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Yo-Yo Ma, Philippe Bianconi, Bernadette Peters, Doc Severinsen, Chris Botti among highlights of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's season

by jmaloni
Sat, Jan 26th 2013 09:30 am

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra brings the world's best artists and unsurpassed quality performances to one of the world's most acclaimed concert halls, right in the heart of Buffalo.

M&T Bank Classics Season

The BPO's 2013-14 M&T Bank Classics Season effortlessly blends timeless classical music, virtuoso artists, inventive recent works and hidden gems, all in a neighborhood concert hall. Kleinhans Music Hall is one of only nine National Historic Landmarks in Buffalo and is celebrated for both its acoustic perfection and its sleek design, which maintains its modern feel more than 75 years after its construction.

Yo-Yo Ma will kick off the season on Wednesday, Sept. 18, in his first Western New York appearance in eight years for the opening night gala sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation.

Some of the hottest classical soloists will grace the BPO's 2013-14 season, including Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and one of the top solo clarinet artists of this time, who makes his BPO debut. Also appearing will be violinists Vadim Gluzman, Anne Akiko Meyers and Benjamin Beilman; pianists Yakov Kasman, Simone Dinnerstein, Jon Kimura Parker, Philippe Bianconi and Enrica Ciccarelli; and soprano Heidi Grant Murphy.

Pipa player Wu Man, who was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America, has been introducing the traditional Chinese stringed instrument to Western audiences and will present the first New York state performance of Zhao Jiping's "Pipa Concerto." Colin Currie, a champion of solo percussion, will perform a mambo-inflected percussion concerto by Jennifer Higdon on a concert that also includes the New York premiere of "Euridice" by Russell Platt.

Each season, the BPO offers audiences the chance to hear some of classical music's greatest masterworks performed live. The 2013-14 season is no exception, with performances of "Beethoven's Fifth Symphony," "Mahler's Fourth Symphony," Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" symphony, several of Wagner's orchestral works and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" all slated. The BPO will welcome noted guest conductors Arild Remmereit, a native of Norway and celebrated guest conductor, who has conducted well-known orchestras around the world; Gunther Herbig, a leading European conductor who left East Germany in 1984 and has since conducted major orchestras across the globe; Carlos Miguel Prieto, music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in his native Mexico, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the U.S.; and Lawrence Rachleff, music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and dedicated music educator.

The BPO continues to bring the spirit of innovation to its concerts. Rimsky-Korsakov's one-act opera, "Mozart and Salieri," will be a highlight of the orchestra's annual celebration of Mozart's works. A tango concerto written especially for BPO principal cellist Roman Mekinulov will have its world premiere this season.

"When developing a season, the audience is foremost in our minds," said BPO music director JoAnn Falletta. "This season has a number of beloved masterworks, and newer or lesser-known gems that we hope Western New Yorkers will fall in love with. Bringing talented soloists to the community, taking a musical journey of discovery along with our audience, continuing to develop as musicians, these are the things that we love doing best."

2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

The BPO and WNED are excited to present what has become a landmark classical music event in Western New York, the biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. The event brings together the top classical guitar talent from all over the world and focuses the spotlight on Western New York for one week. The excitement will build as talented semi-finalists face off in preliminary rounds. They will also share their talents in the community at schools, nursing homes and churches, bringing the sounds of classical guitar to those who would not have experienced it otherwise. The finals will take place on Saturday, June 7, at Kleinhans Music Hall. Further information will be available in the coming months at fallettacompetition.org.

BlueCross BlueShield Pops Season

The BlueCross BlueShield Pops Season will bring superstars directly to your neighborhood this season, with season opener and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters appearing fresh from her recurring role in the hit TV show "Smash." The orchestra welcomes back former BPO pops conductor Doc Severinsen and trumpet superstar Chris Botti. Falletta will lead this season's "Holiday Pops" concerts, bringing her special charm and enthusiasm to Western New York's most cherished holiday tradition.

The pops season also rocks with the phenomenally popular "Beatles Classical Mystery Tour." "ABBA: The Hits" sold out the last time it came to Western New York, and will return this season. Ellis Hall, who has gained fame as a member of the Tower of Power and one of the voices of the California Raisins, will bring his tribute to Ray Charles to the Kleinhans stage.

The orchestra will pay tribute to the many hits and legendary career of former BPO pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Another highlight of the season is singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway's critically acclaimed, jazz-inflected interpretation of the music of Barbra Streisand. Among Callaway's many songwriting credits is "I've Dreamed of You," which she wrote for Streisand to sing to James Brolin on their wedding day.

Cirque Musica blends the artistry and grace of genuine circus acrobats with classical music, and promises an entirely different concert experience. Matt Catingub will put his own spin on the music of Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and more with his "Big Band Salute" and The BPO will continue its Memorial Day weekend tradition with "Star Spangled Pops."

As a very special event, the BPO will kick off St. Patrick's Day weekend with a concert by The Chieftains, one of the most successful Celtic music groups in history. The Chieftains have won six Grammy awards and have long been a global ambassador for Celtic music, performing everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Washington, D.C., Capitol Building, and collaborating with artists from The Decemberists to Luciano Pavarotti.

"Our seasons just keep getting better and better," said BPO Pops Host and Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer. "Audiences have the chance to hear some of their favorite music and enjoy top-of-the-line performers right in their own backyard. With the BPO in Buffalo, you don't have to travel to New York City or Chicago to hear the very best in entertainment."

Season tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org.

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