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The music of czarist Russia had a romantic spirit all its own, and it is this smoldering elegance that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrating this weekend.

Kleinhans Music Hall will welcome guest pianist Jon Kimura Parker, who will be the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s ever-popular “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” Fans of romantic movies will recognize the beautiful famous variation as the theme from the Christopher Reeve romance “Somewhere in Time.” Parker, a celebrated Canadian pianist, has not appeared with the BPO in 10 years, when he played another Rhapsody, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” He won tremendous applause for that performance.

Beginning the concert will be the Prelude to “The Far-Away Princess.” by Nikolai Tcherepnin, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1873 and studied with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s overwhelming Symphony No. 6, the “Pathetique.”

BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts the concert, which takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $33-$79. For information, call 885-5000.

– Mary Kunz Goldman