The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is heading to the “Sunshine State” for a week of performances at the end of March. This venture comes just over a year after the BPO’s successful tour of Poland, and is its fourth tour of Florida since 2010.
The “Florida Friends” tours have allowed the BPO to carry out its mission of serving as Western New York’s cultural ambassador, and to reconnect with supporters who have left Western New York for Florida.
JoAnn Falletta will conduct all five performances. Italian pianist Fabio Bidini, who has performed with the BPO many times, will be the guest soloist on the tour, performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in a program that also features Borodin’s Overture to “Prince Igor” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet Suite.” On March 23 and 24, they will perform the program for a hometown audience at Kleinhans Music Hall.
As in previous tours, this concert will be recorded for a disc to be released on the BPO’s Beau Fleuve label this spring.
“This is music that is perfect for the BPO's personality – romantic, large-scale storytelling that really suits our imaginative musicians,” Falletta said. “Fabio Bidini has become a friend of mine and a Buffalo favorite. I’m certain that the Florida audiences will enjoy experiencing his talents, as well. It truly is a privilege for an orchestra the size of the BPO to mount a tour like this. I’m particularly eager to return to Sarasota, as we have not played there since 2010.”
The tour schedule is as follows:
During the free day, the musicians will enjoy a sightseeing cruise thanks to Carolyn and John Yurtchuk. Several other supporters have stepped forward to organize private dinners and parties at their homes or at local venues.
“The name of the tour – Florida Friends – is very appropriate,” said Daniel Hart, BPO executive director. “On these trips, we’ve renewed our bonds with so many of our old friends. We’ve made so many new friends, from the staff and volunteers at the venues and concert associations, to the local classical music communities, and more. Together, we’ve shared wonderful experiences both in the concert hall and at gatherings like the ones planned for this tour. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2019 Florida Friends Tour.”
For more information, visit bpo.org.