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BPO welcomes Finnish violinist

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is welcoming a Finnish violinist for a concert full of foreign flair.

The central piece of music is Sibelius' Violin Concerto, performed by Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä. Vähälä appeared with the BPO in June 2016, as part of a celebration of the music of Finland. On that occasion, she performed the American premiere of a concerto by Jaakko Kuusisto. The audience was entertained by the bubbly, bright-timbered music, and gave the violinist a big Buffalo ovation. It will be interesting to hear Vähälä in the Sibelius concerto, an established masterpiece.

To conclude the concert, JoAnn Falletta is conducting Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade." This orchestral suite is a favorite of hers - and pretty much everyone, with its colorful orchestration and fantasies on themes of the "Arabian Nights." Figure skaters in particular seem to love this music. The world hears it frequently at competitions and at the Olympics.

The concert begins with a 15-minute symphony by Wang Jie, a Chinese-American composer. Jie describes the piece as "a journey from yearning and tempest to peace." In another statement, which concludes a crazy bio on the BPO's website, she declares: “If you find yourself elated by my music, the credit goes to the muses. If you hate it, well, it’s only 15 minutes long."

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra: 8 p.m. Feb. 10 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $29-$84. Call 885-5000.


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