The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is launching its 2012-13 season with a gala concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall. The concert features flute superstar Sir James Galway, playing Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2.

Galway and BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta just performed a very high-profile concert together in England. They joined forces for Falletta's debut at the Proms, London's internationally renowned classical music festival. Televised and broadcast, the concert was seen and heard by millions.

In contrast, the Buffalo concert will have an intimacy to it. It has an Irish flair. Rounding out the concert is the "Irish Symphony" by Sir Hamilton Harty, a composer from Northern Ireland.

"I chose the Irish Symphony in honor of Sir James," Falletta told The News. "Hamilton Harty was from Belfast, as Jimmy is, and the city and country are very proud of them both. My new friends in Northern Ireland were thrilled that the Buffalo audience would be listening to their most important composer; they can't wait to hear what our audience thinks about the work.

"The piece is a lyrical, romantic tribute to the beautiful landscape and warm-hearted people of the Emerald Isle."

Also for the gala concert, Galway will be joined by his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, for "Mozart's Magic Flutes," a piece by David Overton that is a riot of melodies by Mozart. The Galways played it before with the BPO, and the audience loved it.

Admission is $42-$92. For info, call 885-5000.

- Mary Kunz Goldman