The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's summer season will take it to several of Western New York's best public spaces and performing venues. The BPO will perform 12 times, including several free outdoor concerts and the return of "Summer Nights@Kleinhans."
Picnic Under the Stars
The summer season kicks off with the BPO's return to Bidwell Park in the Elmwood Village on Tuesday, June 25, and Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on Thursday, June 27, each beginning at 7 p.m. These free, outdoor concerts will be conducted by Matthew Kraemer, and will feature a mix of Americana, taking listeners from the Cotton Club to the Motor City, and Broadway to Hollywood.
The Bidwell Park concert is made possible with support from Wendy Pierce. The concert at the Knox Farm State Park is presented with support from Lakeshore Savings, Realty USA and Fox Run of Orchard Park.
BPO at Fort Niagara
At 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, the BPO will perform a bombastic concert at one of the area's oldest historic sites: Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Kraemer conducts this concert of classical favorites, including works by Rossini, Copland, Dvorak and Beethoven, concluding with the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky.
The concert is free for children younger than 6; $10 for students; and $20 general admission. A family four-pack is available for $49. All tickets will be available through the BPO box office at 716-885-5000 or www.bpo.org. Tickets include admission to the park.
The BPO's second season of "Summer Nights@Kleinhans" will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 6, with Tchaikovsky Spectacular, conducted by Kraemer. From the ballets of "Swan Lake" and "Romeo and Juliet" to great orchestral works like Marche Slave and Capriccio Italien, Tchaikovsky is one of the Romantic era's most beloved and popular composers.
Audiences for "Summer Nights@Kleinhans" are invited to pack a picnic supper or sample the wares of the Buffalo food trucks and enjoy the grounds of the concert hall and its historic neighborhood setting.
"Summer Nights@Kleinhans" will continue at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, with "A Tribute to Dave Brubeck." In the closing days of 2012, the music world lost a legend. Jazz composer and pianist Brubeck was 91 when he died. He is credited with introducing the Baby Boom generation to jazz, and popularizing it to a mainstream audience.
The BPO will pay tribute to his legacy with a performance featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, formed by his sons.
JoAnn Falletta will take the podium for the final "Summer Nights@Kleinhans" concert, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26. "España" features Spanish-inflected music by Chabrier, Falla and Rimsky-Korsakov. Special guest artist Celil Refik Kaya wowed Buffalo when he won the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, and he returns to the scene of his triumph with this concert.
Tickets for "Summer Nights@Kleinhans" range from $19 to $49 and can be obtained by calling 716-885-5000 or visiting bpo.org.
The BPO and the Bisons continue their Independence Day eve tradition. On Wednesday, July 3, the Bisons will play the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field starting at 6:05 p.m. After the game, the BPO will take the field, joined by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and led by Paul Ferington, for a program of patriotic favorites followed by Buffalo's biggest fireworks display. Tickets are available at www.bisons.com.
Celebration of Music with BPO and Friends at Canalside
Over a two-day period, the BPO will share its best with Western New York through a series of free performances at Canalside. The afternoon of Saturday, July 13, offers audiences a chance to see what BPO members do when they're not rehearsing for a concert. Chamber groups, jazz quartets, and percussion ensembles featuring BPO members are all on the schedule.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, the orchestra will perform a Broadway-themed concert with soloists Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard. The Broadway veterans are also husband and wife, and have played opposite one another in major touring productions of "Showboat" and "Phantom of the Opera," as well as many symphonic engagements.
On July 14, the BPO will show off its family-friendly side with an afternoon of instrument demonstrations, workshops and a superhero-themed concert, with music from "X-Men," "The Incredibles," "Spider-man," "Batman" and more.
Lunch with BPO at M&T Bank Plaza
The M&T Bank Plaza summer noontime concert series is celebrating its 44th year, and the BPO will once again perform. Ferington will lead the orchestra on July 16 in this free outdoor concert.
Celebrating Artpark's 40th Anniversary
Artpark is celebrating a milestone year, and for its 40th anniversary, the BPO will perform with a host of special guests at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25, recreating the park's 1974 opening concert. Buffalo native-turned Broadway star Michele Ragusa will sing selections from "Phantom of the Opera," "Music Man" and "My Fair Lady." Eminent pianist Norman Krieger, once the winner of the BPO's Young Artists Competition Prize, will perform Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante. Dancers from the Festival Ballet of Providence and Neglia Ballet Artists will join the BPO onstage, dancing to selections from ballets by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.
All tickets for the concert will be available at www.artpark.net.
Calling all Talented Amateur Musicians
The BPO's newest summer tradition is the "Fantasy Camp." Adult musicians apply to spend the day learning from the pros under Falletta's direction. A day of rehearsals and sectional coaching culminates in an evening performance with the BPO. No audition is required, but applications, available at bpo.org, must be submitted by June 21.
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Suite, Bizet's Carmen Suites, Copland's Rodeo, and Borodin's Polovetsian Dances are all on the program. Friends, family and community members can cheer them on from the seats in Kleinhans free of charge at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27.
For further information about the summer concerts, visit www.bpo.org or call 716-885-5000.