All masterclass events are free and open to the public.   

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra hosts incredible guest artists each year on our M&T Bank Classics and KeyBank Pops Series.  We make many of these masters available to the community in our BPO Masterclass series. These artists will work one-on-one with talented local students in front of a live audience. All events are free and open to the public with a required reservation.

Musically advanced high school and college students are invited to apply as a performer for any class.  All applications require a private instructor’s nomination and an audio recording.



2017-18 Masterclasses

To make a free reservation for a class or to apply as a performer, click on the name of the artist.

Victor Wooten, Electric bass

Saturday, October 21, 2017

2:00-4:00 p.m.

Victor Wooten, now a five-time Grammy winner, hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours. Wooten’s sought-after skills and growing popularity have lead to recordings and performances with artists such as Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Bootsy Collins, Branford Marsalis, Mike Stern, Prince, India Arie, Keb Mo, Dennis Chambers, Susan Tedeschi, Gov’t Mule, Bruce Hornsby, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Frank Gambale, the legendary Moroccan group Nass El Ghiwane, and many others.In 2008, Victor released The Music Lesson-A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, a self-published novel about Life and Music. Now translated into multiple languages, The Music Lesson is currently used as required reading and part of curricula in study groups, schools, and universities including the prestigious Berklee College of Music and Stanford.


Julian Schwarz, Cello

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7:00-8:30 p.m.

Born in Seattle into a musical family, cellist Julian Schwarz is already being recognized as a cellist destined to rank among the finest of the 21st century. He made his orchestral debut at the age of 11, playing the Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony with his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium. Since then, he has appeared with the Seattle, San Diego, Puerto Rico, Columbus (OH), Syracuse, Virginia, Sarasota, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Wichita and Modesto symphonies, and performed recitals at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and in Palm Springs. He also appears regularly on the stage of Bargemusic in New York City with his recital partner, pianist Marika Bourbaki. He currently performs on a cello made in Naples by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743, and is an active contributor to the Strings Magazine Artist Blog.


Arnaud Sussman, Violin

Thursday, November 30, 2017

7:00-8:30 p.m.

A thrilling young musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, Arnaud Sussmann has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Minnesota Sinfonia, Lexington Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony and France’s Nice Orchestra.  Further concerto appearances have included a tour of Israel and concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Dresden Music Festival in Germany and at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Born in Strasbourg, France and based now in New York City, Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman.  Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Mr. Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years.


Fei Fei Dong, Piano

Thursday, February 22, 2018

7:00-8:30 p.m.

Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Career concerto highlights in the US include the Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony, Austin Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, and the Juilliard Orchestra, and in China with the Shanxi and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestras.  She has worked with such prominent conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Michael Stern, Jeffrey Kahane, Randall Craig Fleisher, and John Giordano. Fei-Fei has performed in recital at Alice Tully Hall as the winner of Juilliard’s 33rd Annual William Petschek Recital Award.  Other notable recent recitals in the US include her Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall, Gilmore Rising Stars (Kalamazoo, MI) and The Cliburn’s spring 2015 Chopin Festival, and in Europe at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall and the Louvre.


Xavier Foley, Double Bass

Saturday, March 24, 2018

3:00-4:30 p.m.

Xavier Foley is only the second double-bass player in history to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. A 2016 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he has already appeared as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony, Nashville Symphony, the Brevard Concert Orchestra, the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the Sphinx Virtuosi, both in Carnegie Hall and on a national tour. A native of Marietta, Ga., Foley has been described as a “brilliant” bass player by The New York Times. At the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he won four special performance awards, including the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, the Harriman-Jewell Series Prize, the Paramount Theatre Prize, and the Tri-I Noon Recitals Prize. He is also a composer.


Alex Jokipii, Trumpet

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Alex Jokipii has held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1998. Mr. Jokipii began his advanced musical studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, majoring in trumpet and music education, during which time he studied trumpet with Stephen Jones and Scott Thornburg. As part of his undergraduate curriculum he enrolled at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where he studied for a year with Timofei Dokschitzer, the celebrated Principal Trumpet of the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra. After returning from his European study and travel Mr. Jokipii completed his studies at UWM which awarded him a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Mr. Jokipii then received a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the Juilliard School where he studied with Chris Gekker and Philip Smith of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  He  has held the position of Principal Trumpet in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra and the Savannah Symphony.