Mary Kunz Goldman - The Buffalo News

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Mary Kunz Goldman


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There was no Vivaldi on the program, but that didn't stop Viva Vivaldi from wrapping up its 39th season with vigor -- and variance. Over years of going to this festival, which features the Ars Nova Musicians led by Marylouise Nanna, I never remember a program made up entirely of Vicarious Visionaries (the term applied to composers other than Vivaldi). Not only was there…

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Maximiano Valdes is back in town. And this time, the former Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director is here to stay. You can't be so bold as to say for good. There is no telling what these glamorous, globetrotting conductors will do. What we can say is that Valdes, who is guest conducting the BPO this weekend, turned around before the Friday morning concert and…

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It's the most Buffalo time of the year. Spirits soar as we warm up for the Turkey Trot, one of the 100 Things every Western New Yorker should do at least once. And for the World's Largest Disco, another adventure on our bucket list. Friends and relatives flock in from out of town, craving wings and beef on weck. Thanksgiving is in the air. It's fun to celebrate this …

Viva Vivaldi, the Ars Nova Musicians' annual Baroque homage, is ending its 39th season with some serious off-roading -- a performance of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto. The soloist is Nichols grad and Boston College student Alexander Aylward. Last year for Viva Vivaldi, Aylward played Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto and brought the house down. This year, he joins the …

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Few people, on stage or off, are funnier than Valerian Ruminski, the noted baritone who is the general director of Nickel City Opera. So it is sure to be memorable when the curtain rises on the company's newest production -- "The Music Shop," a musical comedy by Richard Wargo. "The Music Shop," based on a short story by Anton Chekhov, is a one-act comedy, sung in Englis…

Pianist Susan Yondt grew up in Buffalo and has lived for years in Sweden, where she teaches and performs. It's always a homecoming when she performs for Buffalo's Friends of Vienna, and this year, she has thrown in a twist: She'll be performing works by women composers, contemporary and historic, all from Scandinavia. Yondt performs at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Unity Church…

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Maximiano Valdes is back for a weekend. He was music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 1998, during which time he cut a dashing figure and married a Western New Yorker, Jody Snyder. Currently music director of the Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan, he continues to exhibit high spirits and dedication to music. He and the Puerto Rico orchestra were …

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It's about to get more difficult for Western New Yorkers to get their fingers on a Steinway piano. Denton, Cottier and Daniels, the Amherst firm that bears the title of the world's oldest Steinway dealer, is no longer going to sell Steinways. For 157 years, Denton, Cottier and Daniels has been the exclusive Steinway dealer for all of Western New York. But Michelle Tr…

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The Buffalo Chamber Players, the adventurous group led by Buffalo Philharmonic violist Janz Castelo, are exploring what can be done with a clarinet. On the lyrical side of the spectrum is the Clarinet Quintet by one of music's great Romanticists, Johannes Brahms. This masterpiece for clarinet and string quartet, filled with bittersweet beauty, ranks with great clarinet …

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Elmwood and Hertel avenues boast Buffalo's best shopping. So surely the best of the best can be found where those two streets meet. Lo, over that hallowed crossroads looms the legendary North Buffalo Amvets. Greater Buffalo has two Amvets stores. The other behemoth, which rightfully has its fans, is on Walden Avenue in Depew. But the Buffalo store has an urban appeal…

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The mighty American Legion Band of the Tonawandas is bringing out the heavy artillery for Veterans Day. The 85-piece ensemble, 20-time winner of the national championship, is joining forces with a dynamic trio, the American Bombshells. The Bombshells, based in New York City, are what would have been called "girl singers" in the 1940s. Their style is a modern take on the…

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A viola with a colorful history is coming to Buffalo, thanks to a Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert. In a way, it's a homecoming for the instrument, which is owned by Buffalo's own Baird family. It is on loan from the Library of Congress, where it is housed. The viola is called the "Tuscan-Medici," because it was part of an ensemble made in 1690 for the Grand Duke o…

The Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra is tuning up for a concert 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Slee Hall on UB's North Campus. Led by Music Director Ansgarius Aylward, assistant concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the group has planned a colorful program featuring Berlioz's "Roman Carnival Overture"; Tchaikovsky's "Little Russian" Symphony; and the first movement of Sch…

Many love Neil Diamond. Few admit to it. Put a paper bag over your head, if need be, and head to Kleinhans Music Hall at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, where the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by San Francisco-based Super Diamond, a leading, high-octane Neil Diamond tribute band. You'll hear all your surreptitious favorites: "Sweet Caroline," "Coming To America," "Cracklin…

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A good house turned out Saturday to hear the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. And with good reason. With music by Chopin, Brahms and Richard Strauss, how could you lose? And on hand to play Chopin's Second Piano Concerto was Konrad Skolarski, from Warsaw, Poland. Everything was in place for a night of richness and romance. It all culminated in a wonderful performance …