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Buffalo Philharmonic announces new film series, lineup for popular rock & kids series on 2019-20 concert season

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Thu, Apr 25th 2019 12:20 pm

As the Buffalo Philharmonic returns from its critically acclaimed “Florida Friends” tour, and following an earlier announcement of the 2019-20 classics and pops series, the orchestra announced the lineup for three more series In the concert season, including a brand-new film series.

In the new BPO film series, the orchestra will perform live scores to iconic cinematic classics. Just in time for the holidays, the BPO will perform John Williams’ score to the 1991 madcap comedy “Home Alone” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Kleinhans Music Hall.

After the overwhelming success of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert” at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the orchestra returns to Shea’s on Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29, for the second installment of the tale: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert.” The series comes back to Kleinhans to close out the season with the throwback classic “Back to the Future” on Friday, June 12. Respected composer Alan Silvestri wrote the score to this quintessential 1980s film, which garnered him a Saturn Award nomination.

The boundary-breaking “BPO Rocks” series returns for another high-octane season. Hot on the heels of the Academy Award-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody” biopic, the BPO performs “The Music of Queen” on Friday, Oct. 25, in collaboration with Windborne Productions – the masterminds behind such sold-out BPO concerts as “The Music of Led Zeppelin” and “The Music of The Doors.”

On Friday, Nov. 22, another “BPO Rocks” mainstay returns: “Classical Mystery Tour” celebrates the 50th anniversaries of the landmark “Abbey Road” and “Yellow Submarine” albums under the baton of BPO Assistant Conductor Todd Craven.

On Jan. 31, 2020, “The Music of The Eagles” soars into Kleinhans. Hotel California is one of the most respected Eagles tribute acts working today, and joins the BPO to bring to life the songs that defined the 1970s.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is legendary among Deadheads for its role in the “lost show” of St. Patrick’s Day, 1970. On that date, the Grateful Dead came to Buffalo to jam with the BPO at the invitation of Lukas Foss, the then-music director known for his avant-garde approach to programming. It marked one of the first times a rock band performed with a symphony orchestra, with both groups feeding off one another in a one-of-a-kind show. There was no recording made, and the program and instructions to musicians have been lost, but the legend has only grown over the years. On Feb. 25, Crazy Fingers joins the BPO to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous lost Grateful Dead shows.

To tell the story of Jefferson Starship is to tell the story of rock ‘n’ roll. The band has its roots as Jefferson Airplane, which defined the San Francisco sound and headlined the music festivals at Woodstock, Monterey and Altamont. The band evolved through the 1970s prog-rock and AOR eras to become Jefferson Starship, and weathered a split in the 1980s that led to the creation of the pop-oriented Starship. Today, Jefferson Starship has re-formed under original member David Freiberg, with a top-notch group of veteran musicians. They perform with the BPO on April 24, closing out the 2019-20 season.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s “BPO Kids Concert Series” returns for young music lovers and the entire family. These Sunday afternoon concerts last 45 minutes, with an hour of preconcert activity stations including crafts, stories, games and an instrument zoo.

On Oct. 27, the classic Halloween program gets a magical twist with an interactive tale of orchestra sorcery titled “The Conductor’s Spellbook.” Kids are encouraged to wear a costume, as the concert will conclude with everyone’s favorite costume parade across the Kleinhans stage.

On Dec. 15, the kids series celebrates the holidays with “Jingle Bell Jam,” featuring favorite holiday stories. Special guest Santa Claus will lead the sing-along and help conduct the concert. The U.S. Marine Corps will be on hand to help make cards for military members stationed far from home during the holidays.

On Feb. 16, 2020, it’s Buffalo in the spotlight with “BuffaLove!” Verve Dance Studio, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Just Buffalo Literary Center and other artistic partners join the BPO to celebrate a love for the community through the arts.

On April 5, “Once Upon a Time” will feature favorite fairytales and fantasies with music from “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Frozen,” and orchestral works such as “Mother Goose Suite” and “Billy the Kid.”

The kids series concludes May 3 with “Carnival of the Animals,” featuring the classic orchestral suite of the same name. Hear YouTube sensation Nora the Piano Cat’s “Catcerto,” roar along with an animal-themed sing-along, and delight in local playwright Jon Elston’s whimsical Buffalo-inspired poems.

Subscriptions to each of these series are available now. Visit bpo.org, call 716-885-5000 or visit the Kleinhans box office for personal service. Individual tickets will go on sale in August.

Since its inception in 1935, the BPO has served as Buffalo’s cultural ambassador. JoAnn Falletta is the music director of the Grammy Award-winning orchestra, which presents more than 120 classics, pops, rock, kids and youth concerts each year. For more information, visit bpo.org.

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