The voting is in in the swing state of Florida. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is killing it.
The BPO and Music Director JoAnn Falletta are away on their Florida and Friends Tour, giving three concerts in the Sunshine State, with glowing results.
“The days of the Big Five orchestras – New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Boston – dominating American concert music are long gone, and the Buffalo band is as fine as any in the world,” reviewer Ken Keaton wrote in the Palm Beach Daily News, following a concert the afternoon of Feb. 7 in Palm Beach, Fla.
“The sound of that ensemble!” he continued. “From the opening notes, the orchestra produces a ravishing tone, perfect balance, a huge range of dynamics and absolute precision no matter what the technical demands. Each section plays gloriously, and the first-chair soloists are each superb.”
The sunny review also praised Falletta, beaming: “Though tiny in stature, she is a titan on the podium.”
In Palm Beach, the orchestra is performing at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, whose lineup for early 2016 also includes the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.
British violinist Chloe Hanslip is touring with the BPO. She is playing Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, which she just performed with the orchestra in Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall.
The program, which also includes Brahms’ Second Symphony, was a great success in Buffalo.
The Florida audience loved it, too, applauding to the extent that the BPO gave an encore, the overture to Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.”
Afterward, the Buffalo musicians celebrated by going out to a Super Bowl party.
The BPO had another Florida performance scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Church in Vero Beach, and one more is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville.
The orchestra returns to Buffalo in time for the performance at 8 p.m. Saturday featuring jazz trumpeter Chris Botti.