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From Prince to “Penny Lane,” “BPO Rocks!” announces lineup

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra rocks!

The 2016-2017 “BPO Rocks” concert series, just announced, includes what promise to be colorful tributes to the Beatles and U2. Brent Havens, who masterminded the BPO’s über-popular tributes to Led Zeppelin and also explored the music of the Rolling Stones and Elton John, returns with a tribute to Prince.

Kleinhans Music Hall will also be welcoming one noted rocker in person: Steve Hackett, who was the lead guitarist of Genesis. He will be joining the BPO for classics from his recent “Genesis Revisited” album, and revisiting other hits.

What could top off such a season? Only a glittery tribute to ABBA, whose music a whole new generation came to love thanks to the musical “Mamma Mia!” Arrival From Sweden is widely considered the premiere ABBA tribute. The BPO will welcome the group in April 2017.

Here is the entire lineup:

• Oct. 21: The U2 Symphony, a quartet based in Los Angeles, will be presenting what it calls the ultimate U2 concert experience. Featured will be hits from 30 years of U2, from big hits to arcane favorites. A highlight will be “MLK/Walk On,” frequently heard at U2’s live concerts.

• Nov. 5: Classical Mystery Tour returns for an encore appearance. This group, reliably on the mark, offers a rare chance to hear Beatles songs with live orchestral accompaniment – “Penny Lane” with the BPO’s trumpet section, and “Yesterday” with a string quartet.

• March 3, 2017: Steve Hackett played with Genesis in its glory days, alongside Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Since then he has performed with GTR, along with Steve Howe of Yes and Asia. Hackett joins the BPO for classics from his recent “Genesis Revisited” release, as well as solo material from “Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth” and “Beyond the Shrouded Horizon.”

• April 28, 2017: Brent Havens presents his lavish tribute to Prince. His lush arrangements will make creative use of the BPO as well as a full rock band.

• April 29, 2017: Switching gears quickly, the BPO turns toward ABBA with the band Arrival From Sweden, which has toured 48 countries since 1995, and has welcomed on stage many of the studio musicians who worked with the original band. ABBA fans will love this chance to hear the band’s old songs as they were originally written.

Subscriptions are on sale now. Individual tickets for BPO Rocks! concerts and all BPO concerts go on sale on Aug. 13. For tickets or info, call Call 885-5000 or visit