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The BPO Gears Up for its New Season

This past Sunday, Artpark hosted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s final performance of their “BPO Summerfest” series. The Grammy-winning group performed hits from the silver screen, including selections from “Harry Potter,” “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars.” It was a fantastic performance! To be fair, like many other audience members, I only saw the second half of the show because traffic on Grand Island was backed up for more than an hour, but still – It was a stellar show.

Now, the BPO can look forward to their 2009-2010 season, which kicks off on October 3rd with an Opening Night Gala and the BPO’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, more commonly known as “Ode to Joy.” The gala takes place at Kleinhan’s Music Hall, where most BPO performances are held. Tickets are $280 each and include dinner and the performance. Contact Jennifer Smith by e-mail or at 716.885.0331 ext. 419 for ticket information for opening night.
The “Ode to Joy” performance is also part of the M&T Bank Classics Series. Throughout the season, this series will also include such great works as: “Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1,” “Sibelius Symphony No. 2,” and “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.” 
The BPO’s other extended series is the BlueCross BlueShield of WNY Pops Series, which features more upbeat, commonly known pop tunes. The orchestra will kick off this series with a performance from Johnny Mathis, a 1960s singer with hits like “It’s Not For Me To Say” and “Chances Are.” This series will also include performances of selections from Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights,” “A Tribute to Motown R&B” and selections from “The Music Man.” The show I’m most looking forward to? “Classical Mystery Tour,” which will find the BPO re-imagining classic Beatles songs!
The Pops Series will also unite many fantastic guest performers with our beloved BPO this year. Some of this year’s guests include: Broadway divas Jodi Benson, Susan Egan and Jan Horvath; jazz trumpeter Chris Botti; and Rita Moreno, one of only nine people to win a Tony, a Grammy, an Oscar and an Emmy!
During the Christmas season, the BPO will shine with some special holiday performances, including “A Classical Christmas,” “The Nutcracker” and “Holiday Pops,” conducted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta.
For the complete 2009-2010 schedule, check out the BPO’s Web site. Tickets can be purchased at that site, at the Kleinhan’s box office, and by calling 716.885.5000.
(Top photo taken by Matthew Biddle at “Music From the Silver Screen” on August 2.)
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