Share this article

print logo
Gusto

Fei-Fei Dong was a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and earned praise from the Dallas Morning News for her "winning stage presence." She is coming to Kleinhans Music Hall to join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the most winning concertos ever written, the Piano Concerto in A Minor of the romantic German composer Robert Schu…

Featured

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, embarking on its first overseas tour in 30 years, is looking forward to pleasing the people of Poland. But first, the orchestra will have to please the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The world has changed since 1988, when the BPO last crossed the ocean, bound for Austria and Switzerland. For example, new rules monitor mat…

Gusto

This weekend's Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concert goes perfectly with our snow. No wonder a decent-sized crowd made it to Kleinhans Music Hall on Saturday night, despite the slippery roads. The music was just what we needed to hear. The centerpiece is Sibelius' Violin Concerto, brimming with icy beauty. The other main attraction is Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade." …

Gusto

Two voices dominate the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 2018-2019 season. And here's a hint. Both got a boost from the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions. On second thought, don't try to guess. Just enjoy the surprise. The pops series features Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristen Chenoweth who will appear on April 6, 2019. Chenoweth's many acco…

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is welcoming a Finnish violinist for a concert full of foreign flair. The central piece of music is Sibelius' Violin Concerto, performed by Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä. Vähälä appeared with the BPO in June 2016, as part of a celebration of the music of Finland. On that occasion, she performed the American premiere of a concerto by J…

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra makes it a tradition to celebrate Mozart's birthday. This year, the orchestra is celebrating with opera. It's no ordinary Mozart birthday party. A group of fine singers from Juilliard are on hand to sing excerpts from "The Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni," and "Cosi Fan Tutte," the three masterpieces Mozart wrote in collaboration…

Gusto

Coming soon to a church near you: the new Buffalo Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. This new group, a kind of pared down version of the Philharmonic, is thanks to BPO concertmaster Dennis Kim. While his role in the BPO is thrilling, Kim also likes music written for smaller groups of musicians, and he organized chamber groups in other places where he has lived and worked, …

Gusto

Byron Stripling's got that swing, and he also has that zing. When he last guest-starred with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, almost three years ago, the trumpet ace had the big crowd in stitches. He was also consummately polished as he played and sang his way through jazz standards, filling them with grit and greatness. Stripling has a genuine love for the songs by …

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic's soloist this weekend is Roman Mekinulov, the principal cellist. He is usually visible in the front of the stage just to the right of the conductor. When the orchestra rises, he stands with his feet far apart, cello planted in front of him, impossible to miss. Once at a Sabres game, he turned up on the Jumbotron, and looked completely as if he …

Gusto

Roman Mekinulov, the principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, is always in the spotlight. He is just to the right of the conductor, at the front of the cello section. This weekend, though, Mekinulov will move over a few feet and actually take center stage, as soloist. He will be performing the Cello Concerto No. 1 of the French Romantic composer Camille …

Gusto

The chamber musicians knew what they wanted for Christmas. A harpsichord. Not a common request, given that the instrument became obsolete in the 18th century. On a harpsichord, the strings are plucked, not hit with hammers the way strings are on a piano. The resulting festive, twinkling sound is especially popular around Christmas. It lends that note of authentici…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra now has its new administrative home. Developer John Yurtchuk completed his $2 million purchase of the historic Clement Mansion on Delaware Avenue from the Buffalo chapter of the American Red Cross last week. The BPO will now occupy part of the 17,000-square-foot building for its offices, but will lease back the rest of the space to …

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Holiday Pops turned Kleinhans Music Hall into a sea of red. Musicians wore red. The audience, packing the hall from top to bottom, wore red. I wore red. Only John Morris Russell, the BPO's principal pops conductor, put a different twist on Christmas attire, rocking a snowy white jacket. There was a good energy to the concert. Slip…

Gusto

For some of us, Christmas music isn't just something that comes out in December, or November if you're pushing it. For some of us, Christmas music is a hobby gone out of control. I personally have several hundred Christmas records -- vinyl LPs ranging from opera to jazz, Bach to Bob Goulet. And behold, I have received tidings of great joy: I have a kindred spirit in …

Family

Everybody's waiting for the man with the bag -- and, finally, he's here. John Morris Russell, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra principal pops conductor, is known as Mr. Christmas, for reasons that rapidly become evident at his annual Holiday Pops. Morris, who also is the music director for the Cincinnati Pops, collects Christmas music. He loves to fill his programs with curi…