Maximiano Valdes is back for a weekend. He was music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 1998, during which time he cut a dashing figure and married a Western New Yorker, Jody Snyder. Currently music director of the Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan, he continues to exhibit high spirits and dedication to music. He and the Puerto Rico orchestra were featured recently on NPR's "Here and Now" because of the free concerts they were giving to boost morale after Hurricane Maria.
"Our idea is to play for those who need more, who have nothing," Valdes told NPR.
For his return to Buffalo, the music radiates glamour.
The concert's centerpiece is the Cello Concerto by French composer Edouard Lalo. The soloist is Julian Schwarz, described as a rising star of the cello. Schwarz is the son of Gerard Schwarz, longtime music director of the Seattle Symphony, who made his orchestral debut at 11 with his father conducting. He has been featured at the Eastern Music Festival and the Cape Cod Music Festival and was chosen to participate in the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He plays a 1743 cello on a cello made in Naples by Gennaro Gagliano.
Valdes also is conducting Debussy's "La Mer," a mirage-like tone portrait of the sea. The concert opens with Berlioz's Overture to "Le Corsaire," and also includes "The Enchanted Lake" by Liadov, whose Romantic music has pleased BPO audiences on a number of occasions.
Maximiano Valdes conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 17 and 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $29-$84. Call 885-5000, or visit bpo.org.