Following an earlier announcement of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s classics and pops series, the orchestra announces the lineup for its 2021-22 “BPO Rocks” series, presented by Calspan. A press release stated, “Known for its rollicking tributes to the best of classic rock, the boundary-breaking concert series has become one of the BPO’s most popular.”
This year’s series is a “British invasion,” featuring tributes to enigmatic glam rocker David Bowie (Jan. 28); ’80s heavy metal legends Def Leppard (June 4); and the man himself, Stewart Copeland, in a can’t-miss celebration of the band he founded with Sting and Andy Summers, The Police (Oct. 29). Bradley Thachuk, music director of the nearby Niagara Symphony Orchestra (Ontario), known for his dexterity in conducting both the classical and rock genres, will lead the Bowie and Def Leppard performances at Kleinhans Music Hall.
“It’s great to be rocking with the BPO once again,” Thachuk said. “These concerts are not only thrilling tributes to some of the best rockers in history, but it’s exciting to see new audiences at Kleinhans who may be experiencing the BPO for the first time. And what an orchestra, to be able to play classics, pops, rock and everything in between – that’s true mastery!”
At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, the BPO presents “Stewart Copeland: Police Deranged for Orchestra,” a high-energy orchestral celebration of legendary rock star and composer Copeland and his career as the founder of one of rock’s most beloved bands, The Police.
With more than 60 million records sold worldwide, six Grammy awards, and induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Police – founded when Copeland recruited Summers and Sting in 1977 – have been a defining force in rock music for over 40 years. “Police Deranged for Orchestra” is bursting with The Police’s biggest hits, including “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” and “Message in a Bottle.”
The press release said, “With Copeland on drums, three singers, guitarist and your BPO, these unique compositions – also arranged or ‘deranged’ by Copeland – give new life to classic songs and select hits from the career of one of the generation’s greatest and most influential artists.”
BPO pays homage to “The Music of David Bowie” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. Following the popular tribute concert in March of 2016 after the artist’s passing, and the packed repeat performance at Canalside that summer, Jeans ‘n Classics rejoins the BPO for a celebration of the life and legacy of the flamboyant rock legend in a one-of-a-kind tribute to his career. Experience vocalist Jean Meilleur along with a full rock band for this musical odyssey that showcases the extraordinary range of Bowie’s musical career. This one-night-only performance features Bowie’s mega hits – “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “Heroes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “China Girl” – performed alongside the BPO.
Finally, from Windborne Productions and producer Brent Havens, the BPO will present the world-premiere of “The Music of Def Leppard” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2022. Relive the’80s heavy metal look and sound of a live Def Leppard concert experience with MiG Ayesa on lead vocals, a full rock band, and the BPO. This tribute includes hits “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Photograph,” “Rock of Ages,” “Hysteria” and “Love Bites.”
Subscribers save substantially on handling fees, receive priority access to special events before they are made available to the general public, and can take advantage of a flexible ticket exchange program. To subscribe, 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. Single tickets to all BPO events will go on sale following Labor day.
The health and safety of everyone who attends live events at Kleinhans Music Hall remains the BPO's top priority. The BPO will continue to follow all local, state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. For more information, visit bpo.org/safety-protocols.