Before I begin my reflections about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, I would like to say I’m in no way related to the anyone in the BPO.
I’m simply a strong believer in expressing appreciation for one of the jewels of Western New York. After living in this area most of my life, I have nothing but happy and sentimental memories of concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall.
I was brought up in a family where classical music appreciation was emphasized, I learned early on about the 3 B’s – Brahams, Beethoven, and Bach. My sisters and I would take turns accompanying one of our parents to a Sunday afternoon concert. (My parents kept the season tickets until they died away.)
I have to say, I was not enthusiastic about attending them. There were probably 12 other things I would have preferred doing than going to the Philharmonic concert on a Sunday afternoon. But one thing I loved about the outing was the grandeur of Kleinhans. The aristocratic stairways, the elegant powder room, and the thrill of the concert hall, so far ahead of its time architecturally. I’m glad to say now that those forced Sunday concerts helped me to appreciate the classics today. There is something to be said about developing a wide range of interests, and being exposed to a variety of entertainment and educational activities while growing up.
Today, when I attend the concerts at Kleinhans, it brings me back to the days when I stood in awe of the concert hall. When I became a parent, I made sure my children had memories of their own experience at Kleinhans. We had season tickets to the pops concerts and they would take turns attending. We saw many talented performers and enjoyed getting dressed up for an elegant Saturday night. Back then, Doc Severinsen was the principal pops concert conductor. His wardrobe alone was entertaining with lots of colorful bling.
Today JoAnn Falletta is the conductor of the classics, and John Morris Russell recently signed on as the pops conductor. Falletta’s style is elegant with her expressive maestro talents, and Russell brings lots of flair and entertainment with his informative and humorous banter with the audience.
The BPO offers classics for children throughout the season. They bring the classics to a level of fun and enjoyment for the young concertgoers. Someday they will have their own memories of appreciation for the BPO, and in turn keep the tradition alive in Buffalo.
If you’ve never attended a BPO concert, do so in the coming season.
If you’re like me, you’ll never forget it.