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When Buffalo-based Tragically Hip tribute act the Strictly Hip first booked its June 8 show at Kleinhans Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, it was set to be a significant affair for a variety of reasons. It would be the nearly 25-year-old band’s first performance inside the hollowed confines of Buffalo’s historic music hall, a pinnacle achievement for a…

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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In line with the new addition to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra catalog, Ottorino Respighi's "Roman Trilogy", here is one man's personal -- and provisional -- list of the best of the BPO on record: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas Neither the quality of performance or the sound quality of this are on the level of the greatest B…

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There's a new record by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and it's a beauty. It's a traversal of Ottorino Respighi''s "Roman Trilogy" -- in other words, on one record Respighi's major music from 1916-1926:"Roman Festivals," "The Fountains of Rome" and "The Pines of Rome." The latter two have been performed together on record since long before Maestra…

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Not since the Quidditch World Cup has a crowd of witches, wizards and muggles been as raucous as the group watching 2001’s “Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone” at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre on Feb. 21. And if the opening night crowd for this screening — which featured accompaniment from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra — is any indication, the performances on Feb. 22 and 24 s…

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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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It's time for Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director JoAnn Falletta to make an important update to her bio: Three-time Grammy Award winner. Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, brought home another Grammy Award Sunday – for a recording of works by the American composer Kenneth Fuchs with the London Symphony Orchestra. The award, for best class…

The classical music world is big on composer milestones. Last year saw 100th anniversary celebrations for Debussy and Bernstein, and 2020 is already full of RSVPs for Beethoven’s 250th birthday. A 262nd anniversary? When you're Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, each and every birthday is a musical anniversary worth celebrating. Thus, the BPO’s annual tradition of a January co…

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JoAnn Falletta is excited about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 2019-2020 season -- her 20th season as music director. Powerhouse guest musicians, including Canadian violinist James Ehnes and Buffalo native and guitarist Jason Vieaux, are on tap for the Classics Series. So, too, are guest conductors Leonard Slatkin of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Wilki…

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Though the weather outside was frightful, there was plenty of heat on the Kleinhans Hall stage Saturday night. “The Music of Led Zeppelin,” the latest offering from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in its BPO Rocks series, was the perfect antidote to the winter storm and sub-freezing temperatures. Indeed, the energy onstage was matched by the buzz of the near-capacity…

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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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It's early in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's season, but I am going to make a prediction. I think that in June, when we look back and take stock of the year, this weekend's concert will emerge as one of the highlights. There is the passionate performance of Rachmaninoff's seldom-heard Symphony No. 3. And a very lovely creation of Buffalo native Robert Paterson, ca…

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When you go to any concert led by John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor, you know you're going to have a good time. Russell always promises you that much. "We are going to have fun tonight," he yells from the podium. And we do. The Oct. 6 pops concert, a tribute to Motown, covered all the bases. The BPO was rocking. The br…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has brought us, in the past, loads of Russian drama. But the performance Sept. 29 took the cake. The first half featured the young South Korean pianist Hye-Jin Kim playing one of the great warhorses of all time, Tchaikovsky's massive Piano Concerto No. 1. And after intermission Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducted Prokofiev's Sym…