April 8-14, 2015.


The featured event of the week-long exploration will be the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Charles Ives: An American Maverick” concert held at Kleinhans Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11 and repeated at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12. An audiovisual presentation written and produced by Joe Horowitz with video artist Peter Bogdanovich, will complement the music performed, delving into Ives’ life and examining his place in American intellectual heritage. Baritone William Sharp, an expert on the music of Ives, will join the orchestra in a program that includes “Variations on America,” “Five Songs,” “The Alcotts” from “A Concord Symphony,” Symphony No. 2, and Ives’ best-known work, “The Unanswered Question.” JoAnn Falletta will conduct, and there will be pre- and post-concert discussions both days.Tickets for April 11 and 12 are $29 to-$67 and available by calling (716) 885-5000 or visiting bpo.org.


Sharp and Horowitz will be in town for much of the week. Sharp will offer a free vocal master class to University at Buffalo students and interested members of the community at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 8. The class will take place in the recital hall in Baird Hall on the university’s North Campus.

At noon on Thursday, April 9, Horowitz will deliver a talk on Mark Twain and Charles Ives at the Central Branch of the Buffalo and Erie County library system. Horowitz is the Executive Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Music Unwound” consortium, which explores new templates for orchestral concerts, and infuses humanities content into music. The BPO is one of four orchestras that are part of the consortium. Horowitz’s talk, also free of charge, will explore the commonalities between the works of Ives and Twain.


Sharp will perform a free recital in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall Thursday evening at 8 p.m. Titled “Ives and Popular Song,” it delves into the ways in which Ives was influenced by the music that surrounded him. Pianist Alison D’Amato will accompany him.


At 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, the Burchfield Penney Art Center will offer an exploration of Transcendentalism, and explain how Ives and Charles Burchfield translated the ideas of Thoreau into music and visual art. Buffalo pianist Eric Huebner, who is a member of the faculty at the University at Buffalo and also the staff pianist for the New York Philharmonic, will perform Ives’ Concord Sonata, with interpolated readings by Sharp. Nancy Weekly, Head of Collections at Burchfield Penney, will lead a free talk on Burchfield and Thoreau to start the evening. Tickets to the concert are $10 for non-members and available at burchfieldpenney.org.


Buffalo’s acclaimed contemporary dance troupe, LehrerDance, will turn Burchfield Penney into a living art space at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Jon Lehrer, Artistic Director of Lehrer Dance, will re-imagine works from the company’s eclectic repertoire to be performed in various galleries of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The performance takes its inspiration from the story of Charles Ives listening to different marching bands playing simultaneously in his town square, and experiencing the resulting cluster of sounds. That evening, at 7:30 p.m., artist Emil Shult, with members of Institute For Electronic Arts at Alfred, will present a video and sound performance interpreting the songs of Charles Ives. Joining the program will be Buffluxus.


On Sunday, April 12 at 7 p.m., Buffalo’s Harmonia Chamber Singers will perform at the Burchfield Penney gallery. The ensemble has recently performed at Carnegie Hall and released a well-received recording, “Into Light.” Harmonia will perform a range of works, including a tribute to the spirit of Charles Ives. Admission is by freewill offering.


The festival will conclude with a final musical experience at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. The Slee Sinfonietta will perform a concert of works by Ives and other composers influenced by him at the University at Buffalo’s Lippes Concert Hall at Slee Hall. Brad Lubman will conduct the concert, which includes Ives’ “Three Places in New England” and “Set of Pieces for Theater or Small Orchestra;” “Piece No. 2 for small orchestra” by Conlon Nancarrow; Carl Ruggles’ “Vox clamans in deserto” and Lou Harrison’s “At the tomb of Charles Ives.” Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley is soloist. Tickets are $15; $10 for seniors. UB students are free. Call (716) 645-2921.


“We have heard from the public a great desire to learn more about classical music, and this festival is another way in which we’ve sought to fulfill that desire,” said JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the BPO. “Our participation in the “Music Unwound” consortium has inspired our successful Know The Score series, now in its third season. Ives is a composer that may be unfamiliar to many, but it is our hope that this festival will inspire greater interest in his work, and a greater understanding of the role America has played in classical music’s development.”



As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 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 32 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org



# # #