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Image courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Image courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

BPO's summer season brings live music to communities throughout Buffalo-Niagara


Fri, Jun 3rd 2022 10:05 am

The full Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will once again bring the joy of music to communities in Western New York this summer. The 2022 summer season, sponsored by West Herr and Moog, will feature free concerts in parks and plazas throughout the Buffalo-Niagara Region, along with several other musical events, including the annual Independence Night celebration with the Buffalo Bisons, a rollicking night at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor with “The Music of The Tragically Hip” performed by The Strictly Hip, an evening of wizarding magic at Artpark as the BPO performs the score of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” live to film, and a closing concert in the picturesque, historic setting of Old Fort Niagara as the orchestra performs symphonic favorites against the setting sun.

“Summer with the BPO is such a favorite of mine,” said Assistant Conductor Jaman E. Dunn. “Our summer season is an opportunity for us to meet our community in the community, as opposed to our permanent home at Kleinhans Music Hall. From Old Fort Niagara to Ellicottville, we are able to perform in several Western New York settings that place us in parks, lawns and bandshells in the neighborhoods of our greater BPO family. The music we perform is equally accessible, drawing from pop culture favorites as well as classical standards. Worry not if you are a new listener; I can personally guarantee that you will recognize at least some of the program, and the experience itself is simply amazing. The energy is palpable, and the mutual gratitude of community audience and orchestra is what makes this so inspirational year after year!”

Spectacular Summer Events

The BPO summer season kicks off with a free performance in Academy Park as part of the Lewiston bicentennial at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 2. Take a musical stroll through 200 years of Lewiston history with the BPO and Assistant Conductor Dunn in a program that features jazzy and patriotic favorites, including “Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man,” “James Reese Europe’s Castle House Rag” and the “Armed Forces Salute.” This event will be held in the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell. 

On Sunday, July 3 (8 p.m.), the BPO returns to the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival at Holiday Valley Resort. Conductor Ron Spigelman leads a program inspired by British rockers The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), with their fusion of Beatlesque pop and classical arrangements, followed by a fireworks display set to patriotic favorites. Tickets are available at ellicottvilleny.com.

On Monday, July 4, music lovers and baseball fanatics unite for another annual favorite, “KeyBank Independence Night with the Buffalo Bisons.” After the Bisons host the Syracuse Mets at 6 p.m., maestro Paul Ferington returns to lead a celebration of this nation’s birthday, replete with the largest fireworks display of the season. This year’s program features the powerhouse vocals of Lockport native Joshua Vacanti, fresh from his turn on NBC’s “The Voice.” Tickets are available at milb.com/buffalo

Take a journey to the wizarding world on Saturday, July 9 (8 p.m.), as CineConcerts presents “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert” at Artpark's Mainstage Theatre. Relive the magic of “Harry Potter” soaring across the big screen in high-definition, and experience the music of the BPO performing John Williams’ unforgettable score. Tickets are available at artpark.net.

A free lunchtime performance will take place at the Belle Center (104 Maryland St.) on Thursday, July 14 (noon). Patrons are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and enjoy this free west side neighborhood concert featuring the BPO Brass.

On Friday, July 15 (7 p.m. – rain date July 16), join the “Olmsted 200 Celebration at Cazenovia Park,” a free concert honoring the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted in collaboration with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, presented by Bank of America and Wegmans. The program will include music inspired by nature, and nods to the rich tapestry of cultures that make up the Buffalo community – including works with Irish, Polish, Hispanic and Black and African American roots.

In the summer of 2017, the BPO and Canada’s iconic band, The Strictly Hip, masters of the music of The Tragically Hip, rocked Canalside with more than 15,000 people in attendance. In 2019, they sold out Kleinhans Music Hall for a repeat performance, and brought the house down once again last summer at Batavia Downs. Now, get ready for another rocking night on Friday, July 22, with the BPO, conductor Stefan Sanders, and “The Music of The Tragically Hip” Performed by The Strictly Hip at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Celebrate the legacy of the band that helped defined rock for a generation. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at buffalowaterfront.com.

On Saturday, July 30 (7:30 p.m.), the BPO returns to Artpark's Mainstage Theatre for “Opera in Concert: Up Close and Personal.” Renowned opera producer, conductor and stage director Gil Rose leads a program he personally curated that includes opera’s most memorable melodies from Bizet, Puccini and Rossini, with a cast of top vocalists: Danielle Talamantes (soprano), Janna Baty (mezzo soprano), Dominick Chenes (tenor) and Michael Chioldi (baritone). Tickets are available at artpark.net.

Finally, the BPO returns to Old Fort Niagara, a summer mainstay, on Sunday, July 31 (8 p.m.). Dunn leads a glittering evening of popular and patriotic favorites at the region’s oldest historic site, with a fireworks display closing out the concert. Adult tickets are $25. Tickets for students of all ages (valid student I.D. required) and children over age 6 are available for $10. Children under age 6 attend free. A family-four pack – tickets for two adults and two children over age 6 – is available for $60. Tickets are available at bpo.org.

Free Parks & Plaza Concerts

A summer staple of the Western New York music scene, the BPO and Dunn will return to many familiar locales performing the hits of Broadway, Hollywood and the radio, along with inspired music from around the world – a preview of the forthcoming 2022-23 concert season at Kleinhans Music Hall. The free summer parks and plaza lineup includes the BPO Brass at Bidwell Park on Tuesday, July 12 (7 p.m.), presented by National Grid; North Park Academy on Wednesday, July 13 (7 p.m.), presented with support from Buffalo Common Council Member Joel P. Feroleto; the Niawanda Park bandshell on Sunday, July 17 (7 p.m.), presented with support from William Conrad, New York State Assembly District 140; Bassett Park on Tuesday, July 26 (7 p.m.); Clarence Town Park on Wednesday, July 27 (7 p.m.), presented by Kelly Schultz Antiques; and a lunchtime performance at M&T Plaza on Thursday, July 28 (11:45 a.m.).

For a chronological listing of all 2022 BPO summer season events, visit bpo.org/summer. To purchase tickets to Old Fort Niagara or for general information on any summer performance, 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.

About Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc. provides a resident, professional, major symphony orchestra of artistic excellence and integrity to enrich the quality of life in Western New York through the presentation of live symphonic music and other musical events, which educate and entertain the broadest possible audiences within and beyond the Western New York Region. Since 1940, the orchestra’s permanent home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen with an international reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. 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 concerts each year. For more information, visit bpo.org.

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