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BPO at Artpark

Strike up the band! The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's much-anticipated Artpark season is beginning. Two high-wattage concerts are planned for this weekend.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, the sensational young violinist Lara St. John will be the soloist in Sibelius' haunting Violin Concerto, with Resident Conductor Robert Franz conducting. The New York Times called St. John "a high-powered soloist," so her performance should be something to hear. Completing the evening will be Gustav Holst's popular "The Planets." The women of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will be on hand to participate in this music of the spheres, adding that distant, magical touch to "Neptune."

At 3 p.m. Sunday, the BPO presents an all-Gershwin program. Pianist Kevin Cole will be the soloist, winding up the afternoon with the Concerto in F. Buffalo singer Colleen Williams will be singing standards such as "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Cole does some singing, too, and he'll give us "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and " 'S Wonderful." Again, Franz conducts the orchestra.

Admission is $15 to $48. Call 885-5000 or 754-4375.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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