Category: Press Releases

BPO for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, this is the time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn towards creating lasting family memories and enjoying traditions.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering four chances to experience the joy of music and magic of the holidays with exciting, high-quality performances infused with the spirit of the season.

Everything kicks off at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10 with Celtic Thunder’s BPO debut. The Irish supergroup has earned fans all over the world through their PBS specials, their performances and recordings, and their fan-friendly cruise. Buffalo will be one of only 20 cities to enjoy Celtic Thunder’s first-ever symphonic tour this holiday season. With holiday music from Ireland and around the world, this is the perfect concert experience for someone looking for a different twist on holiday entertainment.

Erin Freeman won the hearts of Western New York during her year as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. She’s back in town to lead the chorus and orchestra in Classical Christmas: Messiah and More. This concert will feature the best-loved parts of Handel’s Messiah sung by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and singers Michelle Areyzaga, Jessica Renfro, Matthew Anderson, and Sumner Thompson. Other gems from the classical tradition on the program include Adolphe Adam’s “O Holy Night” and musical takes on a sleigh ride from Leroy Anderson and from Frederick Delius. The concert will be performed at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12 and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available prior to the Friday morning performance. This concert is sponsored by The Buffalo News.

BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will be on the podium on Sunday, Dec. 14 for Jingle Bell Jam. Part of the BPO Kids series, the family can celebrate the season together at budget-friendly prices, complete with a sing-along and the chance to have milk and cookies with Santa. Kids can come early and spread cheer to military personnel stationed far from home by making cards for them. This concert is sponsored by Fisher-Price.

Former BPO Associate Conductor and Buffalo favorite Ron Spigelman will be back on the podium for BlueCross BlueShield Swingin’ Holiday Pops. James Torme, son of the legendary “Velvet Fog” Mel Torme, will be the special guest, lending his vocal stylings to standards like “Silver Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” and Mel Torme’s signature song, “The Christmas Song.” BPO clarinetist and jazz musician Sal Andolina will be featured along with his big band, putting their own stamp on Christmas standards like “Good King Wenceslas” and “Sugar Rum Cherry.” The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will also perform on this program, which ends with an old-fashioned sing-along. Due to popular demand, there will be four performances of this concert: at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available before the Friday morning performance.  

Group pricing is available for all four of these concerts. If you are planning to attend with a group of ten or more, contact Group and Corporate Sales Associate Ambrose Price at (716) 242-7817 or to learn how you can receive a discount. 

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will also offer several performances around the region during the holiday season. They will perform on the Hilbert College campus at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, and will be part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus’s Messiah sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, 8445 Greiner Road, Clarence. They are also appearing on the free “Holidays Under the Dome” series at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at M&T Bank, 1 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

In the spirit of the season, Kleinhans Music Hall is a drop-off point for the Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program. Anyone wishing to donate can bring a new, unwrapped toy to the hall between Dec. 1 and Dec. 21 before concerts, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Saturday mornings.

For tickets to any of these concerts, visit or call (716) 885-5000

The Rite of Spring Performance Postponed

Buffalo, NY- The Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo regrets to announce that the performance of “The Rite of Spring” featuring the Richmond Ballet and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra scheduled for Friday, November 21, 2014 has been postponed.

“Due to the ongoing and unprecedented winter storm impacting much of Western New York, and our concerns for the safety of the performers and audience, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this performance,” said Thomas Burrows, Executive Director of UB Center for the Arts.


The three organizations hope to reschedule for a yet-to-be-determined date in 2015.  Ticket holders may retain their tickets for the new date.  In the event they are unable to attend, refunds will be available.


Further updates will be posted at

Buffalo Philharmonic to present $15,000 to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital


Buffalo Philharmonic to present $15,000

to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital


BUFFALO, NY -The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will present a $15,000 check to the campaign for the new Oishei Children’s Hospital at 9 a.m. on Monday, November 17 at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.The donation reflects proceeds from ticket sales to the July 19 Doctors of the World performance at Kleinhans Music Hall.

This $15,000 is the start of an endowment that will help to build the foundation for bringing Buffalo’s culturals to the children and their families in the new Oishei Children’s Hospital. Music and the arts are integral tools for healing and respite, and it is the hope that they become a key element in the design and atmosphere of the new Oishei Children’s Hospital.

“We are overjoyed with the success of the Doctors of the World concert and are honored to accept this generous donation on behalf of Western New York’s children and all future patients of the Oishei Children’s Hospital,” said Allegra Jaros, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “It’s extraordinary to see a local not-for-profit organization go above and beyond to raise funds for another not-for profit. The BPO is a remarkable community asset and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for years to come.”

The July 19 Doctors of the World concert featured 40 doctor-musicians from England, Norway, South Africa, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Costa Rica, Japan, and across the United States performing Holst’s “The Planets;” Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide;” and Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” together with the BPO. The collaboration was part of the global network of doctor-musicians who play together each year in different locations and raise money for local health organizations. This was the first time one of these performances has been done as a side-by-side concert with a professional orchestra.

“The musicians and I enjoyed working with the doctors who came to Buffalo this summer to present a successful and well-received concert,” said JoAnn Falletta, BPO Music Director. “Their enthusiasm and their spirit would have made the entire experience gratifying enough, but to be able to provide this support to Women & Children’s Hospital provides an even deeper meaning to that one special weekend in July.”

On November 17, BPO Music Director, JoAnn Falletta will present the $15,000 check to Allegra Jaros, WCHOB President. Also in attendance will be Daniel Hart, Executive Director of the BPO, Amy Habib Rittling, co-chair of the Oishei Children’s Hospital Campaign, WCHOB patients and their families who will benefit from this partnership and two BPO trombonists, Tim Smith and Jonathan Lombardo.

The partnership between the BPO and WCHOB continues on through the creation of a new program called BPOKids Exceptional Kids.  Through the sponsorship of Kaleida Health and the BPO, families with children benefiting from services and support groups at Women & Children’s Hospital are invited to attend five BPOKids concerts throughout the year.  These families are given the opportunity to enjoy a family outing in a supportive environment at Kleinhans Music Hall, including family friendly performances by the BPO and pre-concert activities sponsored by cultural partners such as Albright Knox Art Gallery, The Buffalo Zoo, Explore & More Children’s Museum and others.  More than 65 people participated in the first concert in October, and over 100 have registered for future concerts. 


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

The vision for the Oishei Children’s Hospital is to be recognized as the innovator, the highest quality, highest value provider and partner, and the regional referral center for women and children’s health care for Kaleida Health, in Western New York and beyond.

Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a Kaleida Health facility and teaching hospital for the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services in Western New York and beyond. For more information, please go online at


Leading violinist to share knowledge with Western New York youth


BUFFALO, NY — When violinist Tai Murray comes to town during the week of Nov. 10, she will not only entertain, but will educate.

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, she will give a masterclass from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle as part of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s free masterclass series which presents talented guest artists in educational settings. Three performers have been selected from a pool of applicants. Violinists Sarah Rice of Buffalo State College, Mandela Namaste of Williamsville East, and Gigi Monachino from the Eastman School of Music will perform and receive feedback from Murray. Students and members of the community are invited to attend to learn more about violin technique and performance, and to observe as Murray imparts her wisdom. Attendance is free of charge, but a reservation is required. It can be made at

Murray will speak to students at the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14 as part of the “Success Looks Like Me” program of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative, a fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. The program provides low-income youth of color with opportunities to interact with successful adults who reflect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic richness of Western New York and our nation. Murray will talk about the path she took to become one of her generation’s most successful and sought-after concert violinists. The program will be live-streamed so that students at other schools may watch. Free tickets will be available to any BAVPA student wishing to attend the BPO’s Saturday night’s performance.

Murray first gained national attention at 15, when she tied for first place in the inaugural Sphinx Competition. The Competition’s aim is to encourage excellence among black and Latino string players. Since then, she has won an Avery Fisher Career Grant and was named a BBC New Generation Artist. She has toured throughout North America and Europe as an orchestral soloist, a recitalist, and a chamber musician. Her third disc in as many years was just released.

Murray’s Buffalo Philharmonic debut concerts will take place at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14 and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. Former BPO Music Director Maximiano Valdes will conduct Ginastera’s Pampeana No. 3 and Franck’s Symphony in D minor, as well as Murray’s solo piece, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. Tickets are available by calling 716-885-5000 or at



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



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Neglia Ballet’s acclaimed ‘The Nutcracker’ with the BPO live at Shea’s Performing Arts Center

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Neglia Ballet Artists will collaborate for the sixth consecutive year to present Neglia’s ballet set to the classic holiday score of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker  Sat. November 29 at 7 p.m. and Sun. November 30 at 2 p.m., at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.   

For tickets, call 1-800-745-3000, go to or to Shea’s Ticket Office (open M-F 10a-5 p; Sat. 10a-2 p and during shows through intermission.)  Tickets are $29; $40, $55. Premium seating is also available for $75. For groups (10+), please call (716) 829-1154. For more information, visit

The Buffalo News praised the production: “Neglia presents a passionate and engaging ‘Nutcracker.’

Sure to be a Buffalo holiday tradition, Neglia’s ‘The Nutcracker’ is the stuff childhood dreams are made of. Its high caliber choreography, luscious sets and costumes, as well as the brilliant playing of the BPO, make it a holiday treat worth experiencing.”

The traditional production was conceived, choreographed and produced by Neglia Ballet Artists Artistic Director Sergio Neglia and Executive Director Heidi Halt. The production features 120 characters danced by a corps de ballet, soloists and principal professional ballet dancers from around the world as well as students from Neglia Conservatory of Ballet and other local dance studios.

Gabrielle Thurlow, a native of Buffalo and former Neglia Conservatory student, will perform the principal role of Dew Drop. She is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) where she was recently promoted to soloist. Some of her featured roles at PBT include Kitri in Don Quixote, and Marie and Sugarplum Fairy in Terrence Orr’s The Nutcracker, and a bomb squad dancer in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room.

“We’re so pleased to bring Gaby in to perform with us.” Says Neglia. “ She was a gifted student and it is no surprise that she is doing so well.”

This year’s production of The Nutcracker will be conducted by the BPO’s new Associate Conductor, Stefan Sanders. Prior to a career as a conductor, Sanders was an internationally renowned trombonist, having performed as a soloist in the United States, Asia and Europe. His performance of Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, with the Czech Philharmonic, can be heard on the Albany Records label. Sanders was a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s trombone section for seven seasons and has performed with several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera’s 2001 production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the Florida Orchestra. Mr. Sanders was also invited by Sir Elton John to play in the orchestra for his Radio City Music Hall concerts in 2004 recorded for the Bravo Television Network.

Sergio Neglia, Artistic Director of Neglia Ballet Artists, will perform the role of Cavalier. Internationally acknowledged for more than two decades as a gifted and passionate ballet artist, Sergio Neglia was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He began studying ballet at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. At thirteen he won a scholarship to the famed Bolshoi Ballet, and at sixteen was a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet, handpicked by George Balanchine. He went on to study under, and dance with some of ballets most famous names, including Nureyev, Godunov, and Baryshnikov. Mr. Neglia has received many prestigious awards at international competitions, most prominently at the Prix de Lausanne where he was awarded a silver medal. He has performed as an international guest-artist at the Nishina Ballet and the Okamoto Ballet in Japan, the Slovak Ballet in the Slovak Republic and the Prague National Ballet in the Czech Republic. Mr. Neglia has also danced as a soloist with the Santiago Ballet de Chile, the Miami City Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet and the Chautauqua Summer dance Company. In addition to appearing as a guest performer, Neglia is a sought after instructor and has taught master classes throughout Japan, Argentina and the U.S. and was on the summer faculty at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for 8 years.

Sets were designed by Lynne Koscielniak. A professor of scenic design at the University of Buffalo, She designed and built, with her crew, four scenes which are on the scale of scenery equal to the scale of a production that would be seen at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Donna Massimo, costume shop manager at UB designed and created with her team of costume constructors over one hundred glorious costumes for the Nutcracker. In total there are over four hundred individual costume pieces.

In the past, Shea’s has collaborated with both The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (for The Nutcracker) and worked with Neglia Ballet Artists (on various Neglia productions at Shea’s). 

“We look forward to another year of this collaborative production and plan to continue to present this wonderful holiday classic to our community,” said President of Shea’s Anthony Conte.

Major funding for the creation of this enduring holiday tradition is provided by the John R. Oishei Foundation, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, Western New York Foundation, and The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.


BPO Salutes Veterans at the Historic North Park Theatre

BUFFALO, NY – Two of Buffalo’s cultural icons are joining forces to celebrate those who have served our country.

On Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the newly restored North Park Theatre at 1428 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo in celebration of veterans’ contributions to American life. BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will lead the orchestra in a program of stirring music from the classical and popular traditions, exploring the themes of liberty and heroism.

“This Buffalo gem is so much more than a movie theater. It has outstanding acoustics and a stage that’s perfect for a moderately-sized orchestra. Through our performance at this North Buffalo icon, we hope to reach out to new audiences while honoring our veterans,” said BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart.

The North Park Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic are seeking photographs from the public for a montage honoring veterans to air on the theater’s screen before the concert and during intermission. Digital photographs of veterans from any era can be emailed to or by Nov. 1.

Patriotic classics such as John Phillip Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” will be on the concert program, along with Morton Gould’s “American Salute” and John Williams’ “Liberty Fanfare.” Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture” from “Fidelio” explores the themes of freedom. Music familiar from movies, such as Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and John Williams’ “The Patriot,” will round out the program.

“Since 1920, the North Park has been a fixture in the lives of Western New Yorkers,” said Ray Barker, Program Director at the North Park Theatre. “Over the past eight months, we’ve worked hard to restore the theater to its original beauty, with the idea that it would not only be a place for excellent films, but a place for top-quality performances. We’re proud to join the BPO in saluting our veterans and look forward to welcoming the Western New York community.”

Support for the concert is provided by Mike LoCurto of the Buffalo Common Council.

“Western New Yorkers have a long history of answering the call whenever the nation needs them, from World War I to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” LoCurto said. “I’m proud to support the efforts of the North Park Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic to honor their sacrifices.”

Tickets to the concert are affordably priced at $25, with VIP seating available for $50. To purchase tickets, call (716) 885-5000, visit, or stop by the Kleinhans Box Office at 3 Symphony Circle. Tickets are also available at the North Park Theatre at 1428 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo or

Buffalo Philharmonic names Linda Greene as new second flute



BUFFALO, NY – After a three-day audition process that included more than a hundred qualified candidates, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has selected Linda Greene as the new second flute.

Greene served as temporary second flute during the BPO’s 2013-14 season. She has also held positions with Syracuse Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra and Binghamton Symphony Orchestra.

Greene is also an accomplished teacher. She has been on the faculty of Hamilton College since 1986 and was on the faculty of Oswego State College from 1993 to 1998. Since 1979, she has maintained a private teaching studio in Central New York.

Greene earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. Her major teachers have included Harold Bennett of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and John Oberbrunner and Deborah Coble, both of Syracuse Symphony.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta last year. I’ve made a lot of friends in the orchestra and feel that I’m already part of the team,” Greene said. “One of the things I love about playing Second Flute is being an inner voice, the ‘glue’ between the low and high voices, the intense listening and flexibility it requires. The BPO is a fabulous orchestra with inspired leadership in a vibrant, optimistic city. I’m thrilled to become a permanent member and move to Buffalo.”

The BPO uses a blind audition process. Candidates perform behind a screen for a panel that includes BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta and orchestra musicians. After two days of screening candidates, the panel selected several finalists and listened to each of them a second time before making their selection. Only upon making their selection do they learn the identity of the person chosen.

“The entire panel was very pleased when it was revealed that we had selected Linda as our new second flute. She made an extremely positive contribution to the orchestra last season, and I know she will be an excellent addition to our orchestra,” said BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta.



BPO, Irish Classical Theater and LehrerDance collaborate on rare production of Moliere comedy ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’

BUFFALO, NY –  Western New York’s leading cultural institutions are joining forces to make you laugh.

On Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Irish Classical Theatre Company and LehrerDance will come together to present Moliere’s comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

Written in 1670, the class-conscious satire and slapstick humor of Moliere’s comedic masterwork still resonate today. “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” follows Monsieur Jourdain, a merchant who desperately wants to join the aristocracy. He seeks to learn the “noble arts” of fencing and dancing, and fantasizes about marrying his daughter to nobility and taking a noble wife himself, despite already being married. The aristocracy does not come off unscathed in this play, which ultimately ends happily for all characters involved.

The Buffalo Philharmonic will perform music written by Richard Strauss for the 1917 German premiere of the play. Strauss is best-known for his operas, particularly “Der Rosenkavalier” and “Salome.” The orchestral suite for “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” is unusual among his works, in that Strauss gave it a distinct Baroque flavor to echo the history of the play. 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Strauss’ birth, and the music will be recorded for Naxos Records. JoAnn Falletta will conduct the orchestra.

“I find it absolutely delightful that a play written in 1670 can still be completely charming, hilarious and just as relevant in 2014 as it was in the 17th century,” said Falletta. “Working with the Irish Classical Theatre Company and LehrerDance makes this production a dream come true for me.”

Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil will join the BPO for the weekend’s performances as guest concertmaster. In addition to his responsibilities with the Cleveland Orchestra, Preucil also teaches at the Cleveland Institute for Music. His Concertmaster Academy teaches violinists the leadership and communication skills needed to ascend to the position of concertmaster, and Preucil has been assisting the BPO in its concertmaster search.

The play is directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti and stars Irish Classical Theater Company Artistic Director Vincent O’Neill as Monsieur Jourdain. The rest of the cast is comprised of notable Western New York actors. Kelli Bocock-Natale, a multiple Artie Award recipient for both acting and directing, will play opposite O’Neill as Madame Jourdain. Bonnie Jean Taylor, who has acted and danced with most major theater companies in Western New York, will play the Jourdains’ daughter Lucille. Her suitor, Cleonte, will be played by Niagara University graduate Zak Ward. Ray Boucher, Kevin Kennedy, Nicholas Lama, Brian Mysliwy, and Immanuel Naylor round out the cast.  

“At the Irish Classical Theatre Company, we have a long tradition of collaborating with other theatres and arts organizations. Interestingly, we have done more collaborative performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra than with any other organization in the area. As we experience the talents of Moliere and Strauss, let us celebrate at the same time the diversity and wonderful richness of our arts scene here in Buffalo,” said O’Neill.

Five members of the internationally-acclaimed LehrerDance will perform in several scenes, adding a dance element to the show.

“LehrerDance started in Buffalo with the hopes of working with the top culturals. Being onstage with Irish Classical Theatre Company and the BPO is the perfect fulfillment of that hope. It’s such a fun, good-natured entertaining show. What LehrerDance brings to it is fun, good-natured dance. That’s why I feel it’s such a great fit,” said Jon Lehrer, artistic director and founder of LehrerDance.

Audiences can experience the production three times: at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. Complimentary coffee and donuts are available before the Friday performance starting at 9:30 a.m. One hour prior to curtain time on Saturday and Sunday, the audience is invited to attend “Musically Speaking,” a talk that will further explore both the play and the music. Tickets range from $29 to $67 and are available at, at the box offices of Kleinhans Music Hall and Irish Classical Theater, and by calling (716) 885-5000. Students with ID may purchase their tickets at the Kleinhans Music Hall box office for $10.

BPO resumes award-winning Music For Youth series

BUFFALO, NY – On Tuesday, Oct. 14, 3,118 first-grade students from the Buffalo Public Schools will converge on Kleinhans Music Hall in the kickoff to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music For Youth series, presented by First Niagara Bank, with additional support from National Fuel.

The students will attend concerts at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Titled “Buildings, Bridges, and the BPO: Our Musical City,” the program uses music by Beethoven, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Copland, and Stravinsky to explore how composers create music, and how music fulfills a purpose. The program aligns with Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and NYS Social Studies Standards.

This season, the BPO is also presenting a program for students in grades 3-6 titled “The Listening Revolution: Technology, Music and You.” The program explores technology’s affect on the musical experience. Using pieces by Mozart, Rossini, Wagner, John Williams, and Glenn Miller, students will follow the timeline of entertainment technology to explore musical language, eras, form, and compositional choice-making. The exploration ends with the orchestra and the audience making music together, highlighting the most valuable part of technology and music: its ability to connect people. It aligns with Common Core Standards for ELA and Literacy as well as New York State Mathematics, Science and Technology Standards.

The series is developed in collaboration with music educators, musicians, and the Buffalo Philharmonic’s education department. Nearly 40,000 students from across Western New York are expected to attend a BPO Music For Youth concert this season. Teachers can download sample lessons and materials to prepare students for the experience and reinforce what they learn in the concert hall.

BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will lead the concert series. Sanders was appointed to his position in May, and is also Music Director and Conductor for the Round Rock Symphony in Texas. He led the Buffalo Philharmonic in January 2014 in “Copland’s America,” a well-received Know The Score Series concert that included a collaboration with LehrerDance.  

“This work is integral to the orchestra’s mission and we couldn’t do it without the support of First Niagara,” commented the BPO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, Robin Parkinson. “Music helps children develop strong critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities and communication techniques. Cultivating an understanding of music sets them up for success later in life.”

The fall Music For Youth schedule is:

Tuesday, Oct. 14: Buffalo Public Schools first grades at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. 

Tuesday, Oct. 21: Buffalo Public Schools second grades at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. 

Tuesday, Nov. 5: Buffalo Public Schools fourth grades at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.  

Wednesday, Nov. 6: Buffalo Public Schools fifth grades at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. 

BPO hires Don Nelson as general manager

BUFFALO, NY — The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is very excited to announce that Don Nelson has been hired as general manager.


Mr. Nelson comes to the BPO from Spokane, Washington. There, he served as general manager of the Spokane Symphony for 14 years and the general manager of the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox for six years. The positions saw him tackle responsibilities as diverse as developing the season’s programming, negotiating musician contracts, and serving on the theater’s renovation and design team.


Prior to his position in Spokane, he was with the Florida Philharmonic, first as a bassist, and then as the orchestra’s personnel manager and as festival manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in non-profit management from Regis University.


“Don’s extensive experience as a musician and in orchestra and theater management make him a perfect fit for the BPO at this time. His musical knowledge is quite impressive. As the BPO looks to the next phase of its strategic plan, we are counting on Don to play a major role in our ongoing success,” said BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart.


Don, who arrived in Buffalo at the end of August, will be joined by his wife Vicki. They have two sons. Noah, a musician, lives in London with his wife Anna. Alex recently began medical school at Florida International University in Miami. Nelson enjoys skiing, lifelong learning and reading, and arranging music for cello and bass to perform with Vicki, who is an accomplished professional cellist.




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