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As the “mercury” falls, “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” in the “Queen” city brings a mini-BPO to the Albright Knox tonight

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra violist Janz Castelo loves change. It’s why he changed the musical landscape of Buffalo by creating The Buffalo Chamber Players where he’s Artistic Director. And it’s why he loves playing music by the composer of “The New World Symphony,” the Bohemian who loved America, Antonín Dvořák [say (d)VOR-zhahk]. “When you think you know what he’s going to do next, he does something different” says Castelo about this most famous Czech composer.

…it’s been a schizophrenic week for Castelo’s symphonic instrument.

And talk about change, it’s been a schizophrenic week for Castelo’s symphonic instrument, too. As the mercury climbed to record heights early in the week, Castelo was transporting his delicate wooden viola (a slightly larger cousin of the violin) around town in and out of the heat, from Kleinhans Music Hall (where the BPO is rehearsing for the first weekend of their “American Masters” concert series), into the car, and then into the chilled environment of the Albright Knox Art Gallery for more rehearsals.

Extremes of musical tastes and styles? Violins, violas, and ‘cellos love it all. Extremes of heat and humidity? Not so much. Fortunately, things have calmed down, weather-wise, just in time for this evening’s event.

The Buffalo Chamber Players (a subset of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra musicians) begins their “BCP AT THE AK” series at the Albright Knox Art Gallery with “Bohemian Rhapsody” – this Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30. Tonight will be a bit of a change for the BCP in that the first work features more wind instruments than stringed instruments and, in so doing, Castelo estimates that he’s using 21% of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

In a conversation Castelo talks about opening their 11th concert season with the exotic sounds of Bohemia and its fusion of folk and art music, with works by Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and Bedřich Smetana. In the background, we hear short excerpts from the first work on the program, the Dvořák Serenade for Winds, Cello, and Bass, Op. 44 while Castelo also talks about the Janáček String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata” and the Smetana String Quartet No. 1, “From My Life.”

Tickets and information can be obtained at, or by phone at 716.270.8292, or in person at the Albright-Knox Admissions Desk.

Lead image: Photo by Luke Copping

Written by Peter Hall

Peter Hall

Peter Hall continues trying to figure out how "it" all works. For 20 years, as program host on Classical 94.5 WNED and continuing on-stage with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, he's conducted over 1,000 interviews with artists as he asks them to explain, in layman's terms, "what's the big picture here?"

As mentioned recently in Buffalo Spree magazine, Peter's "Buffalo Rising reviews are the no-holds barred 'everyman's' take." And, on “Theater Talk” (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO 88.7 FM and Saturday afternoons at 5:55 p.m. on Classical 94.5 WNED) his favorite question of co-host Anthony Chase is simply "What's goin' on?"

A member of Buffalo's Artie Awards Committee, Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty-five years he has been an adjunct professor for Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

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