Category: Press Releases

Elderwood becomes presenting sponsor of BPO’s Coffee Concert series

BUFFALO, NY – Another Western New York company has joined forces with the Buffalo Philharmonic to provide support for music of the highest quality in our community.
Elderwood is now the presenting sponsor of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s Coffee Concert series. The series includes 11 events throughout the 2016-17 season, and takes place on Friday mornings. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available at 9:30 AM prior to a Classics or Pops concert at 10:30. The series has risen steadily in popularity since its debut more than a decade ago, particularly among groups.
“Elderwood is pleased to partner with the Philharmonic as presenting sponsor of this year’s Coffee Concert Series. As the largest long-term health care provider in Western New York, we believe it is both a privilege and a responsibility to actively participate in the communities we service and in which we live and work,” said Elderwood co-Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jeffrey Rubin. “The BPO is known for its world-class programming and musical talent. We are proud to expand Elderwood’s involvement in the community by supporting one of Buffalo’s premier cultural institutions.”
“With the Coffee Concert Series, we’ve been able to reach our goal of deepening our connection to our current audience by offering an alternate experience with a social component,” said executive director Daniel Hart. “Elderwood is the perfect fit for this series. We’re proud to welcome Elderwood to our distinguished roster of corporate philanthropists who help to keep the BPO strong and vibrant.”
The Coffee Concert Series presented by Elderwood kicks off Friday, Oct. 7 with “Benny and Me,” a KeyBank Pops concert starring the BPO’s own Sal Andolina in a tribute to his mentor, Benny Goodman. Other series highlights include Classical Christmas on Dec. 9; John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops on Dec. 16; the BPO debut of organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter on March 10; and Swingin’ Stars and Stripes on May 26.
For information on attending a concert, call (716) 885-5000 or visit bpo.org.

 

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

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BPO reports balanced budget for sixth year in a row; elects new Trustees and Chair

BUFFALO, NY – At the annual meeting of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc. held on Sept. 27 the orchestra reviewed important artistic achievements for the 2015-16 season and reported the sixth consecutive season with a balanced budget and the eleventh balanced budget in the last 12 years.
The BPO reported revenues of $11.5 million. Ticket sales and earned revenues accounted for 35 percent, contributed revenue for 43 percent, endowment income for 14 percent and government support for 8 percent. Program expenses (artistic, production and marketing) accounted for 85 percent of total expenses. Executive Director Daniel Hart and Music Director JoAnn Falletta also presented an analysis of programming and attendance: during the last fiscal year, the BPO presented 120 performances: 35 in classical series, 24 youth concerts, 14 summer concerts, 19 regional and tour concerts, 22 pops and rock concerts, and six family series performances. 192,154 people attended concerts and millions heard the orchestra on national radio broadcasts and recordings.
Falletta called the “Finnish Festival” opening of the 2015-16 season that coincided with the 75th annniversary of Kleinhans Music Hall “the artistic highlight of the whole decade.” Other key projects she noted included the East Coast premiere of Byron Yasui’s Ukulele Concerto with Jake Shimabukuro; the collaboration with the Colored Musicians Club for “Orchestra Meets Jazz;” the sixth biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition held in partnership with WNED-WBFO; and the release of five new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels.
Other selected highlights included:

  • $10 million in pledges secured for the Crescendo Campaign, including a new $1.5 million pledge from the Cullen Foundation and another $1 million pledge from an anonymous patron, both coming in August at the close of the season.
  • 27 percent increase in single tickets sold for Pops Series.
  • 16 percent increase in single tickets sold for the BPO Kids Series.
  • Successful artistic collaborations and a three-city tour of Florida, its third tour in six years.
  • International recognition of new recordings and programs.
  • Educational programs served 42,000 students at 158 schools.

“When people ask we are doing about the younger generation and who will take our place in the concert hall,” commented Hart, “one can see we are clearly doubling down on our focus in this important area and the success of our programs shows in the numbers.”

New Trustees and Board Leadership

  • Stephen Swift was formally elected as the new chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc.’s Board of Trustees Swift is the Chief Financial Officer of HealthNow and has served on the BPO Board of Trustees since 2010, including a term as treasurer. He replaces Louis P. Ciminelli, who is rotating off the board after two terms as chair and ten years of service.
  • Angelo Fatta will continue to serve as Vice Chair.
  • James Beardi, a former executive vice president at M&T Bank, will become treasurer.
  • Nicole Tzetzo, newly named Vice President, Finance and Administration for the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, will continue as secretary.

Amy Habib Rittling and Karen Sperrazza were elected to their first terms on the board. Habib Rittling is an attorney with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP. Sperrazza is a committed community volunteer and a longtime patron and donor to the BPO. Violinist Megan Prokes will also join the board as an ex officio member. She serves as Chair of the Orchestra Committee. Current board members Peter Eliopoulous, Roger Simon, Michal Wadsworth and Gary Szakmary were elected to additional terms.

Recognition

Jim Pace, president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 92, attended the meeting to present the BPO with a plaque in recognition of the longstanding relationship between the orchestra and the union. The union represents all 73 BPO musicians, who recently signed a six-year contract, the longest contract between an orchestra and its musicians union in the nation.

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

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Buffalo Philharmonic to donate 5 percent of U2 Symphony Experience ticket sales to Red Cross; Funds to aid local disaster victims

BUFFALO, NY – The spirit of Bono will be felt strongly at Kleinhans on Oct. 21.
The U2 frontman’s music will be in the air with the BPO debut of U2 Symphony Experience, and his philanthropic values will also pervade the evening. The BPO will donate five percent of the ticket sales to the American Red Cross.
The funds will remain in the Western New York area, aiding victims of fires. On average, more than once a day, someone in the Western New York area is affected by a fire. Red Cross volunteers are on the front lines of assistance, providing temporary housing, food, clothing and support to more than 1,600 of our neighbors in need last year.
“We are thrilled to partner with a great community organization like the Buffalo Philharmonic,” said Chuck Marra, American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Chapter Executive Director. “The music of U2 brings such enjoyment to their fans. This support from the BPO and their fans will help our volunteers give hope to fellow Western New Yorkers in their time of need.”
The concert serves as the kickoff to the BPO Rocks series, and features music from all eras of U2’s career. “Mysterious Ways,” “One,” Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “MLK/Walk On” are just a few of the songs on the program. Each of the four members of the group have more than a decade of experience performing the music of U2 and have collectively played the music more than 2000 times in settings ranging from the symphony hall to The Today Show. Shawn Brady, who steps into the role of Bono for the evening, spent more than 14 years fronting Toronto-based U2 tribute group Elevation. Stefan Sanders conducts. Combining the music of U2 with outstanding orchestrations and the exceptional musicianship of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra creates the ultimate tribute to this group.
The concert will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.
Subscriptions to BPO Rocks are still available. The series includes: The Beatles Classical Mystery Tour on Nov. 4, Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisted on March 3, A Tribute to the Music of Prince on April 28 and The Music of Abba featuring Arrival from Sweden on April 29.
For tickets, visit bpo.org or call (716) 885-5000.

 

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

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Buffalo Philharmonic celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with free concert

BUFFALO, NY – Classical music meets the music of Spain and Latin America at the BPO on Oct. 9.
The Buffalo Philharmonic and Wendell Rivera Latin Ensemble are joining forces to present “Viva la Musica,” a free concert celebrating Hispanic music and culture taking place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9 at Kleinhans Music Hall. BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders leads this concert.
The first half of the concert features Spanish-inflected classical works, such as Chabrier’s “Espana” and Granados’ “Intermezzo” from “Goyescas.” The program takes you across the ocean to the New World with the works of Mexican composer Arturo Marquez and Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, then travels into the realm of Latin Jazz in the second half of the program when the Wendell Rivera Latin Ensemble joins the BPO.
“Whether it’s participating in Hispanic Heritage Month or the Garden Walk, or performing our West Side Connection educational program, we relish every opportunity to celebrate and connect with the neighborhood we call home,” said Daniel Hart, BPO Executive Director. “We’re pleased to work with Wendell Rivera once again, and look forward to welcoming the entire community for this free event.”
“Music is a vibrant and familiar part of Hispanic heritage. From Gloria Estefan to Christina Aguilera,  Hispanic influences run deep in many forms of music, with a profound effect on pop music. When I heard the BPO was going to perform a concert honoring this legacy, I knew immediately that it would make a wonderful addition to the already-full schedule of events taking place this month,” says Casimiro Rodriguez Sr. President of Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc.
The BPO is grateful forNiagara District Common Council Member David Rivera’s support of this concert. Additional assistance was provided by the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc. and Friends of Hispanic Arts.
For more information, visit bpo.org or call (716) 885-5000.

 

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

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Landmark contract settlement for BPO musicians reached

BUFFALO, NY — The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society, Inc. and American Federation of Musicians Local 92, representing the musicians of the BPO, have reached agreement on a new six-year contract. The announcement was made Saturday night at the nearly sold-out house on the opening night of the BPO’s 2016-17 season at Kleinhans Music Hall.

The contract was ratified by the musicians on Thursday, Sept. 15 but is subject to ratification by the BPO Board of Trustees later this month.

Incoming BPO Board Chair and Executive Vice President of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Steve Swift commented, “We are incredibly grateful to the musicians for the thoughtful way these negotiations preceded. As the BPO continues to work to strengthen its financial underpinnings for the long term, the musicians are clearly partnering with us to create a bright future and one that will guarantee their creative presence in our community for future generations.”

Negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement, which covers wages and work rules for the 73 full-time members of the BPO, began in the spring and concluded in August. AFM negotiator Nathan Kahn joined Local 92 President Jim Pace and BPO musicians Jay Matthews, Janz Castelo, Megan Prokes, Alan Ross, Dan Sweeley, Anna Mattix and Mark Hodges for the sessions, his second time at the bargaining table with the BPO. The Society was represented by attorney and BPO Life Trustee Randall Odza from the firm Bond Schoeneck King; and BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart; Finance Director Kevin James; Director of Concert Production Lisa Gallo; and Director of Orchestra and Hall Operations Alison Bolton. Ken Armes of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was once again invaluable in helping forge the landmark agreement.

“This historic agreement bodes well for the future of the orchestra, its musicians, the community and the Buffalo Musicians Association,” said Jim Pace, President of Local 92.
“This six-year agreement, the longest in the orchestra’s history, represents the shared commitment by the musicians and management of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to the health, economic and artistic growth, and long-term prosperity of the organization. We look forward to continue bringing music of the highest quality to audiences in Buffalo and beyond for many years to come,” commented Janz Castelo, violist and member of the musicians’ negotiations committee.

The previous agreement was a five-year term covering 2011-2016 and expired August 31. The new agreement is effective September 1 and will be in effect through August 31, 2022. It is unusual as the International AFM Board had to approve its length.

Among the highlights:

  • Six-year term.
  • Wage increases totaling 12.6% over the term.
  • Introduction of fee minimums for solo and education work outside of the orchestra.
  • Continuation of musician contribution to health insurance and current plan design.
  • Introduction of a peer review committee and process for dismissals for artistic reasons.

The contract raises the minimum salaries for musicians from the current $48,120 to $54,177 in 2022 and maintains a schedule of 38 work weeks and two paid vacation weeks.

“I applaud the exemplary vision of our BPO musicians, which bespeaks their profound commitment to our community and their inspiring dedication to our audiences,” added Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “Not only is this six-year agreement unprecedented, it ensures that we can strategize and plan for the future together, and continue to provide the highest level of artistic excellence to Buffalo and Western New York.”

Buffalo Philharmonic delivers toys to Women & Children’s Hospital; Toy collection part of ongoing Healing Arts initiative

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is providing cheer for the young patients at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).

Hundreds of building block sets and toys were collected at the BPO Fantasy Camp event this summer, which saw doctors and other adult amateur musicians from around the world come to Buffalo to spend a week rehearsing with the orchestra under JoAnn Falletta. Close to 2,000 BPO donors and subscribers attended the concert and were asked to bring a building block set or a toy to help distract and entertain sick children at the Hospital.

The collection is part of the Oishei Children’s Hospital Healing Arts initiative. The BPO and WCHOB are collaborating to better provide a physical, mental and emotional healing space for patients and their families. Bringing music into the new Oishei Children’s Hospital to help create a calming environment is a significant goal for the hospital. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta has been a passionate advocate for this initiative.

“In partnership with the BPO, our goal in the new hospital will be to further incorporate music and arts to support patients and families in healing,” said Allegra C. Jaros, MBA, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “To have things patients can do and see artistically is a great way to engage their senses, distract them from their surroundings and pass the time.”

Two years ago, the BPO hosted the Doctors of the World for a concert at Kleinhans Music Hall. More than 40 doctor-musicians from all over the world came to Buffalo to perform a concert which raised $15,000 to support the initiative. Many of these doctors returned for the 2016 event. WCHOB and the BPO have also collaborated on BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids, which offers accommodations for children with special needs at BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids concerts. The program, which is sponsored by Wegmans, had a successful debut last season, and will return this season.

 

On Thursday, Sept. 22 at 4:15 p.m., the BPO will deliver these toys to WCHOB. Several patients will be on hand to receive them, as well as their doctors, their families, and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s leadership. The media is invited to attend and learn more about the collaboration between the hospital and the orchestra. The presentation of the toys will take place in the Board Room at WCHOB.

The vision of the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, scheduled to open in November 2017, is to be recognized as the innovator, highest-quality, highest value provider and partner, and the regional referral center for women and children’s health care for Western New York and beyond.

Stefan Sanders signs three-year contract extension, gets promoted to Resident Conductor

BUFFALO, NY – Stefan Sanders will be with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for another three years.

Sanders won the job of Associate Conductor in 2014 after a year-long selection process. He had formerly been a member of the orchestra’s trombone section before turning to conducting. He studied at the University of Texas at Austin and at American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. This spring, he was one of only six chosen from an international field for the Bruno Walter Conductor Preview in Nashville, TN with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Under his leadership, the Music For Youth and BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids series have reached new artistic heights and found larger audiences. Sanders appears frequently on the Pops and Classics podiums, leading such memorable concerts as Pink Martini, Cirque Mechanics, and the 2014 Classical Christmas concert. His “Copland’s America” and “Holst’s Planets” Know The Score concerts were among the best-attended in the history of the series. He led the 2015 “Soundwave” concert, which featured cutting-edge classical music paired with the music of local bands The Albrights and Babik charted for orchestra.

In addition to his leadership of the BPO, Sanders is also Music Director for the Round Rock Symphony. He has served as Music Director for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, and this season, will take the helm of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra based in Amherst, NY.

“Getting the Associate Conductor job was a homecoming for me,” Sanders said. “It’s been great to be back with the BPO, to be back in Buffalo, and back on the Kleinhans stage. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to achieve in the past two years, and extending my stay here was an easy decision. I look forward to what the next three years have to hold!”

JoAnn Falletta said, “In Stefan, we have found a musical colleague that truly fits our orchestra and our community. He has done fantastic work for the BPO over the past two years as Associate Conductor and we are delighted he has agreed to extend his stay for another three years.  His leadership on and off the podium is exemplary, and his new title reflects not only his artistic achievement, but the fact he is embedded in Western New York.”

Buffalo Philharmonic to begin season with new Director of Orchestra and Hall Operations

BUFFALO, NY — Alison Bolton has joined the staff of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as Director of Orchestra and Hall Operations.

Bolton grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in viola performance from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and The University of Akron, respectively, and has more than ten years of arts management experience.

She began her career in artistic administration at the Music Academy of the West as Box Office Manager. Since then, she has held various positions within the operations and artistic departments for musical organizations, including Camerata Pacifica, Tuscon Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. At the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where she served as Manager of Audience Engagement, Festivals and Artistic Projects, she created a program called “Explore & Engage” which worked to deepen the connection between the patrons and the orchestra through elements of aesthetic education. At the Albany Symphony, where Bolton was General Manager, she worked with Music Director David Alan Miller to create several multiyear composer residencies which not only resulted in Grammy-winning recordings, but also created strong partnerships within the community. She has worked with composers such as John Adams, Aaron Kernis, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, Joan Tower and Michael Daugherty.

As Director of Orchestra and Hall Operations, Bolton is responsible for carrying out the artistic visions of Music Director JoAnn Falletta, Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and Executive Director Daniel Hart. She will ensure that all artistic and operational aspects of this vision run efficiently, smoothly and in a fiscally responsible manner.

“Alison’s musical knowledge and her varied orchestral management experience make her a perfect fit for the BPO at this time. As the BPO looks to the next phase of its strategic plan, we are counting on Alison to play a major role in our ongoing success,” said BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart.

“I am honored to be here working with the extremely talented administrative team at the BPO and Kleinhans Music Hall,” Bolton said. “Even more, I feel privileged to be able to come to work every day and hear and work with the fantastic BPO musicians. This orchestra goes beyond performing great concerts. The BPO musicians play at an extremely high level and also are deeply dedicated to education and community outreach. Seeing the impact that this combination has on the Buffalo community is an inspiration, and I am excited to be a part of the future of this special organization. I look forward to working with JoAnn Falletta, John Morris Russell, Stefan Sanders and Daniel Hart to create rich, diverse, engaging programming at the highest level with the deepest impact,” said Bolton.

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

New musicians to join Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

BUFFALO, NY – When the BPO’s new season begins on Sept. 17, there will be several new faces onstage.

The BPO has recently hired two oboe players and a French horn. Each was chosen through an international and nationally advertised audition process. Hundreds of musicians from all over the world submitted resumes. A number of these applicants were invited to Buffalo to audition in a blind process, in which applicants perform behind a curtain for judges, identified only by a number until a winner is chosen.

Henry WardHenry Ward has been appointed Principal Oboe. Ward is a native of Philadelphia and has served as acting principal oboe with the BPO since January 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, followed by graduate studies at Roosevelt University. He previously served as acting associate principal oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. He has performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand), and was a fellow with the New World Symphony.

 

Joshua Lauretig will be the new Second Oboe. Lauretig is a native of Ohio, and a 2016 graduate of Curtis School of Music. Throughout school, he maintained an active performance career, serving as substitute second oboe for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in January 2015 and performing with the orchestras of the Sarasota Music Festival and Moritzburg Festival Academy. He was also on the substitute list for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

sheryl-hadekaSheryl Lynn Hadeka will become the newest member of the French horn section, and the sole woman in the Buffalo Philharmonic’s brass section. Hadeka is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and earned her master’s in music from Southern Methodist University. Since 2014, she has been the associate principal horn at the Omaha Symphony, and has also held horn positions at the New Mexico Philharmonic, Tuscon Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. She has also taught at Loyola University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Music Director JoAnn Falletta commented, “In these individuals, we have identified great musicians that are sure to bring the BPO to the next level of artistic achievement. We welcome them to our creative community and we look forward to sharing their talent with our audience.”

 

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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

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Sold-out Buffalo Philharmonic concert celebrates diversity and community partnership

BUFFALO, NY – Friday’s Donor and Subscriber Appreciation Concert continues a longstanding tradition, but with several twists.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined onstage by participants in the 2016 Doctors of the World and Fantasy Camp, who are highly-trained amateur musicians living out their dream of playing with a professional orchestra. Forty-eight participants from Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and 15 states spent the week in Buffalo. Many of the participants were part of the BPO Doctors of the World program in 2014. Over the course of the week, they rehearsed with the orchestra, received coaching from BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta and from BPO musicians, practiced and performed chamber music, and explored the Buffalo-Niagara region.

The concert will also celebrate the BPO’s ongoing leadership and connections with the local and international community. It marks a continuing collaboration between the BPO and Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (the future John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital), helping to bring culture, peace and healing to the children and families in the hospital’s care through the art of music.

This partnership began two years ago when the BPO raised $15,000 at the Doctors of the World concert to benefit the creation of the Oishei Children’s Hospital Healing Arts Program. Additionally, the BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids program was born out of this collaboration. This program takes place at all BPO Kids concerts and offers modified activities, noise-cancelling headphones, and other accommodations for children with chronic conditions. As one mother shared, “My daughter loves music and it’s a treat for her to watch live music being performed. If she is at all agitated, as soon as the music starts, she calms right down.” The program has benefitted a countless number of children.

“It is heart-warming to see the power of music and its ability to touch so many young people. This would not be possible without our partnership with the hospital,” said Falletta.

The BPO expects more than 2,100 patrons for this one-of-a-kind concert at Kleinhans Music Hall. The audience will be comprised of the orchestra’s donors, subscribers and staff from the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, all of whom were also asked to donate toys for patients at the hospital. Hospital officials were on hand to thank the audience and celebrate the partnership between the two organizations.

“We are so grateful to JoAnn Falletta for her leadership in bringing this community collaboration to life and establishing a relationship that will bring joy and healing to our patients for years to come,” said Allegra C. Jaros, MBA, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “The BPO has been an amazing partner and has gone above and beyond to raise awareness of the importance of our Children’s Hospital to this community.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown will also be at the concert as the BPO and its Diversity Council formally sign his Opportunity Pledge, making a commitment to diversity. BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart said, “This evening highlights the important role that the BPO plays in the community through partnership and collaboration. We are honored to celebrate this special night with Mayor Brown, our donors and subscribers and our representatives from Women & Children’s Hospital of 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 37 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

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