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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Plays On

What many people don’t know is that being a musician with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is a full-time job. BPO musicians are in rehearsal two to three times a week (or more!) followed by back-to-back concerts on the weekends, sometimes with completely varied programs, changing on a dime to play everything from classical masterworks to popular music of Hollywood, Broadway, the radio and everything in between. Beyond performing at Kleinhans Music Hall, they’re out in the community giving masterclasses at local schools, teaching lessons, and playing in chamber groups at smaller venues, including local bars and restaurants.

So, what happens to a BPO musician when all of their performances are canceled?

They play on, of course!


If you follow the hashtag #PlayOnBPO, or are subscribed to the BPO on social media, you may have already seen them in action. Not to be kept idle by COVID-19, the BPO musicians have taken over the internet and are posting their quarantine creations that range from the funny to the sublime. 

Principal flutist Christine Davis plays Telemann’s rapturous Fantasia No. 6 from the comforts of her own basement (complete with washing machine accompaniment) while principal trombonist Jonathan Lombardo wails on a familiar tune, Khachuturian’s “Sabre Dance,” in full Buffalo swag. The fan favorite through, is associate principal bassist Brett Shurtliffe’s ‘unconventional’ interpretation of Saint-Saen’s The Swan assisted by… a roll of toilet paper. (But don’t worry, no toilet paper was wasted in the making of the video.)

Yes, music takes all sorts of forms during this #CoronaPause (new band name, we coined it!), but for those who miss the thunderous sound of a full orchestra, the closing of the doors at Kleinhans doesn’t mean that you have to be without. 

Broadcasts on WNED Classical

An exciting partnership between the BPO and WNED Classical will bring your hometown orchestra right into your living room. For the next several weeks, each Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. listeners can tune in to 94.5FM, stream online at or stream via smart speaker, to hear archived live concert recordings of the BPO. 

“While we cannot all be together at Kleinhans Music Hall, the musicians and I agree that music is still something that can bring us all together in spirit,” says Maestro JoAnn Falletta. “We will miss our live performances and in-house audiences dearly, but we are so pleased to be able to give the gift of music to the world during a time when we all need it the most.”

For the best listening experience, we recommend comfy pajamas and a glass of wine paired with each piece.

More Musical Surprises

As an added bonus, the BPO will be releasing various surprises to their followers on Facebook periodically throughout the coming weeks – it could be tracks from BPO recordings or more archived live performances. The only way to make sure you don’t miss one is by liking the BPO page on Facebook if you haven’t already, so be sure to do so!

So, stay home and enjoy the music of your BPO, whether you log in to Facebook or catch a Tuesday night broadcast on WNED. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live near a musician, maybe you can hear them practicing from your backyard. Either way, you can rest assured that these fearless musicians are keeping in shape while staying at home, and the next BPO concert, whenever it may be, will sound better than ever.

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

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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