Superstar violinist Midori, ‘Empress of Soul’ Gladys Knight, and Irish singing sensation Celtic Woman among many season highlights
Submitted by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
On Thursday, Music Director JoAnn Falletta, Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and the musicians, board and staff of the BPO announced a bold new 2022-23 concert season filled with masters of the classical repertoire, the best of Broadway, Hollywood, and the American songbook, spectacular collaborations, and a resounding celebration of diverse guest artists, conductors and composers.
The BPO is joined this season by masterful guest artists on the M&T Bank Classics Series, including superstar violinist Midori performing the lush and lyrical Korngold Violin Concerto (Saturday, Sept. 17); former BPO Music Director Maximiano Valdés joined by the technically mesmerizing Paul Huang with the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (Saturday, April 15, and Sunday, April 16); and leading jazz violinist Regina Carter, who pays homage to Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan in Schiff’s Four Sisters: Concerto for Jazz Violin & Orchestra (Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13).
The BPO Pops series is headlined this year by the seven-time Grammy Award-winning “Empress of Soul” herself, Gladys Knight (Saturday, Oct. 8). Other can’t-miss Pops performances include series opener The Doo Wop Project, paying homage to the tight harmonies and soaring melodies of such groups as The Platters and The Temptations (Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24); a nod to one of the brightest lights on Broadway, legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, in “Celebrating Sondheim” (Saturday, Oct. 22); the return of one of the world’s most popular and bestselling ABBA tribute shows, Arrival from Sweden, with The Music of ABBA (Saturday, Nov. 19); and an incredible tribute to the “unforgettable” father-daughter vocal duo in “Unforgettable: Nat & Natalie” (Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11).
Spectacular collaborations this season include Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” featuring the Irish Classical Theatre Company with the BPO performing the imaginative score of Jean Sibelius (Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26); Mozart’s warmhearted opera, “The Magic Flute,” with the SUNY Fredonia Hillman Opera Program (Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23); and Verdi’s Requiem with the powerful combined voices of the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and SUNY Fredonia Chorus (Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11).
The BPO has a longstanding commitment to presenting diverse programming, supporting diversity among its artists, and engaging with every part of the Western New York community in a meaningful way. This season, Taiwanese-American conductor Mei-Ann Chen conducts Anna Clyne’s celebration-fueled “Masquerade” and Tony Siqi Yun’s turn at a favorite of the piano repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15). One of the world’s most accomplished trumpet players, Pacho Flores, brings his brilliance to the instrument with Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’ Trumpet Concerto (Symphonie Fantastique, Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29). Spain’s foremost cellist, Asier Polo, shows his prowess with the Elgar Cello Concerto (Saturday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13). Brazilian pianist Sonia Goulart joins her son, guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger of the Grand Rapids Symphony, in a very special performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (Chopin & Shostakovich, Friday, Jan. 13, and Saturday, Jan 14). Guest conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl of the Omaha Symphony joins featured cellist Sterling Elliott, winner of the 2019 Sphinx Competition, with the brilliant Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1, along with Reena Esmail’s “Testament” from “Vishwas,” depicting the story of a celebrated 15th century Indian saint-poet (Friday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 4). Pianist Michelle Cann joins guest conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech, music director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, to perform Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement (Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5). Brooklyn-based composer Angélica Negrón brings an inventive mechanical percussion ensemble to her work “Me he perdido” (I’ve Gotten Lost) (Max Valdés Conducts Paul Huang, Saturday, April 15, and Sunday, April 16). Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia” is based on a 1941 ballet following the romance between a city boy who falls in love with a country girl (Brahms’ Fourth, Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6). Finally, Damon Gupton, principal guest conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, leads the BPO in Duke Ellington’s “Black, Brown and Beige,” a jazz-fueled walk through Black and African-American history (classical jazz, Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13).
Special commissions this season include José Lezcano’s Concerto for Two Double Basses, written especially for BPO principal bassists Daniel Pendley and Brett Shurtliffe (Brahms’ Fourth, Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6), and a yet-to-be-titled new work by Jessie Montgomery, one of the most explosive contemporary composers today, which opens the Beethoven & Strauss performance on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4.
Of course, the holidays would not be complete without seasonal favorites JoAnn’s Classical Christmas (Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10) and John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops (Thursday, Dec. 15; Friday, Dec. 16; Saturday, Dec. 17; Sunday, Dec. 18), and a very special return engagement with the sensational singing group from the Emerald Isle, Celtic Woman, one night only on Thursday, Dec. 8.
“The 2022-2023 season is a kaleidoscope of celebration and color, favorite composers, astonishing collaborations, great soloists and of course your full Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on our stage,” Falletta said. “We can't wait to welcome you to the treasures we have in store for you in the coming year!”
Saturday evening performances will remain in their earlier start time of 7:30 p.m., introduced this season. The Friday morning “Coffee Concert” series, sponsored by Elderwood – select Fridays at 10:30 a.m., and Sunday matinee series – select Sundays at 2:30 p.m., remain options for those who prefer a daytime concert.
The popular dinner service at Marcato by Sear (formerly Henry’s at Kleinhans), from the operators of Oliver’s Restaurant, will take reservations beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday and select Friday evenings. Reservations can be made by calling 716-877-9662.
The BPO has developed a safety plan and protocols for Kleinhans Music Hall in accordance with local, state and federal health and safety guidelines. These protocols are updated regularly in response to the ever-changing pandemic environment. For the latest information, visit bpo.org/safety-protocols.
Subscriptions Now Available
Savvy music lovers in Western New York already know that a BPO subscription is always your best value. 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 the most flexible ticket exchange program in the region. First-timers can receive a discount of up to 30% on Pops and up to 50% on Classics subscriptions. Packages range from five concerts to full series of Pops or Classics. With multiple options available and the ability to customize, there is a subscription option to fit every need. 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. on Saturdays. Single tickets to all BPO events will go on sale in late summer.
Major support for the BPO is provided by M&T Bank, Calspan, Elderwood and KeyBank. Government support is provided by Erie County, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.