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BPO Anticipates Exciting Year of Travel

This weekend, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will host a special performance featuring Italian pianist Fabio Bidini, who will perform Brahms masterpiece “Piano Concerto No. 2.” This will be a special opportunity for the orchestra’s hometown audience to catch this “Bidini and Brahms” performance with the guest soloist before they take the show on tour in Florida at the end of the month.

“This is music that is perfect for the BPO’s personality— romantic, large-scale storytelling that really suits our imaginative musicians,” BPO conductor JoAnn Falletta said. “Fabio Bidini has become a friend of mine and a Buffalo favorite — I’m certain that the Florida audiences will enjoy experiencing his talents, as well.”

The performances at Kleinhans will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for those events can be purchased here. The following week, Falletta and the orchestra will depart for Florida.

This will be the BPO’s fourth trip to perform in the Sunshine State. This year’s tour will include performances in St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Vero Beach. In addition to Brahms, the show will feature Borodin’s Overture to “Prince Igor” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet Suite.”

BPO Board members at a performance in Warsaw, Poland.

“It truly is a privilege for an orchestra the size of the BPO to mount a tour like this,” Falletta said. “I’m particularly eager to return to Sarasota, as we have not played there since 2010.”

This year’s exciting travels won’t be limited to the orchestra alone, however. Building upon the success of their domestic and international tours last year, the BPO has also established a new Patron Tour Program that gives local supporters the opportunity to travel with their hometown orchestra to areas where Falletta is conducting.

“In 2014 when Maestro JoAnn Falletta conducted the Krakow Orchestra, the BPO – in partnership with the Travel Team – gathered a group of patrons, donors and supporters to travel there to see JoAnn conduct,” said Wendy Diina, Associate Director of Development. “It was a great success so when the full orchestra toured Poland last year, we did it again. In some cities there was up to 40 people on the tour.”

The new Patron Tour Program officially launched with a day trip to Letchworth State Park last summer, where Falletta and the BPO performed on the gorge of the Grand Canyon of the East. They provided patrons with roundtrip luxury bus transportation, a pre-concert private reception, and reserved seating at the performance.

This year, the program will be repeating the Letchworth State Park trip with their patrons at the end of July and adding another exciting excursion to the schedule: a trip to Bogotá, Colombia on June 12-16, where Falletta will conduct the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. One of the orchestra’s local supporters, Mariana Botero-Chason, hails from Bogotá and will be along on the trip to share her personal insight into Colombia with patrons.

“Our community and the BPO audience are what is most important to JoAnn,” said Cindy Abbott Letro, BPO Board Member and Chair of the Patron Tour Committee. “Both she and the musicians make the music for you! To be able to expand these relationships beyond Buffalo is very special; it forms an unparalleled bond between our patrons and our orchestra. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to travel together and experience things in a new and different way.  We make friends, we go on adventures, we raise money for the BPO, and we have a great time!”

Tickets for this year’s Patron Tour Program trips are expected to go on sale in April, once the BPO has set pricing. The cost of a package includes transportation, concert admission, and a built-in tax deductible gift to the BPO.

“It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend time with JoAnn and our musicians ‘on the road’ experiencing new things in exciting locations that are truly ‘behind-the-scenes’ and intimate,” Abbott Letro said. “Repeat business, so to speak, is high which to us demonstrates that this program has been a success.”

For more information on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming performances and programs, visit

This content is part of a sponsored series in partnership with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Written by Sarah Maurer

Sarah Maurer

I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College in 2007 and began writing for Buffalo Rising as a journalism intern in 2010. Working with Newell and meeting numerous entrepreneurs, activists and everyday folks who were working to make their city better made a huge impact on my decision to stay here. After witnessing all the positive development and grassroots initiatives happening in neighborhoods throughout the city, I was inspired to pursue a term of service in AmeriCorps and a career in Buffalo's non-profit sector. I currently work in the housing department at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY and am excited to be a part of their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. I also volunteer as the project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo. I continue to write for Buffalo Rising because I love having the opportunity to stay connected to those working toward positive changes for the Queen City.

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