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Buffalo Chamber Players explore how old inspires new

Classical meets neoclassical on March 17 when the Buffalo Chamber Players present a concert called “Stravinsky and the Classics.”

On the program is Stravinsky’s neoclassical “Dumbarton Oaks,” presented side by side with music of Bach, Haydn and Mozart. The program also includes a world premiere by American composer Scott Wheeler. Wheeler is visiting Buffalo for the event.

Written in 1937-38, “Dumbarton Oaks” was named after an estate in Washington, D.C. It was commissioned by the estate’s owners, who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. As he wrote the music, Stravinsky was inspired by Bach, in particular the third Brandenburg Concerto.

The Buffalo Chamber Players will perform that Bach concerto, as well as Mozart’s Trio in E-flat, K. 498 (the “Kegelstatt,” so named because the story goes that Mozart wrote it during a bowling game, when it wasn’t his turn). The Adagio cantabile from Haydn’s Symphony No. 13 in D features Feng Hew, the BPO’s associate principal cellist.

The Scott Wheeler work is “Ben Gunn,” about the castaway in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” It features pianist Alison d’Amato and baritone Aaron Engebreth (who is in town to sing the role of Jesus in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra).

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. March 17 in the glass-enclosed auditorium of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The gallery’s popular exhibit “Monet and the Impressionist Revolution” will be open to ticketholders at no extra charge from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The AK Café also will be open for dinner; reservations are required. A post-concert reception with the musicians and composer Scott Wheeler will follow the concert.

Tickets are $20, or $5 for students. For info, visit buffalochamberplayers.org or call 270-8292.

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