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Garaud MacTaggart


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It was a hot, muggy evening in Buffalo and the early-bird arrivals at Larkinville on Wednesday night were grabbing seats and Mardi Gras beads in preparation for the musical festivities. As folks are apt to say in Louisiana (or Buffalo) when they’re about to party: Laissez le bon temps rouler or “Let the good times roll." That was also the basic theme for the evening's "…

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After days of hot, humid weather, Sunday’s lower temperatures and gentle breezes welcomed concertgoers to the inaugural concert of the 38th annual Buffalo News Jazz at the Albright-Knox series. The number of years this particular concert series has survived is a tribute to founder Stan Lipsey’s vision of an outdoor jazz concert and the people who’ve helped to make it so. …

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Well, that was certainly a close call. The BPO was scheduled to perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concerto in modo galante” for cello and orchestra this weekend but there was a snag in the process getting to that point. Cellist Asier Polo’s flight from Spain to the United States was upended by an untimely bit of bureaucratic red tape vis-à-vis a visa. There’s a good possibi…

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Think about the instruments associated with jazz bands. You’ve got your basic rhythm section (piano, bass, drums/percussion, and guitar)and a few horns and reeds but chances are good that the harp isn’t thought of when stocking a band’s musical tool kit. But, as noted by Albright-Knox Art of Jazz series producer Bruce Eaton in his pre-concert talk April 27, harpists hav…

By Garaud MacTaggart Tanya Gabrielian is a talented pianist whose technical chops and energetic performances bode well for the future. Those qualities were showcased in Friday morning’s concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra when she was booked as the soloist for Aram Khachaturian’s lone piano concerto. Leading the BPO in this program was Charles Olivieri-Mu…

Kleinhans Music Hall became a recording studio on Saturday night as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra unveiled the East Coast premiere of Richard Danielpour’s vibrantly effective “Passion of Yeshua," a score commissioned by the BPO in conjunction with the Oregon Bach Festival and the Soli Deo Gloria Music Foundation. The piece is a large-scale work blending the full in…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s most recent program is loaded with music by heavy hitters. There’s Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony no. 8, Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, and Robert Schumann’s second symphony – music from the 19th and 20th centuries that have proved their worth (in varying degrees) over time. Leon Botstein was the guest conductor and has q…

Music

It’s always interesting when you’re part of an enthusiastic audience, and such was the case for the Postmodern Jukebox (a.k.a. PMJ) concert at the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday night. The excitement generated onstage amped up the attending fan base,  which, to be frank, was already geeked for the show to begin with. For their “Welcome to the Twenties” tour, PMJ could hardl…

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For two days, and over the stretch of two concerts, musical metaphysics reigned in Kleinhans Music Hall. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's current program features works — Alexander Scriabin's “Poem of Ecstasy," or fourth symphony, and Gustav Holst's “The Planets” — that have their philosophical underpinnings in the spiritual worlds of theosophy and astrology. The…

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John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor, has certainly taken the reins of the orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert with a vengeance. There was so much visible energy to his conducting at the opening performance on Thursday morning in Kleinhans Music Hall, that it is as if he had tapped into a monster quantity of caffeine before bounci…

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Bill Kirchen’s Americana music credentials are impeccable. As a guitarist and seminal member of irreverent hard-core country/rock legends Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Kirchen developed a reputation as one of the finest musicians in the genre. He has that “twang” guitar sound and an ingratiating sense of humor that comes through in Kirchen’s between-song patte…

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Every Christmas season finds chestnuts roasting by an open fire and being played in concert. This time JoAnn Falletta, along with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, tossed a slight wrinkle into proceedings and it helped differentiate it from other seasonal offerings they’ve performed in the past. Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet and Handel’s oratorio “Messi…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s December offerings got off to a great start over the weekend by programming a key score from Ludwig van Beethoven’s massive catalog of hits (the Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor) and pairing it with what is arguably the finest orchestral work by Franz Schubert (his Symphony no. 9 in C major). Pianist Sara Buechner was the featured sol…

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The boldface title in the BPO program said “Paganini’s Violin” and that was appropriate. Even though Antonin Dvorak’s oeuvre contributed two out of the three pieces on Friday night’s concert, his pair of works – the “Carnival Overture” and the Czech composer’s Symphony no. 6 - acted more as a framing device for Nicolo Paganini’s first violin concerto. At one point in…

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The Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s 95th season is upon us and the lineups for its regular concerts (the free “Gift to the Community” programs began last Sunday) look promising. Tuesday evening found the Belcea Quartet taking to the stage in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall with an interesting program showcasing its versatility and the well-honed interplay o…