Share this article

print logo
Gusto

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…

Gusto

John Morris Russell's high-energy tenure as the principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is set to continue through 2022. The BPO and Russell agreed to extend their contract for three more years after the initial agreement expires in August 2019. "I'm thrilled to continue this beautiful relationship with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and al…

Gusto

Sensual vocals, soaring instrumental solos, and compositions of several genres filled Artpark Mainstage Theater on Thursday night. Vanessa Williams, singer/actor and an avowed Buffalover, appeared with her band of two decades (a repeated fun fact), and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. BPO resident conductor, and summer season leader, Stefan Sanders, conducted. Artpar…

Gusto

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…

Gusto

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…

Gusto

"Stellaluna" by Theatre of Youth 2 p.m. at Allendale Theatre (203 Allen St.). It may not be every child’s fantasy to be raised by birds, but that’s the impressively bizarre premise of “Stellaluna,” the latest offering from Buffalo’s premiere children’s theater company. By an unfortunate sequence of events, the title character finds her way to a bird’s nest, where th…

Gusto

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…

Gusto

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…

Buffalo

In a separate column, we report today on how Robbie Hausmann, a cellist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, lost his great-grandmother, Toni Marcus, at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Last month, while on a BPO tour of Poland, Hausmann visited Auschwitz and played the mourner's Kaddish for Marcus, and all those killed at Auschwitz. He returned…

Gusto

More free concerts, a new seating option and a lineup rich in country music are some of the highlights of the just announced Erie County Fair Grandstand music lineup. The 179th edition of the fair runs from Aug. 8 to 19 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Opening night features a concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, only the fifth performance of the BPO at the fair. I…

Music

Back from Poland, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is getting back into the swing of things. It must be disorienting, especially with April looking more like January. Before the Friday morning coffee concert, you could see musicians making their way through the falling snow toward Kleinhans Music Hall, toting their instrument cases. Such as been the scene countless ti…

Gusto

Violinist Tessa Lark, in 2014, won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award. But she stays in touch with her roots, which are Appalachian. Lark is from Kentucky, and she loves playing bluegrass. She plays frequently with fiddler Mark O'Connor, and is included in his CD "MOC4," released in 2014. Whatever she plays sounds beautiful: She has on loan the 1683 Stradi…

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's tour in Poland has yielded many memorable moments. One instance in Katowice especially charmed the orchestra's music director, JoAnn Falletta. "As we left the empty hall in Katowice late last night after the reception, we passed one lone janitor cleaning up," she said. "He was singing Bernstein's 'Somewhere,' from our Symphonic Dance…

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is arriving in Warsaw and is tuning up for its second full concert in Poland, taking place March 20. The concert in Wroclaw on March 18 marked the orchestra's official debut in Poland. Wroclaw's National Forum For Music was packed to its state-of-the-art rafters. One group of BPO musicians had been stuck on their bus for 90 minutes …

Gusto

At 3 p.m. March 19, think of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and send good vibes. Taking the five-hour time difference into account, that's when BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta will be giving the downbeat for the orchestra's first full concert in Poland. It takes place in Wroclaw, in the Witold Lutoslawski Forum of Music. The BPO will have a full day off to exp…