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Festivals

Guess what? You can wear a Santa hat to eight of these 10 events, which comprise some of Western New York's best activities this weekend, without any concerns over appropriateness. Take advantage of this while you still can! Here is what's ahead. 1. SantaCon Buffalo, 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 along Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo. Cost is $10 in advance here or a…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's instruments have made it safely to the cargo hub in Liege, Belgium. The customs process went smoothly. Staffers, led by a cargo expert identified only as Giuliano, removed the instruments from the pallets and loaded them onto a HEED truck. It was a little tricky to make it all fit into one truck, but they did it. Now the instrumen…

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CLASSICAL MUSIC "Kodaly, Concerto for Orchestra and Other Works" performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta (Naxos). No one ever said that friendship with a genius was easy. Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok were lifelong friends from the time they met. They were near-contemporaries (Bartok was a year older) and after they investigated Hungary's n…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, embarking on its first overseas tour in 30 years, is looking forward to pleasing the people of Poland. But first, the orchestra will have to please the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The world has changed since 1988, when the BPO last crossed the ocean, bound for Austria and Switzerland. For example, new rules monitor mat…

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A good house turned out Saturday to hear the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. And with good reason. With music by Chopin, Brahms and Richard Strauss, how could you lose? And on hand to play Chopin's Second Piano Concerto was Konrad Skolarski, from Warsaw, Poland. Everything was in place for a night of richness and romance. It all culminated in a wonderful performance …

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Two priceless violins owned by a philanthropic Buffalo couple are stopping home for a visit, thanks to a party planned by WNED Classical 94.5 FM. The station, celebrating 40 years of broadcasting the music of the masters, is importing two high-wattage violinists to perform at a gala at the WNED studios at 3 p.m. Nov. 4. The guest violinists are Augustin Hadelich and Tim…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is anticipating a Poland spring. In March 2018, the orchestra is traveling to Poland to perform in four cities, in four of the nation's most acclaimed concert halls. It is the orchestra's first overseas tour since 1988. The tour was announced Saturday before the BPO's concert in Kleinhans Music Hall. The centerpiece of the tour will…

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Buffalo is about to see the soulful side of Bill Murray. The comedian is coming to Kleinhans Music Hall on Oct. 11 with "New Worlds." It's a program he has put together with German cellist Jan Vogler, whom he met by chance on an airline flight. (See accompanying story.) Joining them will be several other musicians, including violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Pe…

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After rocking the house with American music last week, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is at it again with a program that centers on Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3. The symphony, which includes the famous "Fanfare For the Common Man," is a piece close to the heart of Music Director JoAnn Falletta. "I love it more and more," she said. "It's a piece of such nobility, s…

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JoAnn Falletta, the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, is the recipient of the 2017 Charles E. Burchfield Award. The Burchfield Penney Art Center, which bestows the award annually, made the announcement Sept. 27. According to the gallery, the award recognizes great achievements in the arts, in addition to honoring commitment to environmental sustainab…

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Charlie Albright is a pianist, a composer and an improviser. The New York Times has lauded his "jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity.'" Buffalo is going to get to see that virtuosity head-on when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra joins Albright for what promises to be a smoking "Rhapsody in Blue." We pause to remind audiences that this is one of those occasions when t…

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is an impressive sight to see on stage at Kleinhans Music Hall. But what's under the stage is equally impressive. That's where the orchestra's vast music library is stashed. The library holds scores of scores -- some 3,000 pieces -- covering centuries' worth of symphonic literature. The library is staffed by two full-time librarians…

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Forget hackneyed cartoons about horned helmets. Buffalo is about to see Richard Wagner's "Ring" in a new light. Literally. On May 6 and 7, orchestral excerpts from the four operas that make up the cycle "The Ring of the Nibelungs" will pour out to the accompaniment of light-mapping, a spectacular kind of light show that beams over the entire hall. The lights are the cre…

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Pianist Natasha Paremski has her own style. When she soloed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in spring 2015, she wore a red gown and red shoes. Musically, too, she's not shy. Born in Moscow, she was a child prodigy. She has made a number of appearances with the BPO, including in 2009, when she was 21. For that concert, she played Rachmaninoff's virtuosic Piano Conce…

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A visit from Itzhak Perlman is a rarity, and something to celebrate. The last time I remember seeing him here was in 2003, when he played a delicate Mozart concerto. Acknowledging the passionate applause at Kleinhans Music Hall, he played an encore, the theme from "Schindler's List." He was the soloist heard in the movie, and it was moving to hear him play the music in per…