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Epic new BPO disc taking world by storm

By Mary Kunz Goldman

The influential site Classics Today has posted a glowing review of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's new Naxos disc featuring the Symphony No. 3 of Russian composer Reinhold Gliere. That is Naxos' introduction up above. It gives you a sense of the music's intoxicating nature.

The huge symphony is based on the colorful saga of a larger-than-life Russian folk hero called "Ilya Muromets," who battles various creatures and is brought down finally only because he defied God. It has had very few performances because it is such a giant undertaking. And as Classics Today points out in its comprehensive rundown of previous recordings, most of the time the music has been abridged.

Not so with the BPO. And that is just one reason Classics Today says "Bravo." 

Naxos lists more praise for the CD from various points around the globe. And while you are reveling in that press do not neglect to reread News Recording Editor Jeff Simon's praise for the disc. He called it the BPO's finest moment on recording.

Finally it is fun to re-live the Philharmonic's performance of the piece at Carnegie Hall. I remember being overwhelmed by all the sonic effects that came out in Gliere's rich orchestration. That work is a lot of work, no doubt about it. You can see the orchestra laboring over it in the above video. But I think this adventure was worth it.

I'm glad the world seems to agree.

BPO fiddlers present free Irish concert at Nietzsche's


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The good side of the storms that blew in around St. Patrick's Day? We still have a bit o' St. Patrick's Day music to look forward to. This concert, postponed a few weeks ago because of the weather, sounds like great fun.

It's at Nietzsche's on Wednesday night, and it's free. Two musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, bassist Brett Shurtliffe and violinist Amy Licata, pictured above, have banded together to form a duo devoted to Irish music. Already they have performed with Cherish the Ladies and the Chieftains, as well as with the Buffalo Chamber Players. Licata's solo fiddling has been in the spotlight several times at Kleinhans Music Hall, always to great acclaim. She was a pro at an early age: When she was eight she competed in the a national junior fiddling competition, finishing third behind 13-year-old Mark O'Connor.

At Nietzsche's they promise beautiful airs and jolly ballads. There's no cover, there is beer of various ethnicities including Irish, and there is the uniquely romantic ambiance that belongs only to Nietzsche's. What's not to love? The evening of Irish music begins at 8 p.m.


Theory of a Deadman to play Rapids Theatre in June

Canadian alt-rock outfit Theory of a Deadman returns to Western New York in June for a show at the Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St. in Niagara Falls. The band, familar to fans in the region after several succesful shows as part of the yearly Canal Concert Series, will play the Rapids on Wednesday, June 4th. 

Tickets, priced $22 - $27.50, go on sale Frdiay, April 4th, at 10 a.m., at the Rapids Theatre box office, or through

- Jeff Miers 

UB Springfest lineup announced

The annual UB Springfest will take place in the Alumni Arena parking lot on the UB North Campus beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 2nd.

A diverse lineup, even by Springfest standards, will find a pair of country acts - the Band Perry and Gloriana - sharing space with folk/hip-hop auteur Citizen Cope. 

5,000 UB Undergraduates receive free admission to the event, but 1,500 $35 tickets will be available to the public through Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, April 2nd, at 10 a.m. In the event of rain, the show will be moved inside Alumni Arena. 

- Jeff Miers

Give for Greatness becomes part of ASI

Give for Greatness, the arts fundraising organization launched by Artvoice publisher Jamie Moses in the wake of Erie County's 2011 cultural funding crisis, will become part of the Arts Services Initiative.

The merger of the two organizations, funded by a consortium of local foundations known as the Fund for the Arts, will create a new development director position at ASI. It will primarily benefit small cultural organizations and expand G4G's mission to include a larger swath of Western New York.

As the funding crisis of 2011 recedes into memory, ASI board president and MusicalFare Theatre founder Randall Kramer said, "the need for G4G remains as prevalent as ever for small and new organizations, as well as groups in Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties where public sector [support] for the arts is not as strongas it is in Erie."

It's tough to overestimate the importance of a group dedicated to funding new and emerging cultural groups Western New York and Erie County, as the vast majority of public and private funding goes to long-established organizations. Gaining a toe-hold as a new group is remarkably difficult -- a problem this reimagined version of G4G aims to solve.

Since its founding, according to the G4G website, the organization has raised $150,000 for local arts organizations. It was headed for a time by former Studio Arena Theatre director Kathleen Gaffney, who left the organization several months ago.

--Colin Dabkowski

O.A.R., Phillip Phillips team for July 2 show at Artpark

O.A.R. Bio Photo

O.A.R with "American Idol" season 11 winner Phillip Phillips will perform at Artpark on the outdoor ampitheater stage on July 2. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. April 11 at the Artpark box office, through and, or by calling (888) 223-6000. Tickets are $11 advance for general admission, $26 for limited availability front-of-stage standing room access. Ticket prices will increase by $5 the week of the concert.

- Jeff Miers 


Erie County Fair announces grandstand lineup for 2014

The Erie County Fair has announced its Grandstand lineup. John Fogerty, Bridgit Mendler, Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum will all perform as part of this year's Fair festivities.

Rock legend John Fogerty and his band will perform at the Grandstand at 8 p.m. Aug. 7. Pop singer and star of the Disney Channel's "Good Luck, Charlie" Bridgit Mendler takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9. Modern country superstar Dierks Bentley arrives at the Fair at 8 p.m. Aug. 11. And award-winning country/pop outfit Lady Antebellum plays the Grandstand at 8 p.m. Aug. 13. 

For the Fogerty, Mendler and Bentley shows, tickets  are $60 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved  and $45 for general admission. For the Lady Antebellum appearance, tickets are $80 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved and $65 for general admission. All tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. April 4 through, at the Fairground Events Center box office (9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or by calling (888) 223-6000.

- Jeff Miers

Avenged Sevenfold, Korn to headline Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at Darien Lake

Live Nation has announced that the yearly Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour will stop at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 20th. Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m., through and

This year's event, which will kick off at 1 p.m., will feature bands performing on three stages throughout the day and into the evening. Main stage headliners include Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria and Trivium. Buffalo's own death-metal icons Cannibal Corpse will perform on the Coldcok American Herbal Whiskey stage. 

Other standouts include Body Count featuring Ice-T on the Sumerian records/Headbang for the Highway Stage, as well as a local metal band, to be announced at a later date.

Ticket prices range from$85, $65, $55, and $45 for reserved seats, and $35 for general admission lawn seating. Note: Live Nation is running a promotion offering customers during the first 72 hours following on-sale time lawn seats discounted to $20. 

- Jeff Miers 


WNY Women Musicians unite against youth relationship violence

A fundraising concert for One Voice Buffalo - an organization that workes to end youth relationship violence through area high school informational assemblies and various youth programs - will take place at the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.) on Wednesday, April 2nd, beginning at 7 p.m. 

The event is hosted by area musician and WNY youth services veteran Bob James.

Scheduled to perform, in addition to host band the Love Parade, are singer-songwriters Bethany Fonda, Savannah King, Sara Elizabeth, Erin Sydney Welsh, Five To One, Pauline (of Pauline and the Perils), and Grace Blues Lougen. Admission at the door will be $5. Additional information is available through 

- Jeff Miers

Live chat at noon: Miers on Music

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