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BPO tour of Poland includes stop in Buffalo sister city

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is arriving in Warsaw and is tuning up for its second full concert in Poland, taking place March 20.

The concert in Wroclaw on March 18 marked the orchestra's official debut in Poland. Wroclaw's National Forum For Music was packed to its state-of-the-art rafters.

One group of BPO musicians had been stuck on their bus for 90 minutes on the road to Wroclaw when traffic was tied up by a jackknifed truck. Otherwise, the adventure went off without a hitch.

Wroclaw's new concert hall has a stunning modern lobby.

Wroclaw's futuristic concert hall.

As the BPO musicians taught and prepared for the concert, the wind octet was on the other side of Poland, giving concerts and master classes in Luslawice and Buffalo's sister city, Rzeszów. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta and Executive Director Daniel Hart were there to take in the octet's concerts.

The BPO wind octet on stage at the Krzysztof Penderecki Center in Luslawice.

Hart texted that the octet's performances bowled him over. The musicians' influence, he said, went beyond music.

"We have expanded the footprint of our educational mission in a very meaningful way," he wrote. "They took on a special role as ambassadors for Buffalo and the United States in both venues, but especially Rzeszów. We are so happy that this part of the trip went well and -- from my chair -- I was blown away by the superb artistry of our players. The Mozart and Beethoven they performed as an Octet was breathtaking and I hope we can find a way to feature them back home."

Sightseeing in Rzeszów included the magnificent Church of the Holy Cross.

Dan Hart sent this picture of the interior of the Church of the Holy Cross, facing the high altar.

 

The Latin outside the church reads: "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

There are reasons Buffalo and Rzeszow are sister cities. We have an over-the-top City Hall and so do they.

Rzeszow's ornate City Hall. (Photo by Dan Hart.)

Buffalo's official city seal is on display in Rzeszow's City Hall. Also there is a monument in the town square to Rzeszow's sister cities. JoAnn Falletta and friends made a pilgrimage.

Buffalo is front and center on the town square monument.

With Wroclaw behind them, the musicians of the Philharmonic can relax, if only for a moment.

Pianist Conrad Tao and Music Director JoAnn Falletta kick back after the concert in Wroclaw.

The orchestra's next concert is March 20, when the orchestra makes its appearance at Warsaw's Philharmonic Hall as one of 12 concerts taking place during the Beethoven Easter Festival. The concert is the centerpiece of the tour.

With a day to go before the concert, Roman Mekinulov, principal cello, and Concertmaster Dennis Kim had some fun with one of the guards at Warsaw's Royal Palace.

Photo courtesy of JoAnn Falletta.

Gentlemen, gentlemen! Shouldn't you be practicing?

The News will continue to post regular updates on the trip.

 

 

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