The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017-18 season will feature a celebration of America’s musical heritage to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, a theme that’s evident in both the M&T Bank Classics Series and the KeyBank Pops Series.
“It’s a very exciting time at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra,” said music director JoAnn Falletta. “This past season has been marked by high-quality programs, positive press coverage, and enthusiastic support from the community. Each year, we build on the previous year’s success, and we’ve got a great deal to look forward to in the coming season.”
Anne-Sophie Mutter Kicks Off Season
The BPO’s 2017-18 season begins on Sept. 16 with renowned European violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Mutter is a four-time Grammy Award-winner who has dazzled audiences all over the world since her debut at age 13. She supports up-and-coming artists through her Friends of Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, and has had numerous new works dedicated to her.
Mutter’s North American appearances are rare, and she has not performed with the BPO since 1989, when she joined the orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
She will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concertoon a program that will also include Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Weiner’s Hungarian Folk Dance Suite. Falletta will conduct.
The opening night gala takes place the same evening, and features pre-concert cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner by Oliver’s, premium concert seating, and a post-concert dessert reception.
The gala is sponsored by the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation. Proceeds benefit the BPO’s education programs.
M&T Bank Classics Series Contrasts American Classics with European Masterworks
As a student at Juilliard, Falletta had an opportunity to learn from Leonard Bernstein on several occasions, which she described as strongly influential.
“He showed us that the true meaning of music lay not in the veneer of technical perfection but in the beating heart of the deepest human emotion,” she said of the experience.
With the centennial of Bernstein’s birth in 2018, she has programmed a season to pay tribute not only to him, but to other great American composers who have brought classical music into the modern era.
The first two M&T Bank Classics concerts are devoted to celebrating American masters. On Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, pianist Charlie Albright will be the featured soloist in “Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue.” In addition to Gershwin’s quintessentially American “Rhapsody in Blue,” the program also features Copland’s Symphony No. 3 which gave birth to his revered “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Ellington’s “New World A-Comin’ ” and John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine.”
The following week’s concert, on Oct. 7 and 8, features BPO concertmaster Dennis Kim in Phillip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1. The program also includes Bernstein’s “Three Dances” from “On the Town” and Ferde Grofe’s beloved “Grand Canyon Suite.”
Five-time Grammy-winning bassist Victor Wooten continues the American theme. A founding member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, he was named one of the top 10 bassists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. With acclaimed composer Conni Ellisor, he has penned “The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass,” which he will perform in his Oct. 21-22 BPO debut led by Resident Conductor Stefan Sanders.
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