BUFFALO — Though the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra remains hopeful that it will once again play for live audiences soon, today the orchestra announces the extension of its BPOnDemand virtual performance series through the end of the 2020-21 concert season in June. The popular video-streamed series, presented by M&T Bank, uses state-of-the-art audio and video recording technology to bring the majestic acoustics of Kleinhans Music Hall into the living room of patrons via their home computer or mobile device. The series has allowed the BPO to perform exciting repertoire not normally available to the full orchestra, and helps to ensure that its 73 full-time musicians remain employed.

“We have been holding hope that we would be able to reopen for live concerts at some point this season, but it is looking less and less likely,” said Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “What continues to be most important is keeping our musicians and our audiences safe, and providing beautiful music for the entire Western New York community, no matter how.”

The BPO is awaiting New York Forward guidelines for reopening large indoor concert venues such as Kleinhans Music Hall. Plans are in development for the BPO to host intimate, socially distanced audiences as soon as state guidelines allow. Regardless of whether clearance is received for live audiences at any point in the coming months, BPOnDemand will continue through the end of the 2020-21 concert season. The series is broadcast on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and available on-demand for 30 days thereafter. BPOnDemand is available to all current 2020-21 season subscribers for free, as well as those patrons near and far who wish to purchase a virtual ticket on a concert-by-concert basis. Tickets are $10 each (plus applicable fees). Compose-your-own multi-concert ticket packages are available as well.

Music Director JoAnn Falletta, Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and the BPO leadership team are closely monitoring the ever-evolving pandemic situation and have prepared alternative programs that will meet social distancing guidelines. The revised April through June 2021 BPOnDemand schedule is as follows:

Tue Apr 13, 7pm

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Blake Pouliot, violin

BARBER  Adagio for Strings
RESPIGHI  Botticelli Triptych (Trittico Botticelliano)

Three celebrated composers highlight a program depicting themes of love, loss, and renewal. Respighi’s Triptych was inspired by works of Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, including ‘Spring’ and ‘The Birth of Venus.’ Virtuoso Blake Pouliot performs Bernstein’s violin masterpiece, musically interpreting love anecdotes written by Plato, and the haunting chords of Barber’s familiar Adagio, capture not only despair but an accompanying glimmer of hope.

Tue Apr 20, 7pm

John Morris Russell, conductor
Jessica Hendy, vocals
Blake Alden Krauss, vocals

Join Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, vocalists Jessica Hendy (Cats, Aida) and Blaine Alden Krauss (Hamilton, Kinky Boots), and your BPO as they perform 100 years of Broadway’s best, from the golden age of Gershwin and Rogers & Hammerstein to contemporary classics from The Wiz, Wicked, and more!

Tue Apr 27, 7pm
Guillermo Figueroa, conductor, violin
Adam Golka, piano
Alex Jokipii, trumpet

ERNESTO CORDERO  Concertino Tropical
SHOSTAKOVICH  Concerto No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet & Strings, Op. 35
SUK  Serenade in E flat major

Lush and lyrical describes both Cordero’s sparkling and serene island travelogue, and the emotionally intense Serenade of Josef Suk, although composed over 100 years apart. Their beauty and tenderness are contrasted by the eclectic, spirited, and technically challenging Shostakovich concerto featuring exceptional pianist Adam Golka and BPO principal trumpet Alex Jokipii.

Tue May 4, 7pm
Jeff Tyzik, conductor
Shayna Steele, vocals

Much popular music of the past 100 years has Blues at its heart and soul, influencing countless artists like Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. The BPO and vocalist Shayna Steele pay tribute to the musical legends who sang their way into history including Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey, and Louis Armstrong with songs like “House of the Rising Sun,” “Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out,” “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” and more.

Tue May 11, 7pm
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Nikki Chooi, violin
Roman Mekinulov, cello
Henry Ward, oboe
Glenn Einschlag, bassoon

STILL  Mother and Child, for string orchestra
HAYDN  Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major
DVOŘÁK  Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22

A colorful interplay of BPO musicians Nikki Chooi, Roman Mekinulov, Henry Ward, and Glenn Einschlag, performing solo as well as in duos and quartets highlight Haydn’s delightful and witty Sinfonia, his only effort at the genre. The theatrical, spirited work counters the serenity of Still’s heartwarming rhythms reminiscent of a lullaby, and the angelic, enchanting tone of Dvořák’s dream-like serenade.

Tue May 25, 7pm
JoAnn Falletta, conductor

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

Vaughan Williams’ popular and incandescent treatment of an ethereal 16th-century Renaissance chant is paired with the contemporary reworking of an iconic masterpiece. Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite ballet score infuses new interpretation into easily recognizable melodies with an inventive and unexpected use of percussion and strings.

Tue Jun 1, 7pm
Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Symbolic of our country’s ability to weather the storm, we honor those who have served and sacrificed to uphold our traditions in this annual celebration of song and spirit.

Tue Jun 8, 7pm
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Kyle van Schoonhoven, tenor

AARON JAY KERNIS  Elegy for Those We Lost (2020)
MICHAEL ABELS  Delights and Dances
MAHLER / arr. Schönberg Songs of a Wayfarer
MOZART  Serenade No. 6 in D major, “Serenata Notturna”

Contradictions compel our highly-unusual season to its finale. Contemporary composers juxtapose heart-wrenching memorials and clever combinations of relaxed riffs and rapid rhythms, while tenor Kyle van Schoonhoven’s interpretation of Mahler’s song cycle of lost love and despair, contrasts with Mozart’s lighthearted serenity.

All artists and repertoire are subject to change. Further details about all programs on the 2020-2021 concert season can be found at bpo.org.

Plans for the BPO’s popular summer season and the announcement of its forthcoming 2021-22 season remain on hold until more is known about the pandemic response and the ability of the orchestra to safely play for live audiences once again.

Single tickets and ticket packages for the BPOnDemand series are on sale now and can be purchased at bpo.org or by calling the Box Office at (716) 885-5000. Patrons are encouraged to sign up for the BPO e-mail list at bpo.org to receive the latest updates, and to call the Box Office with any questions. Please note that the Box Office is working remotely during this time, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Major corporate support for the BPO is provided by M&T Bank, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Calspan, Elderwood and Keybank. Government support is provided by Erie County, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society, Inc. provides a resident, professional, major symphony orchestra of artistic excellence and integrity to enrich the quality of life in Western New York through the presentation of live symphonic music and other musical events that educate and entertain the broadest possible audiences within and beyond the Western New York region. Since its founding in 1935, the BPO has served as Buffalo’s cultural ambassador. JoAnn Falletta is the Music Director of the Grammy® Award-winning orchestra, which presents more than 120 Classics, Pops, Rock, Kids and Youth concerts each year for over 200,000 people. For more information, visit bpo.org.

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