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Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell to present tribute to Hamlisch’s musical legacy
Marvin Hamlisch, beloved Broadway and film composer, served as principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 2003-07 before his untimely passing in 2012. This Valentine’s weekend at Kleinhans Music Hall, Hamlisch’s longtime friend and collaborator, Kevin Cole, joins Maestro John Morris Russell and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for “Nobody Does It Better: The Music of Marvin Hamlisch,” celebrating the legendary composer’s music from “A Chorus Line,” “The Sting,” “Ice Castles,” “The Way We Were,” “Sophie’s Choice” and James Bond theme “Nobody Does It Better.”
Cole, a top pianist in his own right known for his original interpretations of classic American song, has captivated audiences around the world with the virtuosity of his playing. He worked alongside Hamlisch on many of his projects, sharing stories from their cherished friendship in the PBS documentary “Marvin Hamlisch: What I Did for Love.” Cole will share musings of his life and times with Hamlisch this weekend, as well as his original arrangements of Hamlisch’s works, symphonically expanded by the BPO with special guest, vocalist Carlyn Connolly.
“Marvin’s shoes are impossible to fill,” Russell said. “The musicians and I are honored to present a fitting musical tribute to his legacy with this performance. Marvin’s ability to write such a wide variety of material – for film, for stage, for orchestra, songs that make us laugh, songs that tug at our heart strings, and songs that simply make us sit up and listen – is truly a gift to us all.”
“Marvin was a musical genius,” commented Daniel Hart, executive director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, who worked with Hamlisch. “He owned the pops genre and held our audiences in his hand with every performance he conducted. He was a friend to us all here in Buffalo, and is truly missed. We are so pleased that his music lives on and that our world-class musicians, of whom Marvin was so fond, can once again share it with all of us.”
Shows are set for at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.
The BPO’s “Sweetheart Dance,” an annual Valentine’s weekend tradition, will follow the Saturday performance. All ticketholders are invited to the Mary Seaton Room post-concert to enjoy a cash bar and dancing to the live sounds of vocalist Colleen Williams with the Bobby Jones Quartet.
The Friday “Coffee Concert” is presented by Elderwood. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with complimentary coffee and doughnuts for all ticketholders.
Tickets to “Nobody Does It Better: The Music of Marvin Hamlisch” are on sale now. Call 716-885-5000, visit bpo.org, or stop by the Kleinhans box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.