The classical music scene is readying for a colorful fall.
From now until December, Buffalo will be seeing a range of what promise to be memorable events. They start out summery – there’s even one more outdoor free concert – and then ease into deeper territory. They are so varied that people who have been music fans forever are sure to find something new to intrigue them. And some of the concerts will be great not only for classical music fans but for their friends who are still on the fence.
Here are some highlights to anticipate.
Just when you thought all the outdoor concerts were over, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is extending the summer season by performing a free concert at 1 p.m. Sept. 22 at Riverfest Park in the First Ward. Music includes Irish tunes as well as “The Earl of Oxford’s March.” Bravo to the BPO for extending the summer season.
Bernadette Peters is one of the great voices of Broadway and, even more important, gives a great show. She opens the BPO Pops season at 8 p.m. Sept. 28 in Kleinhans.
The rapidly rising Attacca Quartet is led by Western New York native Amy Schroeder, who formed the group 10 years ago with three classmates from Juilliard. Attacca performs at festivals around the world and recently released an acclaimed disc of the quirky quartet music of John Adams. The quartet is making its first appearance at 8 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall, as part of the prestigious Buffalo Chamber Music Society series.
The BPO’s “Know the Score” is an exciting new series. The concerts start early, at 7 p.m., and last for about an hour, followed by an after-party with the musicians. The first “Know the Score” for this season is “Romeo and Juliet” at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in Kleinhans Music Hall. Paul Ferington conducts music by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and from Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” Actors for Shakespeare in the Park will join in, and videographers from the University at Buffalo will let you watch the orchestra during the performance. The party afterward features treats from – where else? – Romeo and Juliet’s Bakery and Café.
The Piano Guys is an offbeat duo from Utah, a cellist and a kind of New Age pianist, who started playing music as a hobby and then found it was more than that. The duo is often joined by other musicians and its highly unusual YouTube videos include performances with Coldplay, music from “The Lord of the Rings” and a reverent “O Come O Come Emmanuel” filmed in a biblical setting. The Piano Guys makes its first Buffalo appearance Oct. 17 at UB’s Center for the Arts.
Chances don’t come around too often to hear a live performance of Mozart’s exquisite, valedictory Clarinet Concerto. All the great clarinetists, including Benny Goodman, played this transcendent piece, which was one of the last things Mozart wrote. Doing the honors this time around, accompanied by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, is the Puerto Rican-born clarinetist Ricardo Morales. The concerts are at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in Kleinhans.
The Nostalg-O-Meter just went “Ding!” Doc Severinsen, the BPO’s former pops conductor, makes an appearance here for a Coffee Concert on the morning of Oct. 25 and for a Saturday night blowout Oct. 26 in Kleinhans. At 86, the Sequinned One has every bit of his old verve and elegance and a return visit is always cause for celebration.
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein jump-started her career in 2007 by financing her recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” which created a sensation and led to her being signed to Sony Classical. Her Sony CD “Bach: A Strange Beauty” vied with pop groups on Amazon’s best-seller lists. She is making her Buffalo debut playing Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with the BPO on Nov. 22 and 23 in Kleinhans.