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Mozart masterpieces kick off BPO’s spring season

Mozart was just 22 when he wrote his famous Concerto for Flute and Harp. It was commissioned by a duke he met in Paris. The duke played flute and the duke’s daughter played harp. The story goes that Mozart never got paid for the piece. But today it is a masterpiece everyone loves.

It is the centerpiece of the concert this weekend that kicks off the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s spring season. Performing will be the acclaimed young flutist Demarre McGill, joined by Yolanda Kondonassis, one of the world’s foremost harp virtuosos. The concert is all Mozart, in honor of the composer’s birthday (which is actually Tuesday). Conducted by David Alan Miller, music director of the Albany Symphony, the program begins with the airy Divertimento in D, K. 136, and ends with the tender, joyous “Prague” Symphony.

There is no such thing as too much Mozart, judging from the glowing words of McGill and Kondonassis, who spoke with The News in a recent interview. “Mozart was just the definition of brilliance. There was a gift there that we may never see again,” Kondonassis said. “He wasn’t a rich man. By all accounts, personally, he did not have his life together. But God, the volume of just transcendent brilliance that he brought to the world. It’s mind-boggling.” (For the full interview, see Saturday’s Life & Arts section.)

Celebrate Mozart – and the start of a new symphony season – at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $34.50 to $85.50. Call 885-5000.

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