The BPO goes to Poland!

Thank you for supporting #BPOinPoland!


On March 15, 2018, the musicians of the BPO stepped on a bus and made history. For the first time in 30 years, and for only the second time in the orchestra’s existence, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra mounted an international tour. Our destination was Poland. The impetus for the tour was our friendship with composer/conductor Krzysztof Penderecki and Beethoven Easter Festival founder and artistic director Elzbieta Penderecka. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta met them when guest-conducting in Krakow, and invited them to Buffalo. In December 2016, Penderecki led the BPO in concert. Soon after that, the BPO accepted Penderecka’s invitation to perform at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, a prestigious 11-day affair that attracts the creme de la creme of Europe’s classical music world.

This year’s Festival celebrated Leonard Bernstein’s centennial.  The centerpiece of our program was Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Pianist Conrad Tao was our guest soloist for Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. Barber’s Symphony No. 1 was also on the program, as was the Adagio from Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 3.

The full orchestra performed in Wroclaw, Lublin, and Katowice in addition to the Warsaw concert. All performances sold out and met with glowing critical reception. The US Ambassador to Poland was in attendance for the Warsaw concert, and also attended our post-concert celebration. A group of 30 devoted BPO patrons took part in the VIP Patron Tour and attended the Warsaw concert, then visited Krakow and Prague. A brass and wind octet expanded the BPO’s educational mission by giving a masterclass and performance at the Penderecki Center in Lusalwice, and strengthened our ties with Buffalo’s Sister City, Rzeszow, by performing there.

Scores of people worked behind the scenes to coordinate the safe shipment of our cargo, make travel and hotel arrangements, and ensure that the tour ran smoothly. Our thanks go out to all of them!

We are deeply appreciative of everyone who helped to make this tour a success. To re-live the full trip, we invite you to view our blog. 

Our full tour itinerary:

On March 15 and 16, a wind and brass octet from the BPO performed and gave masterclasses at the Krzysztof Penderecki Centre for European Music in Luslawice. Read more.
  On March 17, the octet performed in Buffalo’s sister city, Rzeszow. Read more.
On March 18, the full BPO performed at The National Forum of Music in Wrocław, the city’s institution of culture and a state-of-the-art multifunctional concert venue. Home to a number of instrumental and vocal ensembles, and the site of several international festivals, it was completed in 2015 and has 1800 seats. Read more.
On March 20, the BPO made its appearance at Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, the centerpiece of the tour as one of 12 concerts taking place during the Beethoven Easter Festival. Read more here  , here and here.
On March 21, the BPO traveled to Katowice to perform in the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) Concert Hall. Completed in 2014, it is the home of one of Poland’s leading symphonic orchestras. Read more.
On March 22, the tour concluded in Lublin at the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures. The Centre opened in 2016, replacing an older building that was never completed. It boasts a large concert hall, a recital space, and smaller rooms for lectures and workshops. Read more.



Thank you to our Poland Tour Sponsors!*

Special thanks to New Era Cap for their donation of tour hats and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for lending us instrument tour cases. Thank you also to Polish Villa II, Premier Wine, and Buffalo Distilling.

Poland Tour Lead Sponsor (50,000+)

John and Carolyn Yurtchuk

Poland Tour Challenge Sponsor and Tour Leader ($30,000+)

Cindy Abbott Letro and Francis Letro

Poland Tour Leaders ($25,000+)

ABC-Amega, Inc.


Mark Chason and Mariana Botero-Chason

Robert and Carol Morris

Victor and Corinne Rice

Jim and Michal Wadsworth

Poland Tour Champions ($5,000+)

The Baird Foundation


Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation

Rich Products

Christine Standish and Christopher Wilk


Poland Tour Community Partners ($1,000+)


Anonymous (inspired by concert at St. Stanislaus)

George Abraham

Mrs. Vanda Albera

Michael Andriaccio and Joanne Castellani

Anthony Baldi and Associates

Brian and Barbara Baird

Mrs. Dennis A. Beagle

James M. Beardsley and Ellen M. Gibson

Thomas R. Beecher, Jr.

The Bolton Family

Bond Schoeneck and King

Brian Parisi Copier Systems

Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus

Mr. and Mrs. John Burkholder

Joe Casey

Barbara Castiglia

Mark Cerrone, Inc.

Chopin Singing Society

Computer Task Group

Courier Capital LLC

Curbell Medical

Dash’s Market

Anthony and Kathy Diina

Peter and Maria Eliopoulos

JoAnn Falletta and Robert Alemany

Marie Flanigan & James McIver

The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies

Robert and Julie Garra

David Gaydosh

Edward Giannino

Constance Greco

Gurney Becker and Bourne

Daniel and Barbara Hart

Hodgson Russ

John and Maureen Hurley

Iroquois Bar Corp.

Dr. Robert and Hana Jacobi


Katherine Kubala

Lawley Insurance

Jim Lawicki and Family

Bradford Lewis, Ph.D.

Ronald Luczak

M & T Bank

Margaret V. Manzella Trust

John C. Medwid

The Honorable Judge Ann T. Mikoll

Svetla and Doug Moreland

Kathy and John Nerger: In Honor of Joyce Ellis’ 85th Birthday

Douglas Oak

Walter and Jane Pawlowski

Mark Peszko

Polish American Congress: Western New York Division

Joseph and Linda Priselac

Ted and Mary Ann Pyrak

Dennis P. Quinn

The Reid Group

Adrienne and Joan Roy

Salvatore’s Italian Gardens

David Schopp

Betty J. Schultz

Jack Walsh

Robert and Judith Wetter

Michael Wurst

Woods Oviatt Gilman

Poland Tour Community Friend ($500+)

Chuck and Linda Boulangè: A holiday gift for Norbert Bukowski

Sharon Cramer

Kenneth and Gladys Hardcastle

Mr. and Mrs. David Harbeck

Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Joyce

Catherine Lincoln

Phillip Nones

The Honorable Michael and Mrs. Pat Pietruszka

Elaine Ragusa

George and Marcia Reifsnyder

Lillian Schroder

Paul and Sylvia Tokasz

George Wisniewski

Zausmer-Gutierrez Fund

Poland  Tour Fan

Fred and Bonnie Albrecht

Erik and Eileen Anderson

Anonymous (inspired by BPO concert at St. Stanislaus Church)



Jennifer Barbee and Steve Earnhart

Richard Batt

Gordon and Linda Bayliss

Mary H. Benzel

Robert M. Blachowiak

Michael and Nancy Brady

Buffalo Rzeszow Sister Cities Inc.

Christina Burnett

Alex A. Cardoni

Rudolph and Ann Casarsa

Janz Castelo and Ellen Barnum

Naomi Cioppa

Barbara and William Collins

Charles and Sharon Comison

Anne Conable

Penelope V. Connors

Jane Diina

Wendy Diina

Kathleen Diina-Feldman

Joyce Ellis

Alvin and Kathleen Filonczuk

Gilbert French and Gary Doudna

Paul Gay

Adrienne Rothstein Grace and Paul D. Pearson

Regina Grol

Katka Hammond and Max Wickert

Sharon Hartlieb

Elyse B. Hayes

Eileen Hendrickson

Nancy Higgins

Jeffrey and Shelley Hirshberg

Camille Ilecki

Stephen and Mary Jakiel

Benoy and Suzanne Joseph

Karen Jurek

Patrick Kaler

Michael and Rosalind Kochmanski

Richard Kollins

Norma Jean Lamb

Susan and Harvey Lichtblau

Vincent J. Litwin

Colleen Lokken

Brian B. Loretz

John and Jayne Mack

David and Ginger Maiman

Mary Margerum

Robert and Elsie Martino

Carol Maulucci

Dennis and Sandra McCarthy

Michael and Andrea McClain

Susan Morganstern

Toby and Mary Muskat

Joseph Pastwick

Kathleen Piske

Polish Arts Club of Buffalo

Peter and Nancy Rabinowitz

Willian and Ramona Shickling

William and Rosemary Schultz

Catherine Schweitzer

Daniel and Mary Jane Shonn

Dr. JoAnn S. Smith

Richard and Eileen Stalmaier

Janet Popp Stout and David Stout

Joyce Thompson

Theresa Tucholski

Randy J. Tumlin

Linda K. Wadsworth

Neil Wieczkowski

Wayne and Janet Wisbaum

Susan and Peter Yeskoot

Tom Zawadzki

Julia Zizzi