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June brings new season for Roycroft Chamber Music Festival

Mcfarland gaub

By Mary Kunz Goldman

You know summer is on the way when the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival announces its season. The group of musicians who get together every June to perform four concerts in East Aurora have lovely things planned for this year.

8 p.m. Sat., June 7: Mozart's "Hunt" Quartet; Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8; Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in D Minor.

7 p.m. Sunday, June 8: Frank Bridge's "Miniatures"; the 1933 String Trio of Jean Francaix; Schumann's Quartet No. 3 in A.

8 p.m. Friday, June 13: Max Bruch's Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 84; Beethoven's Piano Trio in E Flat, Op. 70; Smetana's Quartet No. 1, "From My Life."

8 p.m. Sat., June 14: Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Piano; Grieg's String Quartet No. 2; Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Winds.

All the above concerts take place at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 374 Main St., East Aurora. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets may be had at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, as well as at the East Aurora Tops Market and the Copper Shop. You may also order tickets by mail from Roycroft Chamber Music Festival, P.O. Box 281, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052.

The two dozen or so Roycroft musicians, who assemble under the leadership of pianist Eugene Gaub and his wife, Nancy McFarland Gaub (pictured at top), are also planning a Buffalo concert at 7 p.m. Fri., June 6 at Good Shepherd Church across from the Darwin Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway. They will play the Bridge, Francaix and Mendelssohn. Admission is $25 and includes a dessert and wine reception afterward at the Darwin Martin House.

BPO's Rachmaninoff Rocks Florida


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Observe our orchestra's success in Palm Beach.

"The climax of the first movement thrilled to the bone, and in the cadenza, he became a primal being, arising from the Earth." That is the description of pianist Philippe Bianconi playing Rachmaninoff's Third, which he just played here in Buffalo. The News predicted that the BPO would wake up those Florida snowbirds. We were right!

The Buffalo Philharmonic is away this week in Florida escaping our gray skies. But they will be back by Saturday, for Ann Hampton Callaway paying tribute to Barbra Streisand.

3 BPO musicians playing tonight in Carnegie Hall charity orchestra


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Tonight, three musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be in New York City, on stage at Carnegie Hall (pictured above). They are part of an orchestra convened to play Shostakovich for humitarian reasons.  The concert, presented by Music For Life International and called "Shostakovich for the Children of Syria," is intended to raise awareness for the thousands of children tragically displaced by the ongoing unspeakable violence in Syria. The net proceeds benefit Doctors Without Borders.

The three BPO musicians involved in the effort are violinist Deborah Greitzer, bassoonist Glenn Einschlag and oboist Brian Greene. Joining them will be musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as students and faculty of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute, and other major music academies.

Shostakovich wrote his  Seventh Symphony, subtitled the "Leningrad," while confronting the horrors of World War II. An hour and a quarter long, it bears dramatic witness to the twin evils of Stalin and Hitler. 

George Mathew conducts the concert, which takes place at 8 p.m. tonight in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, the main performance space of Carnegie Hall. Mathew was quoted as saying, "Dmitri Shostakovich's searing Seventh Symphony 'Leningrad' was written during its own composer's experience as an internal refugee while surviving the twin ordeals of Stalin's oppression and the urban catastrophe, which was the Nazi army's 900-day siege of Leningrad. There are uncanny resonances between the context of Shostakovich's monumental symphony and the Syrian Civil War, now past the tragically kindred milestone of 1000 days."

"I am very proud of our three musicians who have been chosen to perform in this concert," BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta said in a statement. "Music has the power to give voice to the voiceless, and to shake people out of their day-to-day routines and make them think about larger issues." 

MFLI takes its name from the Music for Life concert led by Leonard Bernstein in 1987 at Carnegie Hall. The concert is timed to take place one week before the Geneva II conference on Syria convened by the United Nations on Jan 22 in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Tickets are $33-$199.

JoAnn Falletta Returning to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday



By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta is returning to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday night, this time at the helm of the prestigious Orchestra of St. Luke's, a New York chamber ensemble.

She will be joined by pianist Alain Lefevre, who is playing the Piano Concerto No. 4 of Andre Mathieu, and who is pictured with her above.

Historically, on the classical music and vaudeville circuits, Buffalo has been a town that previews shows bound for New York. Such was the case with this concert. Lefevre was in Buffalo early this year to perform that particular concerto, which he champions. Mathieu, who has been called Canada's Mozart, was a pianist and composer who was a protege of Rachmaninoff and died young. The concerto Lefevre is playing was put together from fragments after his death.

Lefevre's performance in Buffalo was memorable in part because there was a glitch and the wheels to the piano were not properly secured. The instrument kept rolling away from him as he played. After the first movement he had to tap Falletta on the shoulder, and the situation was subsequently fixed. You could say the pianist was on a roll. Which The Buffalo News did.

Continue reading "JoAnn Falletta Returning to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday" »

Where in the World is JoAnn Falletta?


By Mary Kunz Goldman

It is time for another round of this fascinating game!

The Buffalo News has established email contact with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta and she is .... where?

Continue reading "Where in the World is JoAnn Falletta?" »