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A close encounter with Leonardo da Vinci as BPO prepares for octet concert

The evening of March 15 brings the first performance in Luslawice of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's wind octet. They also will be performing there on March 16. On March 17, the octet will give a third performance in Buffalo’s sister city, Rzeszow (Chesh-ahw).

Today, March 15, the group made the approximately two-hour journey from Krakow to Luslawice for performances and masterclasses at the Krzysztof Penderecki Center. Joining the octet for the adventure were BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta; her husband, Robert Alemany; BPO Executive Director Dan Hart, and Poland tour ambassador/board member Cindy Abbott Letro.

Krakow was a joy, judging from the pictures. The weather was bleak, rather like Buffalo, looking at the down coats sported by Falletta and Letro in photos. But spirits were high.

Falletta visited the Czartoryskich Museum and basked in seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece "Lady With an Ermine."

JoAnn Falletta, culture vulture.

Krakow is one of only six cities in the world to boast a painting by the great Italian master.  The painting, more than 500 years old, was purchased by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski in Italy and incorporated into the Czartoryskis’ family collections in 1800.

Krakow cuisine did not disappoint. Here are, from left, Alemany, Abbott Letro, Hart and Falletta enjoying an exotic-looking meal. The wind octet also managed to find and enjoy genuine Polish paczki.

Enjoying a local specialty in Krakow. JoAnn Falletta, right, seems to be sticking to coffee. (Photos courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)

And of course there was the adventure involving the huge head. That was not something soon to be forgotten.

Meanwhile the BPO instruments ...

... are on their way to Wroclaw, where the entire orchestra will be giving its first performance in Poland.

The remainder of the BPO has finally flown out of Buffalo. Two buses conveyed everybody from Kleinhans to Pearson Airport in Toronto. It was an exciting, emotional moment, say BPO staffers. One young man, Robert Webster, is a substitute bass on his very first gig with the BPO. Principal Tuba Don Harry was on the European tour 30 years ago, and is now getting to go again. Musicians were dropped off by their spouses and their parents, and there were lots of goodbye hugs and wistful excitement as they left on their 10-day trip.

The Wroclaw concert, on March 18, takes place at the National Forum of Music, the city’s institution of culture and a state-of-the-art multi-functional concert venue. Home to a number of instrumental and vocal ensembles, and the site of several international festivals, it was completed in 2015 and has 1,800 seats.

It is fun to read the venue's description in Polish of the upcoming concert.

It will be here before we know it.







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