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Vienna, City of My Dreams

Pianist Roman Rabinovich

BPO music director Joann Falletta will be on the podium for a pair of concerts, Friday, November 13, at 10:30 AM, and Saturday, November 14 at 8PM, the inaugural event in a mini-festival spread over nine days celebrating the music of Viennese masters. The concerts feature the Uzbekistan-born, Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich as soloist in Mozart’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488. Finished about the same time as the premier of The Marriage of Figaro, the operatically influenced Adagio movement features Mozart’s only use of the key of F sharp minor. Rabinovich dazzled the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s Gift to the Community audience just this last Sunday, at a concert that featured his highly dramatic reading of Mussorgsky’s original piano version of Pictures at an Exhibition. BPO concertmaster Michael Ludwig is the soloist in Fritz Kreisler’s much loved pieces, Liebesleid, Liebesfreud and Caprice Viennois. The area premiere of a genuine rarity, the lushly orchestrated Symphonic Night Music movement that “depicts a peaceful garden, almost preternaturally conscious under the full moon, filled with the song of a nightingale,” from the 1922 work Nature Trilogy, by Joseph Marx, will represent the composer’s first appearance on a BPO program, that concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.

On Wednesday, November 18 at 8pm, the Buffalo Chamber Players perform for the first time in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall, away from their usual home at the Buffalo Seminary. With a core of BPO musicians, along with top-flight area free lancers, the BCP, now in their third year of existence, have made it their mission, under the capable guidance of BPO violist Janz Castelo, to seek out and perform a wide range of often overlooked chamber music for unusual instrumental and vocal forces. The program includes Beethoven’s irresistible Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola in D Major, Op. 25, Michael Haydn’s rarely performed Quartet in C Major for English Horn, Violin, Cello and Bass, MH 600 and Mozart’s sublime Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major, K. 571.

Buffalo native Michael Christie conducts the closing weekend of the Viennese Festival on Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, November 22 at 2:30pm, with a dyed-in-the wool gemütlich Viennese program entitled “The City of Dreams,” no doubt inspired by Rudolf Sieczynski 1913 popular song, Vienna, City of My Dreams. Schubert’s Symphony No. 2, Anton Webern’s arrangement of Schubert’s Six German Dances (yes, that Anton Webern, the same uncompromising modernist) and a selection of Waltzes by Johann Strauss, will be conducted by the young Buffalo native Michael Christie, current music director of both the Phoenix Symphony and the Brooklyn Philharmonic orchestras, who is rapidly carving a place for himself in the classical musical firmament with his innovative projects focusing on interdisciplinary collaborations with visual artists, dance companies, and theater groups, as well as on contemporary composers.

Special ticket packages are available for the Festival for all three concerts at $99, $69, $49. The Buffalo Chamber Players concert is $10. Phone (716) 885-5000 or visit online at

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