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Mary Kunz Goldman


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Freude! Joy! That's the emotion that rings out in the famous finale to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the culmination of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's season-opening gala on Saturday night. You could call the entire concert an ode to joy. For starters, there was great news on the money front. The BPO has joined a small and elite group of lucky orchestras who c…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's fall season is like autumn itself -- ablaze in color, and with surprises around every bend. The season-opening gala at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 features the great American baritone Thomas Hampson. Hampson has not been heard in Buffalo since the 1994, when he gave a recital on the old QRS concert series. Handsome opera star Hampson is openi…

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Sometimes the best things in life really are free. The Buffalo Chamber Music Society was able to get soprano Julia Bullock for its first free Gift to the Community Concert this season. Clementina Fleshler of the BCMS described her glowingly: "She has not only a gorgeous voice but makes a great connection with the audience." Bullock has packed such venues as the Natio…

Featured

Buffalo beer history is all around us, if we just know where to look. All we have to do is drink it in. At one point, Buffalo was home to hundreds of breweries. The number fell when Prohibition descended, but when the ban was lifted, the business bounced back. Many of the brick behemoths that once housed breweries are still around us — some in ruins, others repurpose…

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At a meat raffle, you get more than a chance at steaks and sausage. You get a chance to step back to the Paleo era. Surely this entertainment dates to prehistoric times. Folks gather in a hall, quaff ale, and spend cash on raffle tickets in hopes of winning steaks, pork loins and sausage. Meat raffles originated, so scholars say, in Britain's pubs. Over the las…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic's Classics season is going out with a bang. For sheer crowd appeal, it is hard to beat the final program. Music Director JoAnn Falletta is conducting Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" and Ottorino Respighi's "The Fountains of Rome" and "The Pines of Rome" ... what is not to love? No wonder a big crowd turned out for the Saturday n…

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"Solo," the new "Star Wars" movie, is bound to be brimming with special effects. But at Dipson Flix Stadium 10 in Lancaster, when the movie opens May 25, the biggest visual miracle won't be on the movie screen. That miracle will be in the crowd. Ronan Christian, 12, will be watching the movie with his parents and 17-year-old brother, Aidan. Until just weeks ago, Rona…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has chosen a new assistant conductor. He is Todd Craven. Craven is the music director of the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra and has served as a cover conductor for the Detroit Symphony. At the BPO, he succeeds Stefan Sanders, who is leaving at the end of the summer season to focus on his new positions as music director of the F…

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History is hot in Buffalo. You need water to cool it down. Which is where the Buffalo River History Tours come in. They are as much a part of Buffalo's waterfront as the big Labatt beer cans. The River Queen, the tour's original craft, holds 48 passengers and handled many of the tours before Memorial Day. Now that summer is in full swing, the main tour boat is the Ha…

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Guitarist Ralph Fava, one of Buffalo's best-known jazz musicians and the owner of the Lockport Music Center, was diagnosed last fall with brain cancer. Since then he has been battling the disease with two brain surgeries, radiation and continued chemotherapy. He has lost some of his motor skills, and is not expected to return to work. Fava, who has played guitar for suc…

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It's a puzzle Buffalonians see the world differently. Every once in a while, something happens that makes us stand out, wherever we happen to be. Such an event occurred not long ago when the Commuter Puzzle -- the crossword carried by The Buffalo News and other newspapers across the country -- carried a clue that had special relevance to us. Thanks to Buffalonian Bob A…

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It is hard to get others to believe him. They say, "'Nobody works for free,'" Tom Golimowski said. But it is true. "Otherwise, we might not be here," Golimonski said. By "here," he meant the East Side tavern called the Happy Swallow. Owned by his family for several decades, it has roots that go back long before that. Golimowski had to laugh as he recalled tryin…

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Tiny museums are usually something you visit on vacation. You are excited to discover them when you’re away. At home, you pass them and say that someday, you will visit. Maybe you'll stop in when friends are in town. Maybe -- Just go. These micro-museums, as I found myself calling them, can be magical. They make you feel like a tourist in your own hometown. It does t…

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Buffalo has so many museums that now we need one more. We need a museum of museums. The sheer number of the little museums scattered around Western New York could relate to our tendency in Buffalo to decentralize ourselves. We have tons of police departments, school districts, towns, hamlets and villages. Also, here in Buffalo we like to hoard -- er, collect -- thing…

Attractions

Niagara Falls, Ont., has its own wild wings. Thousands of them, in countless different colors. They are all fluttering around at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. Opened in 1996, the conservatory has more than 2,000 tropical butterflies from more than 60 different species, flying about in a climate-controlled greenhouse. Since butterflies have short life span…