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Mary Kunz Goldman


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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…

Buffalo

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…

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It's Buffalo's Mount Rushmore. It is a monument to our past and our future. The giant six-pack of Labatt Blue at Riverworks on the Buffalo River is a landmark the likes of which the world has never seen. Beneath those cans is a beer garden. When the weather warms, it is quite a place to toast the summer. Think of it -- you can not only admire those giant cans, you ca…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is planning a splash. The orchestra is taking a proven hit, Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," and pairing it with a new concerto by an old friend, Finnish composer Jaakko Kuusisto. Kuusisto came to town in 2015 when the Philharmonic performed the United States premiere of his bright-timbred Violin Concerto during the 2015 Finn Fest. Wh…

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Dennis Kim, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's concertmaster, is going to be leaving. He has been appointed concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony, based in Orange County, Calif. He begins in September for the start of the orchestra's 40th anniversary season. Kim, 43, was appointed to the BPO post in spring 2015. Born in Korea, Kim grew up in Canada and was t…

Festivals

You know it's summer when the Red Cross paints the town red. It happens every year around the beginning of June, when the white tent goes up in front of the Red Cross' Delaware Avenue headquarters, heralding the annual BASH. This year's BASH, which marks the party's 20th anniversary, takes place June 1. There will be a special guest, "M*A*S*H" star Loretta Swit. The …

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SUNY Fredonia is on a roll in the opera world. Danielle Beckvermit, a Fredonia alumna, is one of nine singers that will be competing Sunday in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert, held every year on the stage of the Met at Lincoln Center. Beckvermit, who is from what the Met considers the Eastern Region, advanced from the semifinals …