Category: Press Releases

Buffalo Philharmonic concert tickets on sale August 8

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

Buffalo Philharmonic concert tickets on sale August 8

Lang Lang, FinnFest USA, Celtic Woman, Jason Alexander among early season highlights

BUFFALO, NY — Saturday, August 8 marks the first opportunity for non-subscribers to obtain tickets to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2015-16 season, with performances by Lang Lang and Celtic Woman, a spectacular Holiday Pops show with the debut of Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and tributes to Journey and to the music of the “Mad Men” era. Tickets range from $29-$83 and are available by visiting, calling (716) 885-5000, or visiting the BPO Box Office at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

The 75th anniversary season of Kleinhans Music Hall begins on Sept. 16 as the BPO welcomes piano sensation Lang Lang. Born in a small town in China, Lang Lang has become one of the most famous people in his home country and has electrified audiences worldwide, with performances at the 2014 World Cup, the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2014 and 2015 Grammy Awards. He will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under JoAnn Falletta’s baton, in a concert that includes music by Tchaikovsky and Glinka. The BPO’s annual gala, sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation, takes place that night. The gala includes a pre-concert dinner catered by Oliver’s, premium concert seating, and a post-concert dessert reception. Proceeds benefit the BPO’s educational programming. For gala information and reservations, call (716) 242-7899. Tickets for the concert alone range from $60 to $100.

The BPO was among the first orchestras to blend rock with symphonic music. The orchestra continues that tradition with its BPO Rocks Series presented by Key Private Bank. The series kicks off Sept. 18 with “Faithfully: A Tribute to Journey.” The music of one of the most popular American rock bands gets the full symphonic treatment as your BPO is joined by the top Journey tribute band in the country. With hits like “Faithfully,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Don’t Stop Believing,” rock show lighting and the musicianship of the BPO, this show is not to be missed.

On Sept. 24, the BPO presents a celebration of Buffalo’s best sounds. The area’s top rock band, The Albrights, worked with the BPO to develop orchestral charts to their signature songs. Local gypsy jazz sensation Babik performed with the BPO during the height of their popularity, and reunites for this evening only. Each band will perform with the orchestra, and the program will also introduce the audience to rock and EDM-inspired compositions by today’s hottest composers, including Sufjan Stevens and Mason Bates. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 general admission. Tickets include a complimentary slice of pizza and beer or soft drink at a post-concert party, featuring a DJ and Verve Dance Studios.

The Bank of America Pops Series opens with “Music of the “Mad Men” Era” on Sept. 26. The hit television show made audiences fall in love with the music and aesthetic of mid-twentieth century America. Cheyenne Jackson, star of Broadway and TV’s “30 Rock,” takes you on a musical tour of this era just before his star turn on “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

Jason Alexander is best-known for his portrayal of hapless George Costanza on “Seinfeld.” He is also a master of live theater, winning several Tony awards and amassing an impressive collection of acting and directing credits on and off Broadway. He joins the BPO on Oct. 17 for an evening of song, dance and comedy.

JoAnn Falletta programmed the M&T Bank Classics Series to showcase Kleinhans Music Hall’s resonant sound during its 75th anniversary season. The series starts with a two-week exploration of Finnish music to coincide with FinnFest USA, taking place in Buffalo on October 9-12. Finnish guest artists join the BPO during the first two weekends in October for programs that feature music by Finland’s favorite son, Jean Sibelius, and by the composers he inspired.

Other early Classics highlights include Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony on Oct. 24 and 25, ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro’s performance on Nov. 7 and 8; and Elgar’s Enigma Variations on Nov. 20 and 21.

The BPO’s Know The Score series returns for a fourth season of musical exploration and discovery. On Oct. 16, Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders presents “Copland in Mexico.” The program explores how Mexico’s culture influenced Aaron Copland, and how Copland in turn influenced a generation of Mexican composers. The multimedia concert culminates with a screening of the film “Redes” with a live orchestral score by Silvestre Revueltas.

BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids returns for another season of family fun on Oct. 18 with Symphonic Spooktacular. This year’s Halloween tradition is bigger than ever, with a singalong, a costume parade, and audience participation. Families are invited to come at 1:30 p.m. to explore the Instrument Zoo and the BlueCross BlueShield Activity Cruiser, and to enjoy activities with Tutor Doctor and Monkey See Monkey Do Books.

The BPO’s holiday season is full of extra cheer this year. John Morris Russell is crafting a charming Holiday Pops experience for his first concert in his new role, slated for Dec. 18, 19 and 20. Celtic Woman has thrilled audiences worldwide for ten years, and stops in Buffalo during their Home For Christmas Symphonic Tour on Dec. 9. Falletta leads the orchestra for a concert full of timeless music treasures in JoAnn’s Classical Christmas on Dec. 11 and 12.

Other season highlights include the return of Chris Botti on Feb. 13 and of pianist Andre Watts on Feb. 20 and 21; the BPO debut of the “little orchestra” Pink Martini on March 12; and a performance of Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony with images by Tobias Melle on June 4 and 5.

Subscriptions are still available and remain the best value, saving patrons significant money on handling fees and allowing them to lock in the best seats. Call (716) 885-5000 to learn more. Individual tickets to the full season of Buffalo Philharmonic concerts are available at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 by calling (716) 885-5000, visiting, or going to the box office located at 3 Symphony Circle off Porter Avenue in 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 32 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit

Buffalo Philharmonic seeks to raise $75,000 in 75 days

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


BUFFALO, NY – When JoAnn Falletta renewed her contract as BPO music director, it inspired one board member to issue a challenge to the community.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc. board member Anthony Cassetta has committed to donate $75,000 to the BPO if a matching amount can be raised from the community by the end of the orchestra’s summer season. At the close of the BPO’s 2014-15 season, the orchestra announced the extension of Falletta’s contract through 2021. Although her contract was not up for another year, Falletta says she chose to renew early because of her deep commitment to Buffalo and her desire to work on long-range plans for the orchestra.

“Maestro Falletta has been an outstanding ambassador for Buffalo and our orchestra all around the world” said Cassetta. “Let’s show her how much Buffalo appreciates her dedication to our city and orchestra.”

“Buffalo is passionate about all its cultural assets, and we are optimistic that the community will embrace Mr. Cassetta’s challenge and support JoAnn Falletta and the musicians of the BPO,” said Jennifer Barbee, BPO Director of Development. “We are truly grateful for Mr. Cassetta’s, and the region’s, ongoing support of our orchestra.”

Those wishing to participate may call (716) 242-7899 or visit to donate. Donors are encouraged to share their donation stories and to challenge others to give through social media, using #75Kin75days. Donations are tax-deductible.



As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 32 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit

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Buffalo Philharmonic’s “Soundwave” brings The Albrights, reunited Babik to Kleinhans

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


BUFFALO, NY -Buffalo musicians of all types will unite on the Kleinhans stage for one night in September.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Buffalo Philharmonic will present “Soundwave,” featuring Buffalo bands The Albrights and Babik and works by contemporary rock-inspired composers and songwriters Mason Bates, Adam Schoenberg, and Sufjan Stevens. BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will be on the podium. Tickets are $20 general admission and $10 for students. An after-party features Verve Studios dancers and a DJ. Admission includes a complimentary slice of pizza and a beverage. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Fresh from an East Coast tour, The Albrights are among Buffalo’s most acclaimed and popular bands, featuring lead vocalists Brandon Barry and Joe Donohue III with Matthew Crane and Dustin Herzberger on rhythm. The Albrights’ music is influenced by pop, indie rock, and Americana sounds, and has earned praise from The Buffalo News, The Provincetown Banner, and The Aquarian Weekly. They have released two albums and performed with Everclear, Fountains of Wayne, The Psychedelic Furs, and Fitz and the Tantrums. Recently, they collaborated with the West Seneca East High School Chorus to perform choral arrangements of their songs. Over the summer, they will work with the BPO to develop orchestral charts for their songs “Virgin,” “Over and Over,” “Zion Man,” and “Soundwave.”

“As a band of musicians and songwriters, we thrive when we share our music with other artists. The chance to work with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, in the legendary Kleinhans Music Hall, is a dream come true,” said Donohue.


Babik’s sound was inspired by the late Django Reinhardt, an early-20th-century musician who blended traditional Romani, or Gypsy, music with jazz. From 2004 to 2012, Babik members Stuart Fuchs, Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry, Joshua Assad, and Kevin O’Brien ruled Buffalo’s jazz scene with their own twist on the sound. They released two albums, won seven awards from Artvoice and Buffalo Spree, and presented their high-energy, inventive shows all over the region, including two well-received performances with the BPO. In 2012, they amicably parted ways when two of the band members moved out of the region. Babik will reunite for this concert and perform several of their signature pieces with the BPO.

Composer Mason Bates was in Buffalo in 2014 for the BPO’s West Side Connection education concert. The orchestra will perform his “Warehouse Medicine,” which evokes the abandoned warehouses of his native Detroit where the techno genre was born. Adam Schoenberg drew inspiration for “Finding Rothko” from an exhibit of painter Mark Rothko’s works. The orchestra will play “Wine” from the piece. Sufjan Stevens is a multi-instrumentalist who has released albums in genres ranging from electronic to folk. His album “Enjoy Your Rabbit” was originally released as an electronic album and explored the Chinese zodiac. In 2009, it was re-released as “Run Rabbit Run” and the music re-arranged for string quartet. The orchestra will perform “Year of The Dragon” and “Year of the Dog” from this album. Jonathan Newman, known for incorporating pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into classical models, originally wrote “Blow It Up, Start Again” for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2011.

“Music is the world’s most popular language, and there is a whole new generation of songwriters and composers that are finding inspiration from one another,” said Sanders. “Two of the pieces the BPO will play on this concert are magnificently influenced by popular music: Jonathan Newman’s funkalicious ‘Blow it Up and Start Again’ and Mason Bates’ techno-orchestral masterpiece ‘Warehouse Medicine.’ Sufjan Stevens’ music is an amazing mix of minimalist expression (think of Philip Glass or John Adams) and his unique voice of instrumental indie rock meets Americana. Adam Schoenberg’s ‘Wine’ is beautifully ambient, and transports the listener into a world of luscious orchestral sounds. Whether it is Beethoven or Billy Joel, music is an explosive expression of humanity, and perhaps its most powerful instrument is the orchestra. We hope that Soundwave will be embraced by BPO fans, new music fans, and fans of The Albrights and Babik alike. We can’t wait to present this to Buffalo.”

The event is supported by a grant from the J. Warren Perry and Charles Donald Perry Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and by UB University Life and Services. Tickets for Soundwave will go on sale Monday, June 15 at the BPO box office. Call (716) 885-5000 or visit

JoAnn Falletta to remain at BPO through 2021

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


BUFFALO, NY – JoAnn Falletta will remain at the helm of the Buffalo Philharmonic for another six years.

Falletta, already the longest-tenured Music Director in the history of the Buffalo Philharmonic, received a contract extension that was formally announced at the final concert of the BPO’s 2014-15 M&T Bank Classics Season on May 30.

Since Falletta came to the BPO in 1999, she has revitalized the orchestra’s recording program, establishing a house label, Beau Fleuve, and working with the international classical music giant Naxos to release 32 CDs. She has taken the orchestra to Carnegie Hall twice, mounted two multi-city tours of Florida with a third in the works, and led the orchestra in performances in Saratoga Springs and Utica, with a performance at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake planned for this summer.


The orchestra has performed multiple world premieres under her direction, including several pieces commissioned for the BPO and its musicians. A champion of the music of our times, she has earned several ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. The orchestra’s performances are heard nationwide on the syndicated “Performance Today” program, and their CDs are played on classical stations all over the world. With her leadership, the orchestra received its first Grammy Award for their 2009 recording of John Corigliano’s “Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.”


Through partnerships with colleges, universities, museums, and dance and theater companies, Falletta has integrated the orchestra into the Western New York community to an unprecedented degree. The orchestra worked with Irish Classical Theatre Company and LehrerDance this fall to present Moliere’s play “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” with Richard Strauss’ music. The Charles Ives festival incorporated dance, music, art and literature and took place at the Burchfield Penney Art Gallery, Buffalo and Erie County Library, and University at Buffalo. The orchestra performs annually at Canisius College and at UB, and worked with the Albright-Knox, Burchfield Penney and Darwin Martin House to feature images from their collections on the covers of a series of CDs. In 2012, she worked with UB to bring poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko to Buffalo for readings and for a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar,” which was inspired by his works.


Falletta is based in Buffalo, and also serves as the Music Director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. She is an in-demand guest conductor, and has led orchestras in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America as well as throughout the United States. She has been awarded 12 honorary doctoral degrees and prestigious international conducting awards such as the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award and the Toscanini Award for Conducting.


“JoAnn Falletta has really taken the orchestra to the next level. Her vision and leadership have raised our profile both within the community and on a national level. She’s a tremendous asset, and we’re pleased that she will be remaining with us,” said Louis Ciminelli, BPO Board Chair. “The community has come to respect and trust her, the musicians have thrived artistically under her leadership, and the board and staff work extremely well with her. We couldn’t be happier to announce this piece of news.”


“I am truly happy to be able to spend another six years with the BPO in a city I have loved for 15 years,” said Falletta of her contract extension. “It is a dream situation for a conductor- a superb orchestra committed to excellence and to its community, an exemplary board, a visionary executive director and wonderful staff, dedicated volunteers, and an audience that encourages us to reach for the highest level of artistry and supports us with curiosity, open-mindedness and love. I look forward to continuing our artistic journey together!”




As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 32 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit



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SUNY system confers Medallion of Distinction upon JoAnn Falletta

Contact:Kate Jenkins
Communications Coordinator
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

JoAnn Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director, will become the fourth recipient of the statewide SUNY Distinguished Academy’s Medallion of Distinction.

Falletta will receive the award at the annual SUNY Distinguished Academy dinner, held at the Desmond Hotel in Albany on May 26. Each year, the Distinguished Academy honors an accomplished individual who has worked closely with one or more SUNY college or university to enhance the research, teaching or service components of those institutions. Falletta is the fourth person to receive this honor.

She was nominated by Satish Tripathi, President of the University at Buffalo. SUNY trustee and BPO Board Member Angelo Fatta will introduce Falletta, and SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher will confer the award.

 Under Falletta’s tenure, the orchestra and the university have worked closely together many times. She has been a regular participant in the annual June in Buffalo festival, an internationally-renowned event dedicated to the composition and performance of contemporary music. Under her baton, the orchestra has performed on the UB campus many times, at the Center for Performing Arts, in the Lippes Concert Hall, and as part of the UB on the Green series of free summer concerts for the community.

In 2012, she was instrumental in bringing eminent Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko to Buffalo. A groundbreaking figure in international relations, in 1960, Yevtushenko became the first Russian poet to break through the Iron Curtain to recite his poetry to the West. In one of three university-sponsored events, Yevtushenko appeared at the BPO’s performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar,” which was inspired by his works.

In 2011, UB honored Falletta with the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal. The Norton Medal, conferred by the UB Council, is the university’s highest honor, and recognizes individuals whose accomplishments are “truly great and ennobling” and dignify the performer and Buffalo in the eyes of the world. In receiving the Norton Medal, Falletta joined the storied company of almost 90 honorees over a span of as many years, including award-winning artists, civic leaders, and Nobel laureates.

“The University at Buffalo and the Buffalo Philharmonic have enjoyed a long partnership,” said JoAnn Falletta. “Bringing that tradition into the 21st century was a priority for me when I began my tenure at the BPO. Both the orchestra and the university are stronger for working together. It means a great deal to me to have this partnership recognized by the SUNY leadership, and I look forward to continuing my work with the university and with the other institutions that call Buffalo home.”

2015-16 BPO Rocks series features disco party, tributes to Elton John, Journey

BUFFALO, NY — Your Buffalo Philharmonic rocks in the 2015-16 season with classic hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s re-interpreted with a full orchestra. Exceptional bands and exciting show lighting provide a rock-concert atmosphere for the five-show BPO Rocks Series presented by Key Private Bank.

The season opens on Friday, Sept. 18 with “Faithfully: A Symphonic Tribute to Journey.” A six-piece band will perform hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Open Arms” with the backing of your BPO. Stefan Sanders, the BPO’s Associate Conductor, leads this hard-driving show.

Michael Krajewski is back on the podium with “The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” on Saturday, Nov. 14. Krajewski created this show using the best of Simon & Garfunkel’s music, from “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to “Kodachrome” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle lend their voices to the music that served as the soundtrack to the 1960s and 1970s.

Singer-songwriter Swearingen has three solo albums under his belt, as well as an album as half of the duo Swearingen and Kelli. He met Beedle in a club in Bethlehem, PA in 1991, and they joined forces to perform the music of Simon and Garfunkel, a group that both men cite as a profound influence. Krajewski was most recently seen on the BPO podium in “Bond and Beyond: 50 Years of 007” with Broadway star Debbie Gravitte. He is Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston, Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphonies.

The Canadian symphonic rock musicians of Jeans n’ Classics took Canalside by storm in 2014, performing the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson. On Jan. 22, they join the BPO for “Disco Inferno – A Disco Ball.” With charts designed to showcase a full orchestra, this show features disco mega-hits like “Hot Stuff,” “Lady Marmalade” and “Stayin’ Alive.” Five vocalists help turn Kleinhans into Studio 54 for this 70s throwback night. After the concert, the BPO puts up a disco ball and continues the party in the Mary Seaton Room.

Saturday, Feb. 28 features a symphonic tribute to John Denver. The BPO’s new Principal Pops Conductor, John Morris Russell, will be on the podium, as Jim Curry brings to life the music of the original country crossover artist. Curry has spent much of his career performing Denver’s music. He provided the singing voice for the 1997 CBS film “Take Me Home: The John Denver Story,” and from there, went on to develop this symphonic tribute show that has played to audiences around the country. He frequently performs with Denver’s former band mates to bring this music to today’s audiences.

The BPO Rocks series concludes with a brand-new collaboration between the orchestra and Windborne Music, who has brought “The Music of Led Zeppelin” and “The Music of the Rolling Stones” to Buffalo. Their newest production, “The Music of Elton John,” will come to Kleinhans on Saturday, April 23. The show features the towering talents of vocalist Brody Dolyniuk, who won the hearts of Western New Yorkers as lead singer for “The Music of Queen,” “The Music of The Rolling Stones,” and others. Arranger and Windborne mastermind Brent Havens will return to the BPO podium. The familiar Elton John songs, including “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Daniel,” and “Candle In The Wind” will be featured and are particularly well-suited to this dynamic presentation with a full orchestra.

Subscriptions to the five-concert BPO Rocks Series presented by Key Private Bank 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. To subscribe, call (716) 885-5000 or visit Individual tickets will go on sale for all shows on Aug. 8.



As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 32 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit



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BPO, Buffalo Public Schools win Yale School of Music award for West Side Connection program

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

May 21, 2015

BUFFALO, NY – West Side Connection, a six-year-old partnership between the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Public Schools located in the orchestra’s West Side neighborhood, has earned a Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.

The award will be given at the Yale School of Music Symposium on Music in Schools in New Haven on June 4-7. This year’s symposium focuses on partnerships between schools and professional music organizations. The West Side Connection program is one of 38 endeavors throughout the country that are being recognized.


Honorees are invited to attend the symposium to receive their awards and attend three days of strategic sessions presented by Yale School of Music faculty and guest speakers. BPO Education  

Director Robin Parkinson and BPS music teacher James Schwanz will attend the symposium together. Parkinson and Schwanz are the two driving forces behind West Side Connection.


Schwanz is a music teacher for Buffalo Public Schools at the Math, Science, Technology Preparatory School. He has been an integral member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Education Committee, assisting with developing curriculum materials connecting diverse music cultures and education programs for students throughout Western New York. He leads professional development opportunities for the Buffalo Public School’s music department and regularly serves his school as an acting administrator.


Parkinson has been on the BPO staff since 2009, in which time she has expanded the number of children served by the education program and reached new audiences. The West Side Connection program is one of a number of new programs that she has developed. She is a staunch advocate for arts education, giving the keynote speech for the 2011 New York State PTA Convention in Niagara Falls and serving on the leadership team for Buffalo’s new Arts Partners for Learning initiative.


The West Side Connection program was developed in response to the increasing numbers of people moving to Buffalo’s West Side through the UN Refugee Resettlement Program, and a desire to make an authentic connection with this international community through music. It involves students at 12 schools in the Kleinhans Music Hall neighborhood, including a Native American magnet school, three bilingual Spanish schools, and three international schools. The program features guest artist visits, educational activities, and a culminating concert. The BPO works with local and national guest artists that have included a breakdancer, a choir of Burmese Karen, the African-American Cultural Center’s dancers and drummers, and the young winners of the national Sphinx Competition, which fosters excellence among black and Hispanic string players.


“The BPO’s West Side Connection is a very important part of the BPO’s educational mission and I’m so pleased it is getting such distinguished recognition for its impact and longstanding partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools.  I’m also looking forward to the Symposium in June where I will be able to meet and work with my colleagues from across the county who are all doing important work in their communities,” Parkinson said.


“My support of the West Side Connection dates back to my days as a BPO board member and chair of the BPO Education Committee,” said Don Oglivie, interim superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools. “Interactive musical engagement programs like the West Side Connection enable our schools to celebrate diversity and address relevant social issues while affording students the opportunity to experience a live orchestra, often for the first time. This initiative serves as an invaluable and irreplaceable supplement to our students’ education while complying with state educational standards and benchmarks.”

Dates Announced for the 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

BUFFALO, N.Y. -WNED – WBFO Buffalo-Toronto and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are pleased to announce the dates for the 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. 

The competition will be taking place on June 8, 9 and 11, 2016.    

The semifinals will take place in the WNED Studios in downtown Buffalo on June 8 and 9, with the finals being held at Kleinhans Music Hall on June 11. The semifinals will be broadcast live on Classical 94.5 WNED and streamed online at

Named in honor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director, the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition has been produced by WNED | WBFO Buffalo-Toronto and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) since 2004. The competition, run by Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, themselves renowned concert guitarists, identifies and encourages talented young classical guitarists and helps them on their musical journeys. Every two years, extraordinarily gifted competitors from all over the world come to compete in Buffalo, N.Y., for one week and perform publicly in competition for an exciting grand prize package.

The 2016 first place winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, a return engagement with the BPO and other prizes to be announced.

For updates visit:


Facebook: The 2016 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition returns to #Buffalo June 8-11. #fallettacomp16

Twitter: The 2016 @fallettacomp returns to #Buffalo June 8-11 #fallettacomp16

About WNED ǀ WBFO Buffalo-Toronto

Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD TV, Classical 94.5 WNED and WBFO 88.7 FM, member-supported WNED ǀ WBFO Buffalo-Toronto provides high quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED ǀ WBFO can be found at


About the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy® winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is an internationally recognized symphony of the highest artistic caliber and an indispensable part of the Western New York community’s quality of life. For more information about the BPO, visit

About Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio

The Competition Artistic Directors have enjoyed a celebrated career as one of the foremost guitar duos in the world. Having received numerous awards and distinctions from the very beginning, they have won two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowshisp, toured internationally and recorded extensively. For more information, visit

Military personnel to be guests of honor at BPO’s Patriotic Pops concert

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


At this year’s Patriotic Pops concert, the Buffalo Philharmonic will honor the military not only onstage, but at the box office.

Active duty personnel and veterans are invited to attend the BPO’s Patriotic Pops concert free of charge. They can obtain a free ticket to either presentation of the concert by presenting their ID at the BPO Box Office at Kleinhans. In addition, their families attending with them can receive a 20 percent discount on tickets for this concert.

The BPO and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus present “Patriotic Pops” at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 22 and at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 23 at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

This year’s concert will be conducted by BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders. “The Armed Forces Salute,” “Colonel Bogey March,” and music by John Williams, George M. Cohan, and John Phillip Sousa are on the program. There will also be a sing-along of patriotic favorites like “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be available before the Friday morning concert starting at 9:30 a.m.

“Every year, our Memorial Day weekend concerts are dedicated to honoring the men and women who served in our military,” said BPO Director of Marketing and Communications Susan Schwartz. “We hope that many of them will be our guests for this concert, and accept our deep appreciation for their service.”

For tickets and additional information, call (716) 885-5000.


Buffalo Philharmonic visits Artpark, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Old Fort Niagara, Canalside and more in busy summer season

BUFFALO, NY – The BPO is planning a summer season that sees them travel to 12 Western New York venues and perform 14 concerts in a month’s time.


Passport to a Summer Serenade Across the Border


A highlight of the BPO’s summer season is its performance at the Shaw Festival in partnership with Music Niagara at 7:30 p.m Monday, July 20. Marko Topchii, the Ukrainian guitarist who swept all prizes at the 2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, will return to perform with the BPO. Since his big win, he has also taken top prizes at the Guitar Competition in Taipai (Taiwan), at the third Changsha Guitar Competition (China), at the “Ruggero Chiesa” Competition (Italy), and at the Jakarta Guitar Competition (Indonesia). His recital at Carnegie Hall took place on April 30. In July, he will perform “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Rodrigo with the BPO.


Music Niagara Artistic Director Atis Bankas, also an accomplished violinist who performs as a member of the Toronto Symphony, will be featured with the BPO, performing “Souvenirs d’un lieu Cher” by Tchaikovsky. The program also includes the Overture to “Barber of Seville” by Rossini and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, “Prague.” JoAnn Falletta will lead this concert, the only local appearance that she will make this summer. Tickets go on sale on Friday, May 8 at


Independence Eve with the Bisons


Staff Conductor Paul Ferington will lead his final BPO performance on July 3 at Coca-Cola Field. The game begins at 6 p.m. and the concert immediately follows. A fixture with the BPO for 30 years, Ferington has led the Independence Eve concert each summer, along with annual concerts at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Hilbert College, Genesee Community College and M&T Bank. He is the founder and presenter of the popular BPOvations lecture series, held at Buffalo and Erie County library branches. He was also an educator and administrator in the SUNY system. Ferington will retire from his work with the BPO after this performance. The concert ends with the Bison’s largest fireworks display of the season. Tickets are on sale now at


Free concerts around Western New York


The orchestra will play a series of free concerts throughout the area, starting with a performance at Bidwell Park at 7 p.m. on June 30, sponsored by Delaware District Common Council Member Michael LoCurto. This performance will kick off the popular Elmwood Bidwell Summer Concert Series. The BPO visits Niawanda Park in Tonawanda at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 5 thanks to the support of New York State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, funded through the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation.


The orchestra will continue its decades-long run on the M&T Bank Plaza summer series, with a concert at noon on Tuesday, July 7. At 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9, the BPO returns to Knox Farm State Park in an event sponsored by Fox Run Orchard Park, Moog, and Gallo Wine. The free concert is part of a fundraiser for the Friends of Knox Farm, with the Bubbles and Brews dinner and wine pairing held in the Main House from 5 to 9 p.m. Bubbles and Brews guests will receive preferred parking, reserved seating, and an open bar. Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 and can be purchased at


The orchestra performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 at Clarence Town Park. BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will conduct all of these concerts, which will feature light classical music, music from films, and patriotic music. Two of the Friends of the BPO Scholarship winners will perform at these concerts. Cellist Grace Ann Lee, an Amherst resident and 2015 graduate of Williamsville East High School, will perform a movement from Lalo’s Cello Concerto at Knox Farm. Flutist Lauren Scanio will perform Chaminade’s Concertino for Flute for a hometown audience at Clarence Town Park. Both plan to further their musical education in college.


Buffalo’s All-Star Tribute to Stevie Wonder at Canalside

Featuring Critt’s Juke Joint


Following its well-received Thursdays at Canalside debut last summer, the BPO will return to the series at 7 p.m. on July 16 at with The Music of Stevie Wonder. The orchestra collaborates with Critt’s Juke Joint with Eric Crittenden and Friends, an American funk-roots band known for its improv-driven take on the classics. The band and orchestra worked with Bradley Thachuk, director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, to create the charts for this never-before-heard show.


Return to Artpark and Ellicottville


The BPO will once again be part of the three-day Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, taking place from July 3 to July 5. The BPO will be featured at 8 p.m. on July 4, in a concert of music from “Star Wars,” patriotic music, and a fireworks finale.


The orchestra will play a two-day stand at Artpark. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, it presents a crowd-pleasing performance of The Music of John Williams, led by Sanders and including hits from Jaws, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.


On the following day, the BPO will headline an all-day festival at Artpark in celebration of the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary. Local favorites Savannah and the Kings, The Growlers, Hayden Fogle and the Ambassadors, and The Maniacs will be featured on three stages of music starting at 2 p.m. The Grass is Dead, a nationally touring act which blends traditional bluegrass with the iconic Dead sound, will perform before the BPO and Crazy Fingers take the main stage at 6 p.m.  


Tickets for the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Celebration are on sale now. General admission tickets are only $12. A $39 VIP ticket includes reserved seating and access to a dedicated bar. Tickets for The Music of John Williams will go on sale on Friday, May 8. Ellicottville Summer Music Festival tickets are on sale now at


Fantasy Camp


On Sunday, July 19, the BPO will welcome adult amateur musicians for the experience of a lifetime. Musicians from the community will spend a day rehearsing with the orchestra, receiving sectional coaching from BPO musicians, and socializing with the orchestra members and with one another. Music includes selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Suite,” the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Verdi’s “Nabucco” Overtureand Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain.” Applications are available at The application deadline is June 8.


Summer Nights @ Kleinhans


The BPO will perform two concerts in their Kleinhans home, but both will be held in the intimate Mary Seaton Room while the seats are replaced in the Main Hall. Patrons are invited to picnic on the grounds of the hall before the 7 p.m. start time of the concerts. On Friday, July 24, the BPO will present “Baroque and Brews,” an evening of music by Bach, Vivaldi and Handel featuring a craft beer tasting. BPO cellists Amelie Fradette and David Schmude will be in the spotlight, performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos in G Minor.


Patrons are invited to return at 7 p.m. July 25 for Mozart and Mingle. Soprano Emily Helenbrook, of Alexander, was a soloist with the BPO during its recent Beethoven festival, and will return to sing Mozart arias. The concert also includes movements from several Mozart symphonies and Haydn’s Toy Symphony, featuring some special guests. Sanders will conduct both concerts. Limited seating will be available. Tickets for both Summer Nights @ Kleinhans concerts will go on sale on Friday, May 8.

Out with a bang


The summer season will conclude with a concert and fireworks at Old Fort Niagara at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 26. Rapidly becoming a summer tradition, the concert ticket also includes admission to the Fort, giving patrons the perfect opportunity to explore one of the region’s oldest historic sites. This concert will also feature the final Friends of the BPO scholarship winner, violinist Angel Rhodes of Orchard Park. Music will include patriotic marches, selections from West Side Story and The Sound of Music, the ever-popular Sabre Dance and other classic favorites, culminating in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, May 8.


The BPO’s summer schedule

  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 30: Free concert at Bidwell Park
  •  Friday, July 3, Game starts at 6 p.m. Bisons Independence Eve Celebration with the BPO and Fireworks. Tickets:
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, July 4: Ellicottville Summer Music Festival. Tickets:
  • 6 p.m. Sun. July 5: Free concert at Niawanda Park
  • Noon, Tuesday, July 7: Free concert at M&T Plaza Downtown
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9: Free concert at Knox Farm State Park
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11: The Music of John Williams @Artpark. Tickets: $19-$49;
  • Sunday, July 12, Festival starts at 2 p.m.; BPO concert at 6 p.m. Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Celebration @Artpark.Tickets: $12 general admission; $39 VIP,
  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 15: Free concert in Clarence Town Park
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16: Buffalo’s All-Star Tribute to Stevie Wonder at Canalside Featuring Critt’s Juke Joint. Free.
  • 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 20: Your Passport to a Summer Serenade: BPO @ the Shaw Festival Music Niagara Series. Tickets: $39, $59, $15 students; special VIP ticket for $99 including premier seating and an intermission meet-and-greet with JoAnn Falletta; 1-800-511-7429|  
  • 7 p.m. Friday, July 24: Summer Nights @ KMH — Baroque and Brews Tickets: $34 general admission, $10 for students
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, July 25: Summer Nights @ KMH – Mozart and Mingle Tickets: $34 general admission, $10 for students
  • 8 p.m. Sunday, July 26: BPO Under the Stars @Old Fort Niagara. Tickets: $25, $10 students, free for children younger than 6. A family 4-pack is $60 and includes two adults and two students.