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BPO's Michael Ludwig featured on Radio Canada on Sunday


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The recordings of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Michael Ludwig, pictured above, will be beamed all over Canada on Sunday morning on Radio-Canada from 10 a.m. until noon. The show is Alain Lefevre's program "Espace Musique."

They can be beamed into your home too! Listen live by going directly . Click on the second icon, "Écoutez Espace Musique."

Meanwhile, this sounds like a pretty nice station. When I tuned in just now they were bingeing on what appears to be an entire CD of some of my favorite Lieder by Schubert and Beethoven. So I am staying tuned! Between songs you can work on your French. It's cute how the French pronounce Schubert's name Shoo-BEAR.  

Anyway ... remember this station, and remember to tune in Sunday at 10 a.m.!

BPO announces summer schedule

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer season will take the musicians to several of Western New York’s best public spaces and performing venues.

The BPO will perform 12 times, including several free outdoor concerts and the return of Summer Nights@Kleinhans.

• The summer season kicks off with the BPO’s return to Bidwell Park in the Elmwood Village on June 25 and Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on June 27, each beginning at 7 p.m. These free, outdoor concerts will be conducted by Matthew Kraemer, and will feature a mix of Americana.

• At 7 p.m. June 29, the BPO will perform a concert at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Matthew Kraemer conducts this concert of classical favorites, including works by Rossini, Copland, Dvorak and Beethoven, concluding with the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. The concert is free for children younger than 6; $10 for students and $20 general admission. A family four-pack is available for $49. All tickets will be available through the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra box office at 885-5000 or Tickets include admission to the park.

• The BPO’s second season of Summer Nights@Kleinhans will kick off at 7 p.m. July 6 with Tchaikovsky Spectacular, conducted by Matthew Kraemer. Audiences are invited to pack a picnic supper or sample the wares of the Buffalo food trucks and enjoy the grounds of the concert hall and its historic neighborhood setting.

Summer Nights@Kleinhans will continue at 7 p.m. July 19 with A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. The jazz composer and pianist, credited with introducing jazz to the Baby Boom generation, was 91 when he died last year. The BPO will pay tribute to his legacy with a performance featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, formed by his sons.

JoAnn Falletta will take the podium for the final Summer Nights@Kleinhans concert, at 7 p.m. July 26. España features Spanish-inflected music by Chabrier, Falla and Rimsky-Korsakov. Special guest artist Celil Refik Kaya, who won the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, returns to the scene of his triumph with this concert. Tickets for Summer Nights@Kleinhans range from $19 to $49 and can be obtained by calling 885-5000 or visiting

• The BPO and the Bisons continue their Independence Eve tradition on July 3, when the Bisons play the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field starting at 6:05. After the game, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will take the field, joined by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and led by Paul Ferington, for a program of patriotic favorites followed by a fireworks display. Tickets are available at

• Over a two-day period, the BPO will share its best with Western New York through a series of free performances at Canalside.

The afternoon of July 13 offers audiences a chance to see what orchestra members do when they’re not rehearsing for a concert. Chamber groups, jazz quartets, and percussion ensembles featuring BPO members are all on the schedule.

At 7 p.m. that day, the orchestra will perform a Broadway-themed concert with soloists Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard. The Broadway veterans are also husband and wife, and have played opposite one another in major touring productions of Showboat and Phantom of the Opera, as well as many symphonic engagements. On July 14, the BPO will hold an afternoon of instrument demonstrations, workshops and a superhero-themed concert, with music from X-Men, The Incredibles, Spiderman, Batman and more.

• The M&T Bank Plaza summer noontime concert series is celebrating its 44th year, and the Buffalo Philharmonic will once again perform. Paul Ferington will lead the orchestra on July 16 in this free outdoor concert.

• Artpark is celebrating a milestone year, and for its 40th anniversary, the BPO will perform with a host of special guests at 8 p.m. July 25, recreating the park’s 1973 opening concert. Buffalo native turned Broadway star Michele Ragusa will sing selections from Phantom of the Opera, Music Man and My Fair Lady. Eminent pianist Norman Krieger, once the winner of the BPO’s Young Artists Competition Prize, will perform Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante. Dancers from the Festival Ballet of Providence and Neglia Ballet Artists will join the BPO onstage, dancing to selections from ballets by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

All tickets for the concert will be available at

For further information about the summer concerts, visit call 885-5000.


Review chat: Miers on Music with The News' pop music critic

Janne Sirén: 'The Albright-Knox is your museum. Be proud of it.'

586421 Janne Siren01
Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Janne Sirén. Photo by Derek Gee.

Last night, in a speech that doubled as a kind of comedy routine, newly arrived Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Janne Sirén gave a memorable introduction for the artist Andy Goldsworthy. (Goldsworthy was in Buffalo to talk about his nearly complete commission on which he's been working with the museum for several years). In it, he called on Western New Yorkers to take ownership of the museum and invoked Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum as an example of the transformative power of a cultural institution in the life and reputation of a region.

Siren's remarks give some clues about where he may take the Albright-Knox. I'll excerpt some of them here, and you can listen to the full audio of the introduction and Goldsworthy's presentation at the bottom of the post.

I’ve been in Buffalo now for five and a half weeks.

Let me just say what an honor it is to share in the spirit of your city, which I hope I can soon call earnestly my home city. One of the most common questions that I am asked is, ‘So, have you found a home and where is it located?’ And in fact I think I was asked that question before my nomination, at least spiritually speaking.

Homes are important. Of course they are. And I think the fact that that question is asked in this place, in Buffalo and at the Albright-Knox, tells something about this institution, this home of art, this home of unique individuals, this home of unique ideas, this home of constant innovation over a period of 150 years.

It is a humbling experience to stand here before you as the 11th director of the Albright-Knox, one of the great global assets that the United States possesses, an amazing institution, an amazing history, and let me say, an amazing future which I hope to build together with you and all the other people in Western New York and Buffalo…

I really have no place standing on the stage tonight because we’re here to hear Andy Goldsworthy share ideas, thoughts with us. I also have no place on the stage tonight because what’s been accomplished over here on the campus of the Albright-Knox with Andy Goldsworthy over the past years I can take no credit in. That’s the work of Louis Grachos, one of the greatest directors that the field of contemporary and modern museums knows today. And you will see that history will bear his legacy far into the future.

So it’s just a significant honor for me to stand here humbly on the shoulders of a giant and to wish you welcome.

The Albright-Knox is really your museum. Be proud of it. Share information about it. And if sometimes you feel like it’s a little distant… what’s really the relevance of a museum in today’s world? Think of places like Bilbao. Nobody in Europe traveled to Bilbao 20 years ago. It was a place where bombs were exploding... really a not very pleasant place.

Then comes a museum director from the United States, and as the result of a long process, a museum is established: Guggenheim Bilbao, one of the great art museum of the 20th and 21st centuries, a museum that paid itself back in three years after it was constructed. It cost $200 million to build, that was in 1990. Three years later it had paid itself back. Every year, 700,000 people from different parts of the world travel to this destination. 300,000 locals, 150,000 to 300,000 locals visit every year. That’s been steady going for 15 years.

Be proud of your institution. If you’re not members yet, I ask you to become. Not because it’s a fiscal quest from me to you, but you deserve to be members of this wonderful institution. And if you know people who are not yet members, especially young kids, invite them. Buy them their ticket. $25, with that amount, a young person can come any day of the year as many times as he or she wants.


This is one of the great institutions in the world. Take ownership of it.


--Colin Dabkowski

Shock rock dream team: Alice Cooper & Marilyn Manson join forces for gig on Buffalo's Outer Harbor

Promoters announced today that two generations of shock rock will commingle at the Buffalo Outer Harbor Concert Site on June 14th. Glam/goth/greasepaint icon Alice Cooper will team with his ideological offspring, Marilyn Manson, as the "Shock Therapy 2013" touches down in Buffalo on that date.

Tickets - $20 advance, $30 day of show - go on sale Friday at noon through, Ticketmaster locations, the Town Ballroom box office, (681 Main St.) and the After Dark box office (630 Elmwood Ave.) Tickets can also be charged by phone, via 800-745-3000.

Both Cooper and Manson have been on a creative roll of late, with the former releasing the excellent Bob Ezrin-produced "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" last year, and the latter enjoying the critical acclaim heaped upon his recent "Born Villain," hailed by many as a teturn to the form Manson exhibited on early albums like "Antichrist Superstar" and "Mechanical Animals." 

Ok, then. It might get loud. And it moist assuredly will get creepy. - Jeff Miers 


Replay Critics' Corner with Simon & Miers

Thursday Theater Roundup

A Finale 1

"Jersey Boys," through Saturday in Shea's Performing Arts Center. ★★★½

From the review: "The decision to keep this glorious music native to its roots is the smartest thing the show does. It allows the story to steer the dramatic narrative arc, which is what Valli and his brothers – not to mention a tiring, pervasive theatrical genre – deserve. The amount of musical numbers is impressive, yet this still feels like a play with songs and not a musical with dialogue." --Ben Siegel

"Moonlight and Magnolias," through Saturday in the American Repertory Theatre of Western New York's home in the Church of the Ascension. ★★★

From the review: "Actors David Mitchell (Selznick), Todd Fuller (Fleming), and veteran Guy Wagner (Hecht) [are] at each other’s throats and physically manic for three acts. They’re loud and silly and frequently over-the-top on a Lauren Millman set. It all makes for an impressive rendering by [director Gail] Golden and the cast in a funny and occasionally crude piece." --Ted Hadley

 Christian, jose and brian,
Christian Brandjes, Jose Rivera and Brian Mysliwy appear in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's production of "American Buffalo."

"American Buffalo," through Sunday in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Andrews Theatre. ★★★★

From the review: "[Director Chris] Cavanagh has insisted that the economical speech patterns, the fragmented or unfinished sentences, the pulsating unrelenting cadence, the “scatological buckshot,” as the famed Jack Kroll once described Mamet’s work, remain intact and non-stop and he has assembled just the cast to do that." --Ted Hadley

Kristen Tripp Kelley, Eileen Dugan and Sheila McCarthy star in the Kavinoky Theatre's production of "August: Osage County."

"August: Osage County," through Sunday in the Kavinoky Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "The Kavinoky has pulled off a fine production of [Tracy] Letts’ modern classic under the smart direction of Bob Waterhouse, a British-born man of the theater who clearly understands the peculiarly American sensibility and mood this play requires." --Colin Dabkowski


"Blood on the Cat's Neck," through Sunday in Torn Space Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "A tuned cast makes this chilling but tedious piece, sometimes subtitled, inexplicably, 'Marilyn Monroe vs. The Vampires,' work." --Ted Hadley

WATERFRONT press photos 012

Andrea Andolina and Matthew Nerber star in the New Phoenix Theatre and Subversive Theatre Collective's production of "On the Waterfront."

Continue reading "Thursday Theater Roundup" »

Video: Miers discusses Canalside concert lineup

Schedule | Story | Photo gallery

Buffalo Place announced this summer's Canalside concert series' schedules. News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers and Assistant Managing Editor/Features Editor Bruce Andriatch discuss the lineup:

Buffalo Place/Canalside concert lineup

Full story from Jeff Miers | Video: Miers & Bruce Andriatch break down the schedule | Photo gallery of performers

Thursday at Canalside
Concerts are from 5 to 9 p.m. and are free.

June 6: The Hold Steady and Hollerado
June 13: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
June 20: Steven Page
June 27: Teddy Riley and Blackstreet
July 11: G. Love and Special Sauce and the Joy Formidable
July 18: Los Lonely Boys
July 25: The Fixx
Aug. 1: Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth
Aug. 8: Halestorm
Aug. 15: An Evening with Todd Rundgren
Aug. 22: Adam Ant and The Good, the Mad & the Lovely Posse
Aug. 29: Lotus

Buffalo Place Rocks Canalside
Concerts are from 6 to 11 p.m. Tickets are available at the Buffalo Place box office (671 Main St.), or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000. For more information, visit

June 28: Counting Crows and the Wallflowers ($16 advance, $20 day of show)
June 29: KEM ($15 advance, $20 day of show)
July 26: The Wailers and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (free)
July 27: Bel Biv Devoe (free)
Aug. 30: Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with Eric Burdon ($15 advance, $20 day of show)
Aug. 31: To be announced

Charley Pride to play Riviera Theatre

The Riviera Theatre announces an evening with country music legend Charley Pride at 7:30 p.m. June 19.

Tickets are $65 and $75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 17 through the theater box office (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda) or online at

For more information, call the theater at 692-2413 or visit

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