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Busy BPO

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is presenting one of its most-anticipated crossover concerts Saturday, when Michael Cavanaugh performs a tribute to Billy Joel. The star of "Movin' Out" on Broadway, Cavanaugh is presiding over an evening of the Piano Man's hits, as well as a smattering of songs by Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John. Resident conductor Robert Franz conducts.

Saturday's concert starts at 8 p.m. in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $29.50 to $74.50. Call 885-5000 for info.

Wednesday, the Philharmonic presents intriguing classics at Canisius College, the opening of this season of "Canisius and the BPO Connection," an ongoing partnership.

As a special guest, the orchestra will be welcoming violinist Charles Wetherbee. Wetherbee, a former Buffalonian who is concertmaster of the recently resuscitated Columbus Symphony Orchestra, will be playing a new concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff.

Wetherbee has appeared with the BPO before -- in his last appearance, in 2002, he played John Corigliano's "The Red Violin" concerto, which BPO Concertmaster Michael Ludwig just performed last weekend. The Leshnoff concerto, commissioned by five orchestras including the BPO, was praised by the Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith as "remarkably assured, cohesively constructed and radiantly lyrical."

Conducted by BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta and by guest conductor Paul Ferington, the concert also features the Canisius College Chorale, directed by Frank Scinta.

Wednesday's concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in Canisius College's Montante Cultural Center. Admission is $25; $10 for students with ID.

For information, call 888-2536.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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