Category: Press Releases

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Creates Diversity Council, Signs Mayor Byron Brown’s Opportunity Pledge

For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
716-242-7819
kmockler@bpo.org

 

Buffalo, NY — The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra today announced the formation of a Diversity Council as an outgrowth of its burgeoning community engagement program and that the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to sign Mayor Byron Brown’s Opportunity Pledge.

Otis N. Glover of Buffalo Employment and Training Center and Rev. Melody Rutherford of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Cheektowaga Baptist Church have agreed to co-chair the committee along with founding members Jody Covington of Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts; Ruth Kaspiak, former Buffalo Public Schools Board Member; Casimiro D. Rodriguez, Sr. of Hispanic Heritage Council; Ella Robinson of New Beginnings Chorale; Jennifer Parker of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo; Rev. Jonathan Staples of Shiloh Baptist Church; Tammy Gaines of African American Cultural Center; Sheila Brown of WUFO AM and BPO musicians Martha Malkiewicz and Robbie Hausmann.

BPO Director of Education and Community Engagement Robin Parkinson commented, “The time is right to forge a stronger network and formalize a structure and way to interact with the diverse communities in our city and region. Many of our founding committee members have been of great help with past BPO projects and we are excited about the energy and enthusiasm this group has for the BPO and the community.”

Co-Chairs Otis N. Glover and Rev. Melody Rutherford said, “Music has always been a unifying agent to all peoples and all times. The Diversity Council seeks to create synergism to engage and encourage all to enthusiastically partake in the distinct musical offerings of the BPO. We view our role as a constant reminder to the orchestra, challenging the continuity of the diversification of its concerts and programming in order to remain a creative and relevant force adding to and highlighting the beauty of our culturally rich region. In addition, it is our desire that every member of the WNY community, regardless of their age, race, and/or socio-economical background, will feel not merely invited, but wholeheartedly received and intimately connected to the BPO through the coalescing agent of music.”

The BPO Board of Trustees endorsement of the Opportunity Pledge goes hand in hand with the formation of the Diversity Council. “The Opportunity Pledge speaks to the same commitment and goals the BPO has been working toward, so it is important for us to sign the pledge and let others know how important we think it is for the community,” said Daniel Hart, Executive Director of the BPO. Formal signing of the Opportunity Pledge takes place on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall.
“I thank the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro JoAnn Falletta, and the recently formed BPO Diversity Council for helping us promote our shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by supporting and signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, noting that to date over 5,500 individuals and 372 businesses and organizations in Buffalo have signed the pledge, representing over 180,000 employees and members. “I thank the BPO Diversity Council for partnering with us to build a culture of respect for diversity, inclusion and equity as core values of our city. Music is a universal language, uniting all of us, and this commitment reinforces those values.”

Brown will be in attendance at the formal signing, prior to the BPO’s Fantasy Camp concert, featuring amateur musicians from around the world performing side-by-side with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. The concert will also serve as a thank-you to the orchestra’s donors and subscribers. More than 2000 are expected to attend this event.

The committee will assist the BPO with its operating practices including five specific goals as follows:

  1. To feature artists of color (soloists, conductors, composers) annually in our concert offerings whether it be Classics, Pops, Family, Rock, Education and/or Community Engagement concerts.
  2. To create programs tied to community events and history that are relevant to diverse audiences such as Martin Luther King Day Celebration and Hispanic Heritage Month.
  3. To establish partnerships with diverse organizations and colleagues and collaborate with them on programs.
  4. To support music education in underserved areas and encourage broad participation in music programs.
  5. To seek diversity at all levels of the organization including the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and the orchestra itself.

The attached graphic entitled  Circles of Committment records the recent work toward these goals. With this history as a base, the committee will help build on the successes for future seasons.

 

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.

 

# # #

 

 

KeyBank to sponsor Buffalo Philharmonic Pops Series

Buffalo, NY — KeyBank is the latest corporation to increase their support of Buffalo’s internationally acclaimed orchestra.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Pops Series will now be known as the KeyBank Pops Series. Key Private Bank previously sponsored the 2015-16 season of the BPO Rocks series. The announcement was made at the Bisons’ Independence Eve event, also sponsored by KeyBank, which featured a post-game performance by the BPO.
“At KeyBank, we believe focused, meaningful investments and sponsorships throughout the Greater Buffalo area help the city thrive and bring its surrounding communities to life,” said Gary Quenneville, New York regional executive and Buffalo Market president, KeyBank. “This is why we are so proud to continue our longstanding support of the BPO by sponsoring the KeyBank Pops Series. BPO is truly one of our region’s most cherished cultural institutions, and the Pops Series is a tremendous source of community spirit and pride.”
“KeyBank’s sponsorship will be a great benefit to the orchestra. With the hiring of John Morris Russell as Principal Pops Conductor and this sponsorship, we are truly moving forward into a new era with our Pops Series, and we’re excited about the possibilities this opens up for us,” said BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart.
The 2016-17 KeyBank Pops Series opens on Sept. 24 with The Music of John Williams, led by Russell, who is also the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops.Other series highlights include performances by New York Voices, a Carole King tribute with Liz Callaway, John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops, and The Midtown Men featuring original cast members of the smash hit musical “Jersey Boys.” Subscriptions to the series are available now; individual tickets will go on sale on Aug. 13. For more information about the series, 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.

 

# # #

 

 

Spotlight on rock visionaries in 2016-17 BPO Rocks series

 
BUFFALO, NY -Your Buffalo Philharmonic rocks in the 2016-17 season, celebrating the music of five highly-regarded rock visionaries, each of whom had a profound effect on the musical landscape. Electric guitars blend with strings, woodwinds and horns as rock musicians join forces with the BPO.
The series kicks off on Friday, Oct. 21 with U2 Symphony. This Los Angeles-based quartet has created the ultimate U2 symphonic experience, drawing on U2’s deep well of innovative music from its record-breaking 30-year career, from smash hits like “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Beautiful Day” to the pensive “MLK/Walk On,” frequently heard at U2’s live concerts.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, Classical Mystery Tour returns to rock Kleinhans. This authentic Beatles experience consistently delivers an entertaining evening. The concert takes us on a journey through the music of the band that has come to define an era. Beatles lovers will hear “Penny Lane” with a live trumpet section and experience the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet while a top-notch rock band performs the parts made famous by the Fab Four.
Steve Hackett performs with the orchestra on Thursday, March 3. Hackett was the lead guitarist of Genesis, as part of their classic line-up with Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Since leaving Genesis, he has performed with prog-rock supergroup GTR, along with Steve Howe of Yes and Asia. He recorded “A Life Within a Day” with Chris Squire of Yes, known to fans as “the Squackett album.” Never afraid to tackle other genres, his classical work has earned the admiration of the late Yehudi Menuhin. This concert features Genesis classics from his recent “Genesis Revisited” release, as well as solo material from “Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth” and “Beyond the Shrouded Horizon.”
The music world was rocked earlier this year by the sudden death of Prince. The BPO and Windborne Music join forces to pay tribute to his singular musical genius with The Music of Prince. Windborne has previously masterminded such crowd-pleasing shows as “The Music of Led Zeppelin” and “The Music of the Rolling Stones,” and most recently, “The Music of Elton John.” Join us on Friday, April 28 as Prince’s iconic songs get the full symphonic treatment with the artistry of the BPO, a full rock band, and Brent Havens’ deft orchestral arrangements.
On April 29, it’s a return to the 1970s with Arrival From Sweden and the music of ABBA. Arrival From Sweden has toured 48 countries since 1995, and many of the studio musicians who worked with the original band have joined them in performance. This show has been called the absolute best and most authentic ABBA show there is. If you’ve fallen in love with “Mamma Mia” on Broadway or on the silver screen, you’ll want to hear the music of ABBA come to life, backed by a full orchestra as it was originally written.
Subscriptions are on sale now, and provide a substantial savings over the single-ticket purchase price. Subscribers are guaranteed the best seats, enjoy the most flexible ticket exchange program in Western New York, and receive a BPO Perks card that entitles them to discounts at area restaurants, shops and service providers. Call (716) 885-5000 or visit bpo.org to get your subscription. Individual tickets for these and all BPO shows go on sale on Aug. 13.

 

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.

# # #

 

Guitarist from Russia sweeps all prizes in 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

 

 

Anton Baranov winner of international event organized by the Buffalo Philharmonic and WNED | WBFO

 

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Following tonight’s final round performance with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Anton Baranov of Russia won first place in the seventh biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. He was also selected as the Audience Favorite and the Musicians Choice.

Eight classical guitarists, representing seven nations, competed throughout the past week in the competition, presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WNED | WBFO.

Baranov will receive a solo concert at the prestigious series Incontri Musicali, (Musical Encounter) in Milan, Italy in 2017 along with a $10,000 cash prize, national and international broadcast exposure, a recording contract with Fleur de Son, and a return engagement with the BPO.

Baranov is 32 years old. He is the winner of the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America Competition. He has recorded on the Naxos and the Contrastes Records label, and is also a professor at Saint-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, from which he graduated in 2010.

Each competitor performed a concerto and also a solo work of his choice. His concerto this evening was Concierto Del Sur by Ponce.

Andras Csaki of Hungary placed second, and received a $3,000 prize. Alec Holcomb of the United States took third place and a $1,500 prize.

Buffalo-based Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, a well-known international chamber ensemble duo, are the Competition’s artistic directors. In addition to Castellani and Andriaccio, the live competitions were judged by Antigoni Goni; Jeff Cogan; Donald Crockett; Mark Delpriora; and Jeffrey McFadden.

The Competition was supported by the Friends of Falletta and by the lead sponsors, Robert and Carol Morris. John and Carolyn Yurtchuk and D’Youville College are major sponsors. Supporting sponsors are Nickel City Opera, The Greenfields Continuing Care Community, and Westermeir Martin Dental Care. Contributing sponsors are Park Creek Senior Living Community, Berardi Immigration Law, The Kaz Companies, Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls USA, Music Niagara, and Fox Run Orchard Park. Special thanks to Fleur de Son Classics, Adam’s Mark Hotel, and Savarez Strings.

SUGGESTED SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS/TWEETS:

Facebook: We have a winner! Anton Baranov of Russia won first place in the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition #fallettacomp16

Twitter: Anton Baranov of Russia wins 2016 @fallettacomp.#fallettacomp16

 

About the Competition

Founded in 2004 and organized by WNED ǀ WBFO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the competition is one of the foremost musical events in the world and the first concerto competition for classical guitarists. It is named in honor of the BPO’s music director, JoAnn Falletta. Past winners include Marcin Dylla, Marko Topchii, and Celil Refik Kaya. For more information about the competition, visit bpo.org/joann-falletta-international-guitar-concerto-competition .

# # #

 

 

Finalists announced in the 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

BUFFALO, NY – After two nights of semi-finals, the judges of the 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition have selected three finalists.
The three finalists will perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of JoAnn Falletta at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. The evening of music will culminate with the announcement of the first, second, and third place winners. Tickets are available at bpo.org or by calling (716) 885-5000. The competition is presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WNED | WBFO.
The three finalists are: Anton Baranov of Russia, Andras Csaki of Hungary, and Alec Holcomb of the United States.
Baranov is the winner of the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America Competition. He has recorded on the Naxos and the Contrastes Records label, and is also a professor at Saint-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, from which he graduated in 2010Csaki currently serves as an Associate Professor at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the school from which he graduated in 2007. He has given recitals throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Japan and China, and won 11 first prizes in guitar competitions throughout the world.

Holcomb is a student at the Curtis School of Music, and studies with Western New York native and Grammy award winner Jason Vieaux. He has appeared on WHYY in Philadelphia, and has continued to participate in guitar competitions, winning first prize at the East Carolina Guitar Competition and the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition, and fourth prize at the Parkening International Guitar Competition.
Those who did not advance will be performing free of charge throughout Western New York on Friday, June 10 in Guitar Day. For a complete schedule, visit bpo.org.

 

About the Competition

Founded in 2004 and organized by WNED ǀ WBFO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the competition is one of the foremost musical events in the world and the first concerto competition for classical guitarists. It is named in honor of the BPO’s music director, JoAnn Falletta. Past winners include Marcin Dylla, Marko Topchii, and Celil Refik Kaya. For more information about the competition, visit bpo.org/joann-falletta-international-guitar-concerto-competition .

# # #

 

M&T Bank’s $500,000 Gift Leads New Push for the Crescendo Campaign Continues the bank’s long history of support for the BPO

Buffalo, New York — The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Crescendo Campaign is taking the next step to up the tempo in pushing toward the $25 million benchmark this summer.
With approximately $23 million in pledges already made, the campaign is targeting $2 million in new grants over the next few months. The M&T Charitable Foundation has pledged the first $500,000 and is encouraging other business leaders in the region to join the effort.
“The BPO is one of the cultural gems of Western New York, performing in one of Buffalo’s architectural masterpieces, the historic Kleinhans Music Hall, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary,” said M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers. “Our orchestra needs the support of business leaders in our community to ensure it has a strong future for decades to come. We encourage other local businesses to join us in this important effort.”
M&T has been an active supporter of the BPO for close to 30 years. Since 1992, M&T Bank and its executives have contributed nearly $5 million to the BPO.
From a time in the early 1980s when Buffalo and its orchestra faced significant financial challenges, M&T saw an opportunity to give back to its community. With the bank’s help, the BPO was able to re-engage and transition its board of trustees and recruit a new chairman. Positive changes allowed the BPO to move forward, build its audience and stabilize its finances.
Today, the BPO is stronger than ever, but is still reaching for a crescendo. This endowment campaign will enable the BPO to strengthen its position locally and internationally. Funds raised through this campaign will:

  • Raise the endowment well past the $50 million mark. National statistics show that a healthy orchestra should have an endowment at least five times its operating budget. The BPO’s current endowment is at $34 million with an annual operating budget of $11 million.
  • Support educational initiatives through the establishment of the Next Generation Education Fund. This $10 million endowment fund will help expand the Music for Youth concert series, bring musicians into classrooms and grow educational outreach to over 50,000 students a year – the BPO currently serves about 40,000 students annually.
  • Expand collaborations with other culturals in the area to produce innovative, creative, new works.
  • Support the overall operation of the BPO through annual income from the investments made.

Chairman of the Board Lou Ciminelli said, “M&T Bank is committed to sustaining Buffalo’s renaissance and we are so happy that they are invested in the future of our orchestra. It is my hope that this gift will inspire others – especially our corporate leaders – to give to the BPO, an institution that enriches the fabric of our community.”

Upon receipt of the gift, Ange Fatta, co-chairman of the BPO Crescendo Campaign, commented, “M&T Bank has been and continues to be a BPO champion in our Buffalo community. We are so grateful for their commitment over the years in helping the orchestra grow and develop. I have no doubt that this gift will encourage others to join M&T Bank in preserving our orchestra for generations to come.”

 

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 36 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.
M&T Bank is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.

# # #

 

Announcing the Buffalo Philharmonic’s Summer Schedule

This summer, the Buffalo Philharmonic will perform at 11 of Western New York’s most iconic parks and venues.
The summer season begins with a performance at the Ellicottville Music Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 2, featuring the music of heroes and villains. The orchestra will be in downtown Buffalo the following night for the annual Independence Eve celebration following the Buffalo Bisons – Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders game at 6:05 p.m. The concert will be conducted by Stefan Sanders and includes a spectacular post-concert fireworks display.

Return to Artpark

JoAnn Falletta’s sole appearance on the BPO podium this summer will come on Sunday, July 24, as the orchestra returns to Artpark with an all-Beethoven program. Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 is the centerpiece of this program, which also includes the Egmont Overture.
Igor Lipinski will return to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Since his last appearance with the BPO in 2012, Lipinski has completed his doctoral degree from Northwestern University. He is becoming well-known for his “Piano Illusions” show, which blends classical performance with stage magic.
The concert takes place at 3 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are available at artpark.net or by calling (716) 754-4375.

Celebrating Shakespeare

On Tuesday, July 19, the BPO joins the global commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with a free concert in Delaware Park. Actors from Shakespeare in the Park join the BPO for an evening of music and scenes from Shakespeare’s works, presented on the newly-renovated Shakespeare in the Park stage. This free concert is sponsored by Gibraltar and by Gurney Becker and Bourne, with support from Delaware District Councilmember Joel Feroleto.

Bowie at Canalside

David Bowie’s death in February prompted an international outpouring of admiration and respect for his music. After an extremely well-received performance with the BPO in March, the Jeans n’ Classics band returns to join the BPO on July 28 to perform “The Music of David Bowie” on the Free Thursday Summer Concert Series at Canalside. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the BPO taking the stage at 8 p.m.

Patriotic Flair at Old Fort Niagara

The BPO’s summer season concludes with an outdoor concert at Old Fort Niagara at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 31. Concert tickets include admission to the Fort, and everyone is encouraged to come early to explore Western New York’s oldest historic site. Stefan Sanders leads this thrilling concert, featuring patriotic favorites by John Williams and John Phillip Sousa, music from the Batman and Star Trek film and television franchises, and more. A fireworks show and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” provides a dramatic conclusion to the summer season of music. Family four-packs are available for only $60, which includes two adults and two children under 18 or students. Tickets are available at bpo.org.

Free concerts in the parks

On Thursday, July 7, the orchestra begins a series of free park concerts led by Stefan Sanders. They will perform at Knox Farm in East Aurora at 7 p.m. with a rain date of July 8 at the same time. Bubbles and Brews, a fundraising event for Knox Farm, will be held in the Main House from 5-9 p.m. July 7 (rain or shine). This year, the food and beverage will be prepared by The Roycroft Inn.  Proceeds from this event support the concert and renovations to the Main House. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased at friendsofknoxfarm.org. The BPO’s free performance is sponsored by Fox Run Orchard Park and by Moog.
At 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, the BPO returns to Tonawanda’s Niawanda Park for the second year in a row, thanks once again to the support of NYS Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. On Tuesday, July 12, the orchestra performs on the M&T Bank Plaza Summer Series. This daily series brings together the best of Buffalo’s musical acts for free lunchtime performances. The concert begins at 11:45 a.m. at 1 M&T Bank Plaza in downtown Buffalo.
On Saturday, July 16, the BPO performs a 7 p.m. concert at one of Western New York’s natural jewels: Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park. In case of rain, the concert will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 17. The free parks series winds down on Wednesday, July 20, with a 7 p.m. concert in the band shell at Clarence Town Park, located at 10405 Main St. The Clarence performance is sponsored by Kelly Schultz Antiques.
The concert programs are designed to celebrate several significant anniversaries in both United States and pop culture history, with nods to the 50th anniversaries of Batman and Star Trek; the 40th anniversary of “Rocky;” the coming Olympic Games in Rio; and the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

BPO Fantasy Camp

On July 18, 48 adults from six countries and all over the United States will come to Western New York for a week-long Fantasy Camp experience with the BPO. Participants will receive coaching from orchestra members, experience chamber music workshops, and spend the week rehearsing with JoAnn Falletta and the orchestra to prepare for a concert on Friday, July 22. This special private concert will be presented for the BPO’s subscribers and donors in recognition of their support of the orchestra.
Attendees will be asked to bring a boxed Lego set appropriate for all ages and for both boys and girls to benefit pediatric patients in Children’s Hospital. The concert marks the growth of the BPO’s partnership with the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which started with the Doctors of the World concert with the BPO in 2014 and expanded into the BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids program. This is the fifth year that the BPO has hosted a side-by-side experience for amateur musicians.

Full BPO Summer schedule

  • Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, Ellicottville, NY: Saturday, July 2 at 8 p.m. (tickets: ellicottvilleny.com or 800-349-9099)
  • Independence Eve with the Bisons, Coca-Cola Field, downtown Buffalo: Sunday, July 3, immediately following the 6:05 p.m. baseball game (tickets: bisons.com or (716) 843-4373)
  • BPO at Knox Farm, East Aurora, NY: Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m. (rain date: Friday, July 8 at 7 p.m.) (free concert)
  • BPO at Niawanda Park, Tonawanda: Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. (free concert)
  • BPO at M&T Bank Plaza, downtown Buffalo: Tuesday, July 12 at 11:45 a.m. (free concert)
  • BPO at Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park: Saturday, July 16 at 7 pm. (free concert)
  • BPO celebrates Shakespeare, Delaware Park, Buffalo: Tuesday, July 19 at 7 p.m. (free concert)
  • BPO at Clarence Town Park, Clarence: Wednesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. (free concert)
  • BPO Fantasy Camp concert, Kleinhans Music Hall: Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. (open to BPO subscribers and donors only)
  • JoAnn Falletta conducts an afternoon of Beethoven, Artpark: Sunday, July 24 at 3 p.m. (tickets: artpark.net or (716) 754-4375)
  • The Music of David Bowie, Canalside Buffalo: Thursday, July 28. Doors at 5 p.m., BPO takes the stage at approximately 8 p.m. (free concert)
  • BPO at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown: Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. (tickets: bpo.org or (716) 885-5000)
 For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
716-242-7819
kmockler@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 36 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

 

 

Semi-finalists selected in 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

 

 

BUFFALO, NY — Eight semi-finalists have been selected from a global pool of applicants to come to Buffalo on June 8 to compete in the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, co-sponsored by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WNED | WBFO.
The semi-finalists will perform in the WNED-TV Studios with an accompanist over a period of two nights. The semi-finals are open to the public, and take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9. The judges’ panel will select three finalists to perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra led by JoAnn Falletta, on Saturday, June 11 at Kleinhans Music Hall. Those who do not advance will perform throughout the community on Guitar Day on Friday, June 10.
The semi-finalists are Anton Baranov (Russia); Silviu Octavian Ciulei (Romania and the United States); Thomas Csaba (France); Andras Csaki Hungary); Alec Holcomb (United States); Paul Psarras (Greece and the United States); Oscar Somersalo (Finland); and Thomas Viloteau (France).

Anton Baranov

Anton Baranov

Baranov teaches at the Saint-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, from which he is a 2010 graduate. He has won more than 20 guitar competitions around the globe, including the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, and has recorded for the Naxos and Contrastes labels.

 

 

Silviu O. Ciulei

Silviu O. Ciulei

Ciulei recently completed a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University. He won top prizes at Parkening International Guitar Competition, Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition, Indiana International Guitar Competition, Texas International Guitar Competition and Festival and Schadt String International Competition.

 

 

Thomas Csaba

Thomas Csaba

Csaba’s first recording, “Another Troy for Her,” was released in January 2016. He performs solo and chamber recitals throughout Europe, and as a visual artist, has developed programs that bring together music and the visual arts. He won first prize at the Nagoya and Tokyo International Guitar Competition.

 

 

 

Andras Csaki

Andras Csaki

Csaki serves as an Associate Professor at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the school from which he graduated in 2007. He has given recitals throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Japan and China. He took top honors in the 51st Tokyo International Guitar Competition in 2008 and the Julian Arcas Guitar Competition in Spain in 2011.

 

 

Alec Holcomb

Holcomb is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been featured on the nationally syndicated NPR show “From the Top,” and has won first place in the East Carolina Guitar Competition (2014) and the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition (2015).

 

 

Paul Psarras

Paul Psarras

Psarras earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Francisco Conservatory. He has also completed professional studies there, with a focus on early music. In addition to classical guitar, Psarras also plays the oud, a traditional Greek instrument, and is a member of Fotia, a Bay Area-based Greek band.

 

 

Oscar Somersalo

Oscar Somersalo

 

Somersalo is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He has performed at Tucsia Guitar Festival in Italy and the Chamber Music Festival in Finland, and has been featured with the Panama National Symphony Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

 

 

Thomas Viloteau

Thomas Viloteau

Viloteau is finishing his doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music. He is the author of a book titled “In the Black Box – Technique(s) of the Classical Guitar,” and has recorded for Naxos, Mel Bay and La Ma de Guido. He has placed in numerous international competitions, taking first prize in Segovia Competition, Mottola, Ville d’Antony and Sernancelhe.

 

 

“This year’s talent pool is extremely exciting,” said Michael Andriaccio and Joanne Castellani, the Competition’s artistic directors. “The diversity of styles, interests, and backgrounds of our competitors will mean a dynamic round of semi-finals and a vibrant finale with the Buffalo Philharmonic. All of the semi-finalists have expressed their eagerness to come to Buffalo and be a part of this Competition. Buffalo has always embraced this event and made our visitors feel so welcome.”

Tickets are $12 for either semi-final round at the WNED-TV studios; and range from $30 to $77 for the finals with the BPO at Kleinhans Music Hall.
Tickets to all events are available at bpo.org or by calling (716) 885-5000.

For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
716-242-7819
kmockler@bpo.org

 

About the Competition

Founded in 2004 and organized by WNED ǀ WBFO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the competition is one of the foremost musical events in the world and the first concerto competition for classical guitarists. It is named in honor of the BPO’s music director, JoAnn Falletta. For more information about the competition, visit bpo.org/joann-falletta-international-guitar-concerto-competition .

# # #

 

 

Teachers, students and benefactors honored at BPO’s annual Celebration of Music Education

BUFFALO, NY — Saturday, May 14 will mark the annual Celebration of Music Education at Kleinhans Music Hall, presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. A reception and awards ceremony open to honorees, music educators, administrators and supporters of music education will be catered by Oliver’s and take place at 6:30 p.m. At the beginning of the 8 p.m. concert, honorees will be recognized before the BPO audience.

The BPO’s Leadership in Music Education goes to NOCO Energy Corp. and the Donald and Barbara Newman Foundation. NOCO is a third-generation family-owned and locally-operated company, with over 80 years of experience in the energy business. Jim Newman, President of NOCO, has been attending the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since he was a young man. He has continued to be a dedicated BPO enthusiast and has served as a past Chairman of the Board.  The Donald F. and Barbara L. Newman Foundation was set up to ensure the family tradition of giving back to the Western New York charitable community.  Its ongoing support has allowed the BPO to advance its educational mission.

Three educators were selected to receive the BPO and Erie County Music Educators’ Association award for excellence in music education: Eric Blodgett of Lake Shore Schools in Angola; and Christopher Gawlak and Douglas Shaw of the Clarence Central School District.

Blodgett has taught in the Lake Shore District for 21 years. He serves as music department chairman and has directed the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Musical Pit, Pep and Marching Bands, and instrumental lessons. In 2011, he received the Lake Shore Board of Education Outstanding Service Award. In 2013, he was recognized as one of the top 25 teachers in Western New York by Business First. He has served as ECMEA Librarian, Chairperson for ECMEA and NYSSMA events and groups, has hosted All County performances at Lake Shore, is a former member of the Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, and ran a successful private percussion studio for over 20 years.

Gawlak has taught in the Clarence Central School District for 25 years. He is presently the director of the Clarence Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Symphonic Band and CMS Jazz Ensemble. In addition, Gawlak teaches instrumental brass lessons and has previously directed the Sixth and Seventh Grade Bands and Marching Band. Prior to teaching in Clarence, he was a member of the music faculty in the Williamsville and Frontier School Districts. Gawlak has presented clinics for Erie County Music Educators Association and NYSSMA and has served as conference coordinator for ECMEA. He has conducted All County and Area All State Bands in Erie, Genesee, Monroe and Wyoming Counties. He resides in the Village of Hamburg.

Shaw is a native of Western New York, and is currently in his 26th year of teaching, the last 19 as the Director of the Clarence High School Symphony, Concert and Chamber Orchestras. He is the cellist in the Oakgrove Quartet, and has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Amherst and Cheektowaga Symphonies. He has been Chairman of Erie County High School Orchestra for many years, and has conducted the Niagara County Junior High, Erie County Elementary and Junior High Orchestras and Cheektowaga Symphony. He also served as manager and librarian for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra and house manager for the Buffalo Philharmonic. He lives in Williamsville.

The BPO and the Niagara County Music Educators Association are recognizing Linda Werder. Werder is the choral director at Niagara Falls High School. She has taught elementary, middle and high school levels in the Niagara Falls School District for 32 years. The NFHS Concert Choir has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Grammy award winning band Foreigner, as well as collaborating with Wilson High School, North Tonawanda High, Sweet Home High and Harmonia A Capella for performances. She has conducted All County Choirs and chaired Area All State Choirs. At the end of the school year, she is retiring to circumnavigate the eastern United States on her boat with her husband and her dog.

The Friends of the BPO will present their three scholarship winners at this event. The scholarships are awarded annually to graduating high school seniors who intend to further their careers in music.

James Featherstone of Amherst Central High School is the $3000 scholarship winner. Piano is his primary instrument, but he is also an alto saxophonist and tenor. While in grades nine and ten, he won the Tri-State Award of Excellence, earning the highest grades which entitled him to solo piano performances in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Since 2012, he’s consistently won Gold Medals in the Jacobs School of Music Piano Academy, Toronto and Stamford Kiwanis, and Burlington Rotary Music Festivals as well as earning the championship in the Heddy Killian Competition. He is one of the youngest to earn the Associate Diploma- Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto. He is the piano student of Mary Handley, for whom he has served for two years as teaching assistant in piano, theory, and music history. His career goal is to continue teaching students the art of music. He will enter college this fall as a piano performance major at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Madeline Ferguson of Williamsville East High School is the $2000 scholarship winner. She began her clarinet studies in fourth grade, began participating in Erie County Music Educators Festivals in sixth grade and in New York State School Music Association Area All- State Festivals in seventh grade. She earned First Clarinet in NYSMA’s All-State Band in grade 11 and First Clarinet in NYSSMA’s All-State Orchestra in her senior year. She attended Eastman School of Music’s Music Horizons in the summer of 2014, and the New York State Orchestral Studies in the summer of 2015. In 2013, she began playing in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, and she became their Principal Clarinet the following year.She is an AP Scholar with Distinction and received the 2015 Swarthmore College Book Award. Aside from music, she is a Shir Shalom Religious Teacher Assistant and participates in Tzedek Corps, Unity in Diversity, and Rochez Irish Dance. Madeline is the clarinet student of Robert Lehner and intends to major in Clarinet Performance and Music Education at Eastman School of Music.

Sarah Troeller of Clarence High School is the $1000 scholarship winner. Her cello studies began during fourth grade. Her playing flourished and she progressed to perform in Erie County Music Educators’ Orchestra Festivals and New York State School Music Association Area All-State String Orchestras and Area All-State Symphony Orchestras. In 2015, she was an alternate to All-State Symphony Orchestra. Performing in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra is another opportunity she enjoys. She plays in the Clarence High Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra and has performed in the Pit Orchestra and sung in Treble Chorus. She studies cello with BPO Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov and intends to major in music education at The Ohio State University in the fall.

 

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

For Immediate Release
Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
716-242-7819
kmockler@bpo.org

 

# # #

 

 

JoAnn Falletta Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

 

JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The induction ceremony will take place on October 8, 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the Academy welcomes Maestro Falletta together with her fellow newly elected Academy members by saying “As individuals, in your respective fields, you have each extended the limits of what we can do as a people, a nation, and a world. When considered as a group, you allow us to envision future possibilities—discoveries that, years hence, will improve health, help us explore the universe, contribute to technology that strengthens our economy, advance our understanding of fair and decent communities, and cause our spirits to soar through the power of music and the arts.”

As expressed in its 1780 Charter, the Academy’s purpose is “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” Maestro Falletta joins the company of notable members – from John Adams, James Bowdoin, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, and Alexander Graham Bell. Says Academy President Fanton: “Our current members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than two hundred fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners” noting that JoAnn Falletta “has been elected from among the nation’s—and the world’s—leaders in the mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector.”

“I am delighted and deeply honored to join such illustrious colleagues at the Academy,” says Falletta.  “The election is a resounding expression of the validity of classical music and symphony orchestras in our country.”

Hailing her as a “leading force for the music of our time,” the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has honored JoAnn Falletta with twelve ASCAP awards, recognizing her work as a conductor, communicator, recording artist, audience builder, champion of American composers and distinguished musical citizen. Ms. Falletta served as a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.  She is the recipient of many of the world’s top conducting awards and her recordings have garnered two Grammy Awards and multiple Grammy Nominations.  In addition to her posts as music director of both the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony, she is frequently invited to guest conduct many of the world’s great symphony orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony.

More information on Maestro Falletta may be found at www.JoAnnFalletta.com.  For more information on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, including a complete list of the 2016 new members, visit https://www.amacad.org.

Hi-res images of JoAnn Falletta are available at www.joannfalletta.com/press