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Falletta and BPO prepare for second 'Florida Friends' tour

by jmaloni

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Mon, Jan 27th 2014 02:00 pm

The Buffalo Philharmonic is embarking on its second tour of Florida under the baton of Music Director JoAnn Falletta. The five-city, six-concert tour of Florida take place Feb.7-12.

In 2010, the Buffalo Philharmonic mounted its first Florida tour since 1979 to both critical acclaim and financial success. The BPO has planned to return to the "Sunshine State" ever since.

"This tour is special for so many reasons. Few orchestras of our size are able to mount a multi-city tour, and it's a very valuable experience for our musicians," Falletta said. "It's also a wonderful chance for the orchestra to reconnect with our former patrons who have moved south, or spend the winter in a warmer climate. As with any out-of-town trip, whether it's to Carnegie Hall, to Saratoga, or to Florida, it's always a thrill to perform for those who have never heard us before."

For five of the concerts, Pianist Philippe Bianconi joins the orchestra in performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. Bianconi is a Van Cliburn Competition silver medal winner, and has a thriving international career as a soloist. Also on the program is Dvorak's Symphony No. 6. The BPO will preview the tour program in Buffalo on Feb. 1 and 2.

The tour schedule is as follows:

•Daytona Beach: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Peabody Auditorium (www.peabodyauditorium.org).

•St. Augustine: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Flagler College (www.emmaconcerts.com).

•West Palm Beach: 8 p.m. Sunday Feb. 9, and 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at the Kravis Center (www.kravis.org).

•Vero Beach: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, Indian River Concert Association (www.irsymphonic.org).

•Gainesville: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, University of Florida at Gainesville (www.performingarts.ufl.edu/events). 

The Monday performance at the Kravis Center will feature Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinet Ricardo Morales performing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. In addition, the orchestra will perform Jacques Ibert's Hommage a Mozart and Dvorak Symphony No. 6.

The Feb. 11 concert has already sold out, and both performances in West Palm Beach are nearly sold out. All other venues report strong ticket sales.

As Buffalo's cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning BPO, under Falletta's leadership, 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 U.S.

For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org

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