This weekend, as Mary Kunz Goldman wrote, conductor Leon Botstein will be in town to lead the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Rachel Lee Priday in a concert featuring works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Rossini.
But before he takes up the baton on the Kleinhans Music Hall stage, Botstein -- who has spent his life exploring the multifarious roles of culture in democratic society -- will stop by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to give a free talk on at 7 p.m. Friday on "Arts, Justice and Innovation."
A release from the gallery summed up Bostein's accomplishments:
"Dr. Botstein has experienced both persecution and renewal. His family escaped from Poland during World War II, ultimately settling in New York City and participating in the American dream. His life’s work is proof that the exchange of open ideas can be a force for freedom, democracy, and social justice."
Botstein is also a board member of George Soros' Open Society Foundations, which has funded the launch of Open Buffalo, a project designed to address and combat a range of social challenges in the Western New York area. His talk is being sponsored by the Partnership for the Public Good, which was instrumental in launching Open Buffalo, along with the BPO and the Albright-Knox.
To give you a sense of Botstein's delivery, here he is in a YouTube video explaining "Why Mozart Rocks So Hard":