The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has planned a multifaceted summer that sees the BPO performing at the Erie County Fair, Canalside and Old Fort Niagara; traveling to Princeton University; working with the Doctors of the World Orchestra to raise funds for the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital; and bringing rare instruments to Western New York.
'Summer Nights @ The BPO'
The BPO presents a three-concert series in its historic West Side neighborhood. Tickets for "Summer Nights @ The BPO" concerts start at just $19. Prior to each concert, guests are invited to sample the wares of Buffalo's food trucks or pack a picnic to enjoy on the grounds of the hall.
JoAnn Falletta will lead violinists Augustin Hadelich and Mayuko Kamio at 7 p.m. Friday, July 18,in the "Rising Stars of the Stradivari Society" concert. The Stradivari Society of Chicago connects talented musicians with the owners of top-quality instruments.
Buffalo residents Clement and Karen Arrison are the owners of Hadelich's violin, the 1723 "Ex-Kiesewetter" Stradivarius. The tones of the violin echoed through Kleinhans when Hadelich made his debut with the BPO in April 2013. Kamio plays the 1735 "Sennhauser" Guarneri del Gesu, on loan from an anonymous owner. The concert showcasing these extraordinary instruments will include music by Sarasate, Bach and Vaughan Williams.
Kleinhans will be lit green for the "Garden Walk Celebration" concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, but the concert will take place at a neighboring building. While the hall's balcony is being recarpeted, the BPO performs at First Presbyterian Church, located at 1 Symphony Circle. At 4 p.m., Buffalo's best folk acts will provide free entertainment on the grounds of Kleinhans. Patrons can get dinner at a food truck rodeo starting at 5 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Bradley Thachuk, conductor of Symphony Niagara, leads a concert of music inspired by nature in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Buffalo Garden Walk.
Legendary saxophonist and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Militello joins the BPO at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at First Presbyterian Church for a concert of jazz, featuring many favorites from Militello's days as part of Dave Brubeck's band. Stuart Chafetz, a fixture at the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra who has led orchestras all over the nation, will conduct.
Individual tickets are $49 for gold-level seating, $29 for silver-level seating and $19 for bronze-level seating. The BPO is offering a three-concert gold-level package for $79 - a discount of more than 40 percent.
'Welcoming Doctors of the World'
A collaboration unlike any other will take place during the week of July 19, as 40 doctors from nine countries come to Western New York to perform a side-by-side concert with the BPO. The doctors are talented amateur musicians who enjoy putting their talents to use for a good cause.
This will mark the first time that the Doctors of the World Orchestra will perform side-by-side with a professional orchestra. During the week, they will rehearse with the BPO and receive coaching from the orchestra's section leaders and from Falletta. At 8 p.m. July 19, they will present a concert alongside BPO colleagues to benefit the brand-new John R. Oishei Women and Children's Hospital, uniting two leading community assets.
Falletta leads the orchestra in this program, which will include Holst's "The Planets," Bernstein's Overture to "Candide," and Respighi's "Pines of Rome." Tickets are $25. A VIP package is available for $150 and includes premium seating and a post-concert reception.
Food trucks will also be onsite at Kleinhans prior to this concert.
Traveling through Western New York
A free performance kicks off the summer season at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora. Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer will lead the orchestra in a concert featuring light classics by Leroy Anderson, Dvorak, and Strauss. Music by John Williams, Henry Mancini and tributes to Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin will round out the program. The concert also features Friends of the BPO scholarship winner and cellist Alexander Cousins.
Cousins is a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 2014, and a student of BPO principal cellist Roman Mekinulov.
Friends of the Knox Farm will host a garden party at Knox Farm's Main House to benefit its continued restoration. Tickets are $100, and can be obtained by emailing [email protected].
Two nights later, the BPO is downtown for the area's No. 1 Independence Eve celebration at Coca-Cola Field. After the Bisons game, the BPO performs a variety of popular music and patriotic favorites under the direction of Paul Ferington. A fireworks show lights up the night sky at the end of the evening.
On Saturday, July 5, the BPO returns to the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival with a program of Sousa marches, movie music by Williams, Alan Mencken, and Danny Elfman, and patriotic favorites. Kraemer will lead this concert.
Tuesday, July 29, sees the return of the BPO to the M&T Plaza lunch series. This series showcases the best music Western New York has to offer in free noontime concerts on Main Street. Ferington will lead the orchestra, and Teagan Faran, violinist and Friends of the BPO scholarship winner, will perform. Faran is a member of the Williamsville East High School Class of 2014.
Another BPO milestone takes place when they perform for the first time on Buffalo's Thursday concert series. At 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, the BPO performs on the "Thursdays @ Canalside" series. Ontario-based Jeans n' Classics collaborates with the BPO to present the music of Michael Jackson and Earth Wind and Fire. Kraemer leads the orchestra for the last time as associate conductor in this free, "BPO Rocks"-style concert.
Opening the Erie County Fair
For the first time since the 1950s, the BPO will perform a solo concert at the Erie County Fair. On Wednesday, Aug. 6, Falletta will lead the orchestra in a celebration of great American voices for the opening night concert of the 175th Erie County Fair. Music by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and John Phillip Sousa will set the tone for an extraordinary fair experience. The concert ends with a fireworks show.
Falletta to conduct at Old Fort Niagara
The summer season closes with an outdoor concert at Old Fort Niagara at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children, and include admission to both the concert and the fort. Family four-packs are available for $60. A fireworks show at the close of the concert will be the finale to the BPO's summer season.
Performance at Princeton University
On Wednesday, July 23, the Buffalo Philharmonic will perform by special invitation at Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium on the seventh annual "Midsummer Celebration" presented by William and Judith Scheide. The centerpiece of the concert is the world premiere of Mark Laycock's "Flute Concerto for Jasmine Choi (Songbird's Journey)."
Choi has been hailed as "The Goddess of the Flute" by Korea Times, and was the first Korean woodwind player to be hired by a major symphony orchestra in the U.S., and the first Korean featured as a cover story in Flute Talk magazine USA.
"Jasmine's remarkable gifts could not help but inspire works to be written for her, and having known her for nearly 15 years, the time seemed right to collaborate on a concerto that would reflect her personal and musical qualities," Laycock said. "The concerto is therefore beautiful and melodic while displaying her incredible virtuosic technical prowess within different musical fabrics that take the listener on what I hope is a very enjoyable journey with the soloist."
Laycock's friendship with Falletta and his awareness of the BPO's interest in new music led him to extend the invitation to the BPO to premiere his newest work in Princeton. Laycock himself will conduct the concert, which also includes Dvorak's Carnival Overture and Brahms' Symphony No. 2. Tickets, $35, $45 and $55, are available at Princeton University Ticketing by calling 609-258-9220 or emailing[email protected].
Full Summer Season
For more information or tickets, call 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org.