Category: Press Releases

Buffalo Philharmonic Announces 2014-15 season



Buffalo, NY – Beethoven and Rachmaninoff showcases, collaborations with the Irish Classical Theater Company and the University at Buffalo, and the energy of Broadway and The Cotton Club are just a few aspects of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s 2014-15 season.


Gala Season Opening


The season opens on Saturday, Sept. 13 with a performance by America’s most beloved soprano, Renée Fleming, returning to the Kleinhans stage for the first time in eight years. Fleming is a favorite of the opera stage and concert hall, and has performed at the 2006 Nobel Prize ceremony, the 2008 Olympic Games, and the 2014 Super Bowl. A gala evening, including dinner and a post-concert reception, will surround the concert. Sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation, the funds raised benefit the Buffalo Philharmonic’s educational programs.


M&T Bank Classics Series



The classical season opens with a two-week Rachmaninoff Festival including “The Sea and the Seagull,” “The Bells,” and “The Isle of the Dead.” Venezuelan pianist and Van Cliburn semifinalist Gabriela Martinez joins the BPO to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Buffalo favorite Fabio Bidini, who joined the BPO for their most recent recording of Marcel Tyberg’s work, is performing the Piano Concerto No. 2.


A celebration of Beethoven in the spring features blockbusters including the beloved Symphony No. 9, “Choral” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and “Emperor” piano concerto, performed by Norman Krieger. JoAnn Falletta will be on the podium for both festivals.


Each year, the BPO seeks out exciting new talent to bring to Western New York. This season, the orchestra welcomes violinist Tai Murray, Israeli cellist Amit Peled, rising star pianist Natasha Paremsky and celebrated tenor William Sharp to the Kleinhans stage for the first time.


Returning audience favorites include firebrand Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre, leading solo harpist Yolanda Kondonassis performing with Cleveland Orchestra Principal Flutist, Joshua Smith, and pianist Yoonie Han. Violinist Tim Fain performed his groundbreaking “Portals” project at the University at Buffalo last year to critical acclaim, and returns to the region to perform with the BPO. When the scheduled performer fell ill at the close of the BPO’s 2012-13 season, violinist Rachel Lee Priday stepped in to save the day. She returns to perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1.


Guest conductors include former BPO music director Maximiano Valdés; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus music director Erin Freeman who will lead the Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic in Handel’s “Messiah” for Classical Christmas;Albany Symphony Orchestra conductor David Alan Miller; and American Symphony Orchestra music director and Bard College president Leon Botstein.


The Buffalo Philharmonic will highlight two of its own. Concertmaster Michael Ludwig’s annual concerto performance has become a much-anticipated tradition. This season, he will play Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor on a concert that also features Sibelius’ “The Swan of Tuonela.” Principal French horn Jacek Muzyk will celebrate the Polish roots of Buffalo as well as his own Polish background. He will perform Penderecki’s Horn Concerto on a program featuring works by Polish composers.


This season features collaborations with area arts organizations. The Irish Classical Theatre and LehrerDance will join the BPO for a semi-staged performance of Moliere’s “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Would-Be Gentleman).” The orchestra will be performing the incidental music composed by Richard Strauss.


Charles Ives is considered to be the first famous American composer. He was influenced by the Transendentalist movement, by American popular music movements like ragtime and Tin Pan Alley, and by the European Modernist movement. His work has challenged and polarized audiences, but no one can deny its vital creativity. The BPO will explore his works with the “Charles Ives: An American Maverick” concerts, which includes a multimedia presentation. The Burchfield Penney Art Gallery, the Buffalo and Erie County Libraries, and the University at Buffalo are creating events around this concert exploring the work and legacy of Ives.


The Classics season ends with Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 1 in D Major, “Titan.”


BlueCross BlueShield Pops Series

 The full Pops Series is available here. 


Before Matthew Morrison won the hearts of the nation as ever-optimistic teacher Will Schuester on “Glee,” he wowed Broadway audiences with leading roles in “Hairspray,” “The Light in the Piazza,” and other shows. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk awards for his work, and has recently released a new album of standards titled “Where It All Began.” Fans of “Glee” and lovers of musicals will relish the opportunity to see him in his BPO debut on Sept. 27 as the kick-off to the BlueCross BlueShield Pops Series.


Ben Vereen is celebrated for his versatility as a performer. He originated roles in Broadway hits like “Pippin” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He starred in the classic TV miniseries “Roots,” and in the film version of “Sweet Charity,” among many others. He has won Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk awards for his work.


Megan Hilty got her start on Broadway as the understudy for Glinda in “Wicked,” and was quickly promoted to principal. She made the crossover from the Great White Way to the small screen with roles in “Bones,” “The Closer,” and “Ugly Betty.” With back-to-back roles as Ivy in “Smash” and Liz in “Sean Saves the World,” her credibility as a television star is well-established. With her BPO debut under the baton of New York Pops conductor Steven Reineke, she returns to her Broadway roots.


The BlueCross BlueShield Pops Series will offer a trip down memory lane. Supergroup The Hit Men is comprised of rock veterans who have performed with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Elton John and Kiki Dee, Cat Stevens, and Jim Croce, and will take audiences on a guided tour of rock history. Jay White captures the sound and spirit of Neil Diamond with such accuracy that fans react to him as if he were the real deal. Steve Lippia is a perennial favorite of BPO audiences and returns with his Sinatra act.


The BPO pays tribute to the all-American sounds of jazz and big band. The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been performing together since the 1960s and provides a living link to the glory days of big band music. Byron Stripling, artistic director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and singer and Broadway star Marva Hicks pay tribute to two of the best American musicians in Ella, Louis and All That Jazz. Under the baton of jazz conductor Matt Catingub, pianist Kevin Cole interprets the music of George Gershwin.


Season Tickets on sale now

Subscription packages in all sizes, from the full 17-concert Classics Master’s Series or the full 12-concert Pops Series, to convenient five-concert series  are now available. The BPO offers many different options to fit your tastes and lifestyle. Prices start at as little as $70 for new subscribers to a five-concert classical series. The BPO provides the most flexible ticket exchange program in Western New York, allowing subscribers to exchange tickets for other concerts easily. There are many other valuable benefits to subscribing, including:

  • Ticket concierge services — expert assistance for all your ticketing needs
  • Priority seating so you keep, or upgrade your seats from year to year
  • Invitations to purchase additional ticket and tickets to special events, including The Nutcracker at Shea’s, prior to the general public
  • Free ticket replacement service in the event that your tickets are lost or stolen
  • Considerably reduced handling fees for package rather than single tickets
  • BPO Perks Card – gives you access to special discounts and offers at merchants throughout Western New York
  • Subscriber-only recognition events 


Subscriber Courtesy Week is Aug. 4-8. Single tickets go on sale on Aug. 9. For more information, call (716) 885-5000 or visit  


For additional artist information and photos, visit


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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit

BPO musicians participate in benefit for children of Syria at Carnegie Hall

“Shostakovich for the Children of Syria sends into the world, and especially to our suffering sisters and brothers in Syria, the message that music can bear witness to the fundamental goodness of the human spirit in the face of oppression, deprivation, and the insane brutality of war.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Buffalo, NY – Nine months after their triumphant performance at Spring For Music, several members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will return to the Carnegie Hall stage in “Shostakovich for the Children of Syria,” presented by Music for Life International, Inc. at 8 PM Monday, Jan. 13 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Singapore-born Indian conductor George Mathew is the concert’s organizer and conductor.

The benefit concert features a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, “Leningrad.” The BPO created the world premiere recording of this piece, under the baton of William Steinberg in 1946. Shostakovich for the Children of Syria will take place one week before the Geneva II conference on Syria convened by the United Nations,on January 22, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Net proceeds from the concert will benefit Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

Buffalo Philharmonic musicians Deborah Greitzer (violin), Glenn Einschlag (bassoon), and Brian Greene (oboe) will be joined onstage by musicians from New York Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as their colleagues from other international orchestras and ensembles; students and faculty of The Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, Curtis Institute, and other major music academies.

The concert opens with Syrian clarinetist and composer, Kinan Azmeh, performing his own “Sabah Hazeen, Kul Sabah” (A Sad Morning, Every Morning) for Solo Clarinet. He wrote the piece in 2012 when the uprising was a year old and describes the work as “a little prayer for home, dedicated to all those who have fallen in Syria.”

“I am very proud of our three musicians who have been chosen to perform in this concert,” said BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “Music has the power to give voice to the voiceless, and to shake people out of their day-to-day routines and make them think about larger issues. It’s important for us as musicians to use our talents not only to entertain and educate, but to make the world a better place.”

Shostakovich himself described this Seventh Symphony as “about all the forms of terror, slavery, the bondage of the spirit” and as “the victory of light over darkness, of humanity over barbarism, of reason over reaction.”

Speaking about the concert, Mathew noted,”Dmitri Shostakovich’s searing Seventh Symphony ‘Leningrad’ was written during its own composer’s experience as an internal refugee while surviving the twin ordeals of Stalin’s oppression and the urban catastrophe, which was the Nazi army’s 900-day siege of Leningrad. There are uncanny resonances between the context of Shostakovich’s monumental symphony and the Syrian Civil War, now past the tragically kindred milestone of 1000 days. The Leningrad Symphony bears witness to the complex vortex of oppression and war, bombs from earth and sky, the explosions, the deathly silence afterwards, the waves of numbing grief and loss, and ultimately the resilience of human beings in the face of violence and death.”

About Shostakovich for the Children of Syria

Shostakovich for the Children of Syriais the fifth in a series of global humanitarian concerts that George Mathew and Music For Life International have presented at Carnegie Hall, gathering artists from the world’s finest orchestras, ensembles and music schools for humanitarian causes while employing the music as their central source of energy.

The concert is an urgent call to the global community to bring the support needed to the more than 2.2 million refugees. It also echoes the larger global call to end the civil war that has killed more than 125,000 people and displaced almost 9 million, mostly children, since 2011. As the international community, headed by the United Nations, makes a concerted effort for peace in Syria, this concert is a parallel effort through Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, which has powerful resonances with the situation in Syria.

Shostakovich for the Children of Syria was launched in April 2013 in the presence of H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the Residence of H.E. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein to the United Nations.

Shostakovich for the Children of Syria will operate under the auspices of Music for Life International,a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization in New York. The funds raised by Shostakovich for the Children of Syria will go to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need. MSF started working in Syria in 2009 and has provided medical assistance and relief to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

For more information, visit

About Music For Life International Inc.

Music for Life International Inc. (MFLI), which takes its name from the legendary MUSIC FOR LIFE concerts organized by Leonard Bernstein in the late 1980s at Carnegie Hall, was created to conceive and present concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises and other public interest issues. MFLI, a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, contributes the net proceeds from its humanitarian concerts to organizations directly addressing the crises and issues, which are the context for the concerts.

MFLI’s most recent undertaking is Ubuntu-Shruti, a new professional training orchestra in New York City, of young musicians and distinguished mentors creating music and programming dedicated to immigrants, community, and education. Ubuntu-Shruti made its first appearances at the 2010 and 2011 New Year’s Eve Concerts for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

About the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit 

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announces balanced budget, increases in concert revenue and contributions for 2012-13

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society, Inc. today announced audited results for the 2012-13 fiscal year (September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013).

Louis P. Ciminelli, Chair of the BPO Board of Trustees commented, “We are pleased to officially report to the community that our budget was balanced once again with healthy increases in concert revenue and contributions, in what was probably one of the most exciting seasons on record for the BPO.”

Highlights of the financial audit conducted by the accounting firm Lumsden and McCormick include:

  • Operating revenues of $11,070,000 versus expenses of $11,046,000, resulting in a $24,000 surplus.   
  • Concert revenue grew to the highest in the history of the BPO, up 5.5 percent to $3,869,000 from $3,666,000 last year.
  • Contributed revenue surged 11.9 percent to $4,726,000 from $4,222,000 last year, buoyed by the phenomenal fundraising effort for the BPO’s appearance at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival.   
  • Government support dropped to $996,000 from $1,018,000 last year, to its lowest level in a decade and down significantly from a high point of $1.4 million just four years ago.   
  • Endowment income grew 8.6 percent to $1,206,000 from $1,110,000 last year, as the total of all endowment funds exceeded the $30 million mark for the first time.   
  • Endowment assets under the management of the BPO Foundation grew to $16,605,000, up 7.7 percent from $15,410,000 last year, and for a 300 percent increase since 2004. Other funds benefiting the BPO are held at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.

Attendance for the 100-plus concerts of the BPO season exceeded 180,000, not including those that heard the BPO on regional or national radio broadcasts. Season ticket sales achieved another all-time high while single ticket revenues grew dramatically with expanded programming.


BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart said, “The musicians of the orchestra gave us a year to remember. Our audiences are responding positively to the high level of artistry and diversity of programming. JoAnn Falletta and Matt Kraemer did a fabulous job leading the orchestra week in and week out, and much thanks goes to our great group of dedicated trustees and staff. Our goal is to continue using this momentum to achieve more of the same success in 2013-14 and beyond.” 


The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has also issued a Report To The Community, which outlines the state of the organization and its role in the community in further detail. Click here for the report. 



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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit 

Castellani Andriaccio Duo to brighten spirits at Roswell Park

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo’s internationally acclaimed Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo is presenting a free performance at noon on Monday, Dec. 2 at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute atrium.  Numerous opportunities for photo and video exist.

Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio are noted recitalists, orchestral soloists, and teachers. They serve as the artistic directors for the biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, and are the founders and owners of the Fleur de Son record label. Their performance is part of Roswell Park’s Music in the Lobby program, which offers more than 1300 performances annually to Roswell Park patients, visitors and staff.  The Duo is also featured on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classic Christmas concerts on Dec. 6 and 7.

While at Roswell Park, the media is asked to restrict photography and videography to the performers.



The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email


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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit 



BPO For the Holidays

Nov. 22, 2013

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

BPO For the Holidays

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra brings all of the sounds of the season to Western New Yorkers. The holiday festivities kick off on Thanksgiving weekend, when the BPO joins Neglia Ballet Artists at Shea’s Buffalo for the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Erin Freeman will lead the orchestra. Audiences can experience this beloved tradition at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

After their performance at Shea’s, the BPO will perform Handel’s “Messiah” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Erin Freeman, the dynamic new music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, is on the podium for this sure-to-sell-out concert taking place at Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna. Tickets are $20 to $40 and are available at

Classic Christmas

Audiences can experience centuries of Christmas music with Classic Christmas on at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Ron Spigelman leads a program that spans the entire classical tradition, from the Baroque flourishes of Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto” to the Romantic sounds of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” to the commissioned-for-TV opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Menotti. The internationally-known Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo, based in Amherst, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will join the orchestra for this concert of Christmas classics.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday for complimentary coffee and donuts. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Select Guitar Ensemble performs as part of the Community Spotlight program. This program, sponsored by Bank of America, shines the spotlight on a talented local ensemble before select BPO concerts throughout the season.

Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio have served as the artistic directors of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition since its inception, and also run the Fleur De Son classical recording label. They have performed at the White House and Lincoln Center, and with orchestras all over the world. Also sought-after pedagogues, they are frequent guest instructors at conservatories and colleges across the nation, and have a teaching studio in Snyder. They will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major.

Australian native Ron Spigelman was the BPO’s associate conductor from 2001 to 2005, and is currently music director of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. He maintains an active guest conducting schedule and is also co-author of the Sticks and Drones blog at

Jingle Bell Jam

Spigelman returns to the BPO podium the following day for an afternoon of family fun with Jingle Bell Jam at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. With tickets priced at only $20 for adults and $13 for children, it’s a budget-friendly way for the entire family to celebrate the season together. Watch trombones turn into horses with the holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” enjoy the spirited sounds of “March of the Toys” from “Babes in Toyland,” and sing along to the season’s most beloved carols. Children can come early and make a card to be sent to Marines stationed far from home and enjoy milk and cookies with Santa after the concert.

Holiday Pops

Holiday Pops is always one of the BPO’s biggest concerts of the year. With JoAnn Falletta on the podium; Buffalo native turned Broadway star Michele Ragusa as a special guest artist; the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus; and the region’s best young vocal talent, this year’s Holiday Pops will be one for the books. Concerts take place at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.

Western New Yorkers adored Ragusa in the one-woman show “Bad Dates” at the late, great Studio Arena Theater. Broadway audiences enjoyed her talents in “Young Frankenstein,” “Ragtime,” and “Titanic,” among others. She has sparkled in previous engagements with the BPO, and returns to Western New York to make the season bright.

In addition to its 75-year history of delivering quality choral music, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus also has a robust choral mentoring program. Students work side-by-side with the Chorus to rehearse and perform a professional-level concert. This year, they’ve expanded their program to work with three high school choruses for Holiday Pops. The choruses of Barker Central High School and Oakfield Alabama High School will perform at Kleinhans on Friday. The chorus of West Seneca West High School will be onstage Saturday and Sunday.

Participating in all four Holiday Pops performances is the award-winning Vox Caeciliae of Immaculata Academy, located in Hamburg. Vox Caeciliae, led by Kathleen Bassett, made their BPO debut in June, performing Boito’s “Prologue in Heaven” from “Mephistofele,” and recently sang with the BPO in the Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. They were awarded the Gold with Distinction honor at the NYSSMA Zone 1 Major Organization Festival, and recently presented a world premiere piece at the school.

Theatrical-quality decorations make Kleinhans Music Hall festive, and the hall’s concessions will be serving special holiday cocktails. In the spirit of the season, Kleinhans Music Hall is serving as a drop-off point for the U.S. Marines Toys For Tots campaign. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to a concert or to the hall anytime during box office hours to participate. The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tickets for Classic Christmas, Jingle Bell Jam, and Holiday Pops are available by calling (716) 885-5000 or visiting All three concerts will be held at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit

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BPO earns seventh place in international “favorite orchestra” poll

After a month of voting, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has earned seventh place in The World’s Favourite Orchestra poll, held by online classical concert finder

The Cleveland Orchestra took first place, with 20.3 percent of the vote. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra received 3.9 percent of the vote.

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra of Ireland and the Berlin Philharmonic finished in second and third place respectively. Other entries in the top 20 include London Symphony Orchestra (fourth place), the Czech Philharmonic (eighth), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam (ninth), and the Video Game Orchestra (15th). The Minnesota Orchestra, despite still being locked out, made it to number 22.

Since voting began on Friday, Sept. 6, the poll attracted interest from all around the world, with many orchestras actively encouraging their fans to vote online. Bachtrack received 11,895 votes for 417 orchestras from 97 countries.

Susan Schwartz, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra,said: “The passionate support of our audience has allowed us to achieve great things, from presenting world premieres to breaking the hometown attendance record at the Spring For Music festival at Carnegie Hall. Our recordings also bring the artistry of the BPO to a worldwide audience. We thank everyone who voted for us for their assistance in bringing the orchestra greater international recognition and we hope this will encourage even more music lovers to get to know the BPO.”

Alison Karlin, Director of Bachtrack, said: “I am absolutely delighted that orchestras from around the globe, large and small, took our competition in the spirit in which it was intended and encouraged their audiences to take part. Hopefully this poll will further encourage those same fans to remind themselves why these orchestras are so dear to their hearts, by going to hear them play this season.”



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 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit 

Bachtrack is the largest classical concert finder online, with over 12,000 live listings of concerts, opera and dance around the world, and one of the largest classical reviews sites with around 200 reviews published each month. The site was founded by Alison and David Karlin in December 2007.

Eastman students offer free preview of Carnegie recital at Kleinhans to BPO supporters

Buffalo, NY – Eastman School of Music doctoral candidate and pianist Cahill Smith will be making a stop at Kleinhans on the road to his Carnegie Hall debut.

Smith, the inaugural recipient of the Eastman School of Music’s Lowry Award, will perform a free recital of the works of composer Nikolai Medtner at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo. He will repeat this recital in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on Oct. 27.

The recital is presented through the generosity of a Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra donor as a way of thanking those who have supported the BPO as the orchestra begins its new season. The community is invited to attend free of charge and experience the future of classical music as a talented young pianist highlights a composer whose works are often overlooked. Parking will be free, and a cake-and-punch reception will follow the recital.

The Lowry Award will allow one doctoral candidate at Eastman to present a program in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in the fall and spring semesters. The candidate is chosen by a faculty committee based on level of performance and creativity of a solo or collaborative project presented as part of his or her doctoral degree requirements.

Fellow Eastman School musicians Yi-Yeon Lee (violin), Hirono Sigimoto Borter (violin), Wendy Richman (viola), Philip Borter (cello), and Yunjin Kim (soprano) will join Smith in highlighting the works of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner.

Medtner lived from 1880 to 1951 and featured the piano in every work he composed. It was a tumultuous time in classical music, yet Medtner eschewed modernism in favor of romanticism. He has been characterized as a thoughtful composer whose focus was on the expression of ideas through music. Luminaries such as Sergey Rachmaninoff and Alexander Glazunov praised him as an important composer and as a guardian of art, and his works were reviewed warmly during his lifetime. However, they were seen by a public hungry for modernist works as being backwards-thinking, and Medtner has yet to gain widespread public adoration. This recital marks the first survey of Medtner’s works since 1930, and one of the pieces on the program has never been recorded for commercial release.

Although the event is free, a reservation is required. Anyone wishing to attend may call (716) 242-7824.  



Bernadette Peters, Yo-Yo Ma, Music of Queen usher in new Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra season

Bernadette Peters, Yo-Yo Ma, Music of Queen usher in new

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra season

Buffalo, NY – After their much-lauded performance at Spring for Music at Carnegie Hall, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra returns to bring superstars, rising stars, classical masterworks and cutting-edge new works to Western New York. Single tickets to all shows are available now, with great seats remaining for concerts such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Fifth, ABBA: The Hits, and Chris Botti.

M&T Bank Classics season

The M&T Bank Classics season starts with An Evening With Yo-Yo Ma on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and the opening night gala sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation. Gala attendees will enjoy dinner before the concert and an exclusive opportunity to meet Ma after the concert. Only a few tickets remain for the highly-anticipated evening, which marks Ma’s first appearance with the BPO in nearly 10 years. He will be performing a work never before heard in Kleinhans: “Azul,” written for him by Osvaldo Golijov. The program also includes Stravinsky’s “The Firebird (1911).”

On Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, the BPO will present a concert of wonderfully accessible classical music. Falletta and Brahms features violinist Vadim Gluzman in a performance of Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 for violin, which music director JoAnn Falletta has called “A romantic masterpiece, one of the most beloved pieces written for the violin, which sings with a poetry and emotional richness that make it completely irresistible.” The concert also includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1; and “Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance” by American composer Samuel Barber, of “Adagio for Strings” fame.

Ricardo Morales, the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, makes his BPO debut on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20, performing Mozart’s only clarinet concerto. In addition to his performance, Morales will take time out to teach when he kicks off the 2013-14 series of masterclasses on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The program also includes Ravel’s endearing “Mother Goose Suite” and Bartok’s Suite No. 1, which will be recorded for an upcoming Naxos release of Bartok pieces.

BPO Rock Series

Windborne’s “Music Of” shows have played to more than 600,000 people and topped $20 million in ticket sales. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has had a long and successful collaboration with Windborne, and will welcome them to kick off the BPO Rock series, sponsored by Kegworks. On Saturday, Sept. 21, the BPO will perform The Music of Queen, with Windborne founder Brent Havens conducting. Havens returns to the BPO stage on Friday, Nov. 8 with The Music of the Rolling Stones and on Friday, April 25 as conductor of the first-ever symphonic tour of Lou Gramm, the voice of Foreigner.

Subscriptions are available to the six-concert series, which also includes ABBA: The Hits; Classical Mystery Tour; and a performance by the band America. Kegworks, Western New York’s premier source for home beer brewing supplies, will have demonstrations and giveaways at all BPO Rock concerts.

BPO at Buffalo Riverfest Park

On Sunday, Sept. 22, the BPO highlights one of Buffalo’s newest public spaces with a free performance at River Fest Park, located at 249 Ohio Street. In a nod to the heritage of the Old First Ward, Tim Bohen, author of “Against The Grain: The History of Buffalo’s First Ward,” will speak at 1 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., BPO violinist Amy Glidden will perform Celtic favorites with her string quartet. At 2:30 p.m., BPO brass and percussion ensembles will take the stage with an eclectic program that includes music from “Carmen” and “West Side Story.”

BlueCross BlueShield Pops

Broadway legend Bernadette Peters opens the BlueCross BlueShield Pops Series on Saturday, Sept. 28. Peters is a three-time Tony Award winner and has also gained renown for her appearances in television shows and films, and for her charitable efforts. The concert will be conducted by BPO Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer, now entering his final season with the orchestra. Kraemer is leaving the BPO to focus on his work as music director for the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and the Erie Chamber Ensemble, both based in Pennsylvania, and to further explore his many guest conducting opportunities.

Saturday, Oct. 12 marks the much-anticipated return of ABBA: The Hits. The show, which features the band Waterloo, sold out when it came to Buffalo three years ago, and another capacity crowd is anticipated for this fun-filled evening of music that defined the 1970s and inspired the hit musical and film “Mamma Mia.”

Known to America as the bandleader from Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and to Western New Yorkers as the former BPO principal pops conductor, Doc Severinsen returns on Oct. 25 and 26 with a high-energy show. Severinsen’s career has included stints with the Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman bands, and more than 30 recordings spanning genres from jazz fusion to big band to classical. He has long had a reputation as not only a talented musician, but a consummate showman with a long history of delivering memorable performances.

Know the Score

The BPO’s newest series returns for its second season. These Thursday night concerts feature a post-concert party, an earlier start time, and pre-concert networking opportunities. At each installment, audiences will go on a journey of musical exploration as the conductor examines a work, theme or composer.

BPO staff conductor Paul Ferington leads the opening of the series on Thursday, Oct. 10 with an exploration of musical retellings of Romeo and Juliet. With help from Shakespeare in Delaware Park, he will explore the story as viewed by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Prokofiev, and Leonard Bernstein. Romeo and Juliet’s Caffe will provide desserts at the post-concert party, where audiences can mingle with the musicians. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m.

BPO Kids

The 2013-14 season features a revamped BPO Kids series designed to introduce elementary-school-age children to symphonic music in a fun, age-appropriate setting. It begins on Sunday, Oct. 27 with a 2:30 p.m. Halloween-themed concert, Symphonic Spooktacular. The concert includes the traditional costume parade across the Kleinhans stage and makes a great grandparent outing. Anyone showing their Buffalo and Erie County Public Library card at the box office will get a $1 discount on their ticket for any BPO Kids concert.

BPO for the holidays

The BPO’s holiday season kicks off with a classic event: the Nutcracker ballet performed by Neglia Ballet Artists in the sumptuous setting of Shea’s Theater on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1.

On Dec. 2, the Texas Tenors will join the BPO for a one-night-only holiday-themed show. The Texas Tenors’ career was launched after their 2009 appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” when they became the highest-rated vocal group in the show’s history. In the four years that have passed, they have performed more than 500 concerts in 20 countries, and earned the distinction of having the only album to debut at #1 on both the independent country and independent classical charts. Their Dec. 2 performance comes as they prepare for the hotly-anticipated release of their second album and for the broadcast of their first PBS special. 

On Dec. 6 and 7, Ron Spigelman guest-conducts Classic Christmas, featuring the Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo. Amherst residents Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio have a distinguished career as performers as well as a successful teaching studio in Snyder. They are also the artistic directors for the biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, taking place in June 2014.

 The whole family can get in the spirit of the season on Dec. 8 with Jingle Bell Jam, which allows children to visit with Santa and sing along to holiday favorites. Sponsored by Fisher-Price, the concert is an interactive twist on the traditional holiday show.

JoAnn Falletta will lead four performances of Holiday Pops on Friday, Dec. 13, Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15.  Fresh from a well-received performance as Mama Rose in the Hangar Theater’s production of “Gypsy,” Buffalo native Michele Ragusa lends her characteristic warmth and charm to a concert that also features the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. [pending final word from David]. Audiences are encouraged to plan ahead, as Holiday Pops usually sells out.

Subscriptions and tickets for all shows now available

With excellent seats still available for all concerts, this is the perfect time to get your tickets for the BPO’s upcoming concerts. Subscriptions are still available, with packages starting as small as five concerts. The many benefits of subscribing include guaranteed seats and access to discounts at top restaurants and retailers through the BPO Perks card.

Tickets can be obtained by visiting; by calling (716) 885-5000; or by visiting the Kleinhans Music Hall box office at 3 Symphony Circle in Buffalo between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.










Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates international release of Tyberg recording

Buffalo, NY – The music of Marcel Tyberg was nearly lost forever, but thanks to the determination of one of his students, the dedication of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the support of the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and Naxos Records, the second recording of Tyberg’s works has just been released.

Tyberg was a musician, teacher and composer who lived in Abbazio, Italy, in the early twentieth century. He earned his primary living by taking on students and writing pieces for the local dance band, but his true passion was the composition of symphonies and chamber music. Tyberg had Jewish ancestry, and began to fear for his safety as Italy fell under German control during World War II. He entrusted his scores to his student and friend, Henri Mihich, for safekeeping. His fears came true when he was deported to Auschwitz, where he died in December 1944.

Mihich’s family fled the turmoil in Abbazio for the United States. As an adult, Mihich settled in Buffalo, NY, where he became a doctor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Over the course of several decades, Mihich tried to interest various BPO music directors and guest conductors in performing Tyberg’s music. By the time JoAnn Falletta took the helm in 1999, Mihich was getting worried that the music would never be performed, but tried one last time and scheduled a meeting with her.

“I discovered a treasure – music that, while honored the past Germanic tradition, pointed the way to a new era. The language was strong, individual and compelling,” said Falletta. It took months of work to arrive at playable versions of the faded, crumbling scores.

The work paid off, though. Naxos agreed to mount a multi-year recording project of Tyberg’s work. The first disc featured Tyberg’ Symphony No. 3 and his piano trio. It was released in 2010 to strong reviews. Requests for the scores began to pour in from groups all over the world that heard the story and were interested in performing Tyberg’s work.

Probably the most exciting request came from the Croatian government. After World War II, Abbazio became part of Croatia and is now known as Opatija. The Croatian government wished to claim Tyberg as their national composer. In November 2012, they held a festival in Rijeka to honor Tyberg. Falletta conducted the Croatian National Symphony in a performance of Tyberg’s Symphony No. 2 in a concert attended by the president of Croatia, among other luminaries.

Tyberg’s Symphony No. 2 is featured on the BPO’s newest Naxos recording, which has a worldwide release date of Aug. 27. Also on the recording is Tyberg’s Piano Sonata No. 2, performed by Van Cliburn Competition finalist Fabio Bidini.

The recording is available for pre-order and for digital download at and The CD will be available at the BPO box office and at

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra earns ASCAP award for adventurous programming

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is one of 19 American orchestras to be honored with a 2012-2013 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming today at the League of American Orchestras 68th National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.  The BPO was selected for the Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music award because it featured works of such contemporary composers as Michael Daugherty, Christos Papageorgiou, and Giya Kancheli in its 2012-2013 season, and because it presented two world premiere pieces: the Triple Trombone Concerto by Eric Ewazen and the Flute Concerto by Geoffrey Gordon. Both composers were on hand for the world premieres to speak to audiences about their works. The BPO won this award previously for its 2010-11 season.

 The League and ASCAP present the awards each year to orchestras of all sizes for programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in music of our time.  Approximately $725,000 has been bestowed on orchestras since the awards were established in 1947. 

“The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has had a deep, longstanding commitment to new music, and it’s a commitment that the musicians and I share,” said music director JoAnn Falletta. “It’s a great joy to showcase modern composers and to help audiences understand that classical music is a living art form that continues to evolve. We’re honored that this commitment has received national recognition.”

About the BPO

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. The BPO performed at Carnegie Hall as a participant in the prestigious Spring for Music festival in 2013, one of only six orchestras nationwide chosen for this honor. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 24 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit 


Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world’s largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 450,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.  ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists.  ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances.  ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards.  Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments.  Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.  Visit to learn more.


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