Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News
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Mary Kunz Goldman

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If you see "The Sound of Music" at Shea's Performing Arts Center, you'll get a surprise. The star of the show isn't Maria. The star is the scenic designer. Let's look up his name: Douglas W. Schmidt. I have never seen sets this beautiful. In the final scene, as the Von Trapps are hiding at the abbey, Maria's former home, and dodging the Nazis who are pursuing them…

On April 2, the Friends of Vienna welcome the piano/clarinet duo, Misuzu Tanaka and Maksim Shtrykov. Both Juilliard grads, the pair met in 2012, felt an instant connection, and formed a collaboration that has taken them to concert halls around the world. Their aim is to explore the repertoire for clarinet and piano and bring that unique combination into the mainstream. Fo…

As revered as Bach is, you don't hear his music much in the concert hall. That's one reason that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's concert this weekend is worth celebrating. Another reason is the rare presence of  internationally renowned Bach specialist Angela Hewitt. Hewitt, a master pianist born in Ottawa, Ont., is known to most of us only from her recordings.…

Frank Lloyd Wright called Buffalo millionaire Darwin Martin the best friend he ever had. A Western New Yorker following The News' 100 Things list can top that claim. To us, Darwin Martin is family. One warm September day, we visited Graycliff, the summer home he commissioned from Wright in the late 1920s. Martin, who had overcome a poor childhood to work his way…

Soprano Renee Fleming got her big break as a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, held on the legendary Metropolitan Opera stage at Lincoln Center in New York City. Now, a tenor from Lockport has carried off the same victory. Kyle van Schoonhoven, 28, an alumnus of SUNY Fredonia, was one of six singers to be selected as grand prize winners…

The elegant and world-renowned Bach pianist Angela Hewitt was born in Ottawa, Ont. But she got one of her first big breaks in Buffalo. In 1975, when she was in her teens, she won a contest here called the Chopin Young Pianists' Competition. She went on to win a string of other competitions, and one of them proved a portent of her career. It was the Toronto International…

Toronto and Buffalo have met once before on our 100 Things journey. One unruly night at KeyBank Center, we explored the friendly but raucous rivalry between the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, we explore Toronto itself. It's a funny place, Toronto. Going there, you know you're in a foreign country. The people don't look like us. Their houses don't …

Kleinhans Music Hall has canceled the National Geographic Live event scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. today. The event was to feature the underwater photography duo of David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes. It will be rescheduled at the earliest possible time, Kleinhans officials said. All tickets will be honored for the new date and time. For more info, call 885-5000.

If you're in town for the NCAA with March 17 free, you've got the luck of the Irish. March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, and Buffalo is world-famous for its celebrations. The big Sunday parade isn't until March 19, but the actual feast day has its own festivities. This year it falls on a Friday, the start of the weekend. And on top of that, if you're Catholic, you don…

"Got your earplugs?" an usher asked at Kleinhans Music Hall on Friday. That is not a question you hear too often before a Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Classics concert. But then nothing is normal about this weekend's event. Cameron Carpenter, the punk prince of the organ, is in town -- Mohawk haircut, sparkling shoes, custom-built organ and all. The massive instru…

Folks from Ireland used to talk about the Auld Sod. They meant the old country, the land of their roots. Buffalo has its own Auld Sod. It lies in the Valley and the Old First Ward, neighborhoods near downtown where the Irish originally settled. This was where the Irish held their earliest St. Patrick's Day parades. Proud Hibernians in long coats and stovepipe hat…

How do you keep the music playing? That was the question faced by E.B. Green's at the Hyatt, after piano man Jackie Jocko left off playing in October. For a couple of decades, Jocko's playing would greet arrivals at the steakhouse in downtown Buffalo, and serenade them through drinks and dinner. How do you keep the music playing? The steakhouse had an idea: Hold a …

Organist Cameron Carpenter is a gleeful throwback to the days when musicians were entertainers, dazzling audiences with novelty after novelty. And he is presenting the pipe organ in a snazzy new light. A Juilliard grad, he is the first organist ever to be nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo organ album (the 2008 Telarc CD "Revolutionary"). Carpenter, 35, has long lo…

Once upon a time, the Niagara County hamlet of Olcott was known for its Coney Island-like attractions. Even though the world has changed, this picturesque place retains its sense of fun. Witness the Olcott Pirate Festival, which takes place every July, complete with a magnificent car show. And the 1928 Olcott Carousel, which spins to the tune of a 1931 Wurlitzer orga…

Canadian baritone Denzal Sinclaire came to fame tackling one of the biggest challenges imaginable -- paying tribute to the silken voice of Nat "King" Cole. Born in Toronto in 1969, Sinclaire does not set out to imitate Nat Cole note for note. But he has internalized Cole's style and soul. Audiences have embraced his crooning: He has been nominated multiple times for Canada…