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'BPO Musician Portraits' presented for free at Transit Drive-in

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Wed, Aug 26th 2020 04:50 pm

One-night-only presentation produced by Buffalo Toronto Public Media

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Buffalo Toronto Public Media, will embark on another unique opportunity to engage with the Greater Buffalo community while its venerable home, Kleinhans Music Hall, remains closed to the public – and the orchestra awaits guidance from New York on reopening. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Transit Drive-in will play host to an exclusive screening of a compilation of highlights from the Buffalo Toronto Public Media-produced television series, “BPO Musician Portraits with JoAnn Falletta.” These intimate performances were filmed this summer at the WNED PBS Studios through the generosity of Cindy and Francis Letro, and showcase several BPO musicians in socially distanced recording sessions. Included are principal cellist Roman Mekinulov and pianist Eric Huebner; associate principal cellist Feng Hew and violinist Shieh-Jian Tsai; principal harpist Madeline Olson; concertmaster Nikki Chooi; a woodwind quintet featuring principal oboist Henry Ward, clarinetist Patti Dilutis, principal bassoonist Glenn Einschlag, principal French hornist Jacek Muzyk and Huebner; and a brass quintet featuring principal trumpeter Alex Jokipii, trumpeter Geoffrey Hardcastle, principal French hornist Jacek Muzyk, principal trombonist Jonathan Lombardo, and bass trombonist Felipe Pereira. The repertoire ranges from solo, duo and small ensemble masterpieces from the classical canon, to popular and familiar favorites.

“When Cindy and Fran approached us with the idea to partner with the Buffalo Philharmonic on this television series, it was a natural fit and we were proud to be a part of keeping music alive for our community during this difficult time,” President and CEO of Buffalo Toronto Public Media Donald Boswell said.

“We loved bringing our musicians to the Buffalo Toronto Public Media television studios to record these very special concerts for television broadcast during this time when our home at Kleinhans Music Hall has been closed,” said BPO Music Director Falletta, whom introduces each program. “But, I must admit, I never expected to see them shown in such a unique manner at the drive-in theater! The musicians and I are thrilled to share this experience with the Western New York community.”

Admission to the program, which will be presented on the theater’s outdoor screen at 6655 S. Transit Road in Lockport, is free, compliments of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

“As a longstanding partner of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is pleased to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to our community so we can enjoy the sounds of the BPO in a safe, outdoor setting,” said Julie R. Snyder, senior vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Gates will open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. showing. Total run time of the program is approximately 75 minutes without intermission. The parking lot will be limited to 150 cars to ensure proper social distancing. Patrons are encouraged to secure their complimentary car reservation in advance at bpo.org/events, as tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. One ticket permits entry for one vehicle and welcomes any number of guests within that vehicle. The screening will take place rain or shine, and each car will receive a complimentary gift bag courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

For questions, call the BPO box office at 716-885-5000 or visit bpo.org. BPO box office staff are working remotely at this time and there are no in-person box office hours at Kleinhans Music Hall.

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