By Mary Kunz Goldman
The venerable American Record Guide has praised the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's May performance in Carnegie Hall's "Spring For Music" Festival, a memorable concert pictured above in a News file photo.
The magazine, founded in 1935, does not have an online edition. With luck they will forgive us if we cut and paste.
The article begins:
Perhaps the most transferable lesson—or “take away”—
from the Buffalo Philharmonic’s striking Spring for Music
performance on May 8 was non-musical: Music Director
JoAnn Falletta and her demonstrable success developing a
loyal regional audience, one that followed her from
Buffalo all the way to Carnegie Hall.
About 1500 people came from Buffalo (the largest home
town group ever for Spring for Music) to see their home
orchestra take the Carnegie stage. Their collective sense of
“home team” pride was
palpable, evidenced by
the sea of green
handkerchiefs waving in
the air, draping the
balconies, or worn as
hair accessories. It was as
if a baseball stadium
crowd collided head on
with the perceived elitist
barrier of classical music.
Falletta bridged the two
with grace and elegance.
They didn’t just come for the music; they came for an
event. Falletta chose to present a rare portrait of Russian
life in the pre- and post-Soviet eras, music not normally
used when trying to draw a large crowd: Giya Kancheli’s
Morning Prayers and Reinhold Gliere’s Symphony No. 3
Falletta was noticeably gracious and humble, as was
evident in her pre-concert remarks, and shone from the
podium with her subtle, intimate connection with each
player. Her connections are real.
And it concludes:
Tremendous national attention has been given to the grim
future of America’s orchestras, particularly as they face
severe government budget cuts. We see more and more
orchestras self-assessing what they need to thrive now
and in the future. Orchestras that are succeeding, like the
Buffalo Philharmonic, have demonstrated and
communicated their own civic relevance, weaving
themselves into their local cultural fabric beyond the
limited confines of the “elitist” concert stage. This
orchestra’s loyal followers are evidence of their success.
In between, the story discusses the Russian repertoire the BPO chose to perform.
Anyway. We have something good going on here in Buffalo.
Way to go, BPO!