Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: The Road to Recovery Mode...
Next story: Meet the Fishman

BPO Summer Season Sizzles

BPO associate conductor Matthew Kraemer.

Philharmonic plans a busy July schedule of events

While the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s regular classics season at Kleinhans Music Hall may have ended a couple of weeks ago with a pair of powerful performances of Verdi’s Requiem, the orchestra’s schedule will be running at full speed in the month of July, with a slew of both ticketed and free concerts.

On Saturday, July 2, at 8pm, the BPO presents a concert of music from Disney films at the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival at the Holiday Valley ski resort, under associate conductor Matthew Kraemer, ending with the 1812 Overture and “Stars and Stripes Forever,” followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Tickets are $30. For information, visit

The BPO and the BPO Chorus return to Coca-Cola Field on Sunday evening, July 3, for the traditional Independence Eve celebration, with a post-game concert conducted by Paul Ferington featuring tributes to pop culture, films, theater, and historical events, with a sing-a-long for kids to enjoy as well, followed by the largest fireworks display of the season.

On Friday, July 8, at 7pm, Matthew Kraemer leads the orchestra and singers and dancers in a night of Latin music billed as “BPOlé!” Opening with the overture to West Side Story, the infectious rhythms of Latin music will be featured in several selections by the modern master of the Argentine tango, Astor Piazzolla, as well as in popular favorites such as “Tico Tico,” “Tequila,” and Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va” and “Smooth.” The pre-concert happy hour begins at 5:30pm and there is a free party with live entertainment afterwards.

Kraemer will once again be on the podium on Sunday, July 10, at 8pm, for the delayed Buffalo debut of the Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who is currently the highest profile classical musician in the world. His much anticipated appearance earlier this year was postponed due to illness, and for this re-scheduled event he will be playing what is arguably the most popular concerto in the entire repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor. Also on the all-Russian program are selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suites and Kabalevsky’s Overture: Colas Breugnon, Op. 24, a work last heard on a BPO program in 1956. While tickets for Lang Lang’s canceled appearance in January will be honored at this concert, a limited number of new tickets are still available. For tickets and information, call 885-5000 or visit

Artpart Summer Classes

The BPO makes three appearances at Artpark in Lewiston this summer, all on Thursday evenings at 7pm.

On July 14, BPO associate conductor Matthew Kraemer leads the orchestra in a program featuring the ideal work to listen to on a warm summer evening: Felix Mendelssohn’s ethereally beautiful incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Otto Nicolai’s bubbling Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor. Robert Thies is soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466, one of only two piano concertos that Mozart composed in a minor key. It was the only concerto by Mozart that Beethoven, a piano virtuoso in his younger days before deafness set in, ever played publically. The dramatic nature of the work continued to appeal to 19th-century audiences, who heard in it the beginnings of musical romanticism, more than any other concerto by Mozart. Known for his musicianship, pianist Robert Thies won the gold medal at the 1995 Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, becoming the only American pianist to win first prize in a Russian piano competition since Van Cliburn’s 1958 triumph in Moscow.

Kraemer will again be on the podium on July 21, for a program being billed as the “Best of Italian Opera,” featuring selections by Verdi, Puccini, and Mascagni.

BPO music director JoAnn Falletta makes her only summer appearance with the orchestra on July 28 in a concert featuring guitarist Artyom Dervoed, winner of the 2010 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, the best loved, most often performed work for guitar and orchestra. Shostakovich’s brilliant Festive Overture opens the program, which concludes with Tchaikovsky’s sweeping, intensely passionate Symphony No. 5.

For tickets and information, call 754-4375 or visit

Free Outdoor Concerts

All outdoor concerts begin at 7pm, unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, June 28: BPO at Bidwell Parkway.

Friday, July 1: First Niagara Summer in the Parks, Chestnut Ridge Park.

Friday, July 15: Beethoven at the Harbor, Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf.

Saturday, July 16: First Niagara Summer in the Parks, Cazenovia Park.

Tuesday, July 19, 11:45am: M&T Plaza Summer Lunchtime Concert.

Saturday, July 23: Music of Led Zeppelin at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls.

Tuesday, July 26: First Niagara Summer in the Parks, Centennial Park, Batavia.

Saturday, July 30: First Niagara Summer in the Parks, Centennial Park, Akron

blog comments powered by Disqus