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'RACH' ON

The glamorous Philippine-born pianist Cecile Licad has forged her career her own way. "Fame doesn't make you an artist," she told one interviewer during a recent trip to the Philippines. "On the other hand, fame and money can corrupt an artist. When you have too much of it, you tend to overlook the hard work and hope fame can compensate for everything. It doesn't."

Which isn't to say that Licad has not been garnering attention. A disc she recorded devoted to the colorful music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk made critics take notice. The fact that she plays the daunting Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto, too, proves that she's not a talent to be taken lightly.

Licad will be joining the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall to play the glittering "Rach 3." The program, called "Russian Thunder," also includes Tchaikovsky's Polonaise from "Eugene Onegin," Liadov's "The Enchanted Lake" and Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements. Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts.

Tickets are $25 to $64. For information, call 885-5000.