BPO opens its season with cellist Yo-Yo Ma - The Buffalo News

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BPO opens its season with cellist Yo-Yo Ma

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classics season is starting Wednesday with a gala concert featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma. JoAnn Falletta is conducting, the tickets are going fast, and it seems as if the season is getting off to a promising start.

Yo-Yo Ma is playing “Azul,” written for him by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. It was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and since premiering it with that orchestra in 2006, Ma has also performed it with other orchestras. On Sept. 25, exactly a week after playing the piece here, Ma is performing it for the New York Philharmonic’s season-opening gala, a show to be filmed for “Live In Lincoln Center.”

“Azul” means “blue,” and Golijov conceived the music as a tribute to the cellist. “I wanted to convert the majesty of his sound into a majestic piece – his playing is transcendental,” the composer was recently quoted as saying. The 30-minute concerto is on YouTube. It has unusual sound effects and hints of electronica, even an enhanced accordion. At the same time it also has a meditative quality that some listeners have called magical.

The BPO’s gala concert begins with Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $65-$125. For more information, call 885-5000.

– Mary Kunz Goldman

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