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BPO presenting 'The Planets,' complete with images from space

It’s astronomical, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming “Know the Score” concert.

Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders is conducting the orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in Gustav Holst’s popular “The Planets.” And to set off this super-popular music, a video screen will broadcast stellar imagery from NASA and the European Space Agency.

For stargazers, the event will be heaven. The Buffalo Astronomy Club will be on hand before and after the concert with telescopes, ready to answer your questions. The Buffalo Museum of Science will also send a contingent, complete with a portable planetarium. Concertgoers can explore our solar system and what lies beyond – and also learn what can be seen in the sky right from your own back yard.

On a musical level, too, the concert should be a thrill. “The Planets” needs no introduction. “Mars, the Bringer of War” has inspired musicians as Jimmy Page and King Crimson. “Neptune, the Mystic” sounds surreal and distant with its wordless women’s chorus. The best-known part of the suite is “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” – expansive, uplifting and thrilling.

To top off the festive spirit, Sanders just received a major accolade. He was one of five up-and-coming conductors chosen from around the world to participate in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, taking place May 11 in Nashville. The conductors will conduct sessions with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center under the guidance of the Nashville Symphony’s music director and 2001 preview participant, Giancarlo Guerrero. This concert should prove a fine warm-up.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. April 29 at Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $34.50 general, $15.50 for students. Light refreshments will be available after the concert. Call 885-5000.

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