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BPO taps associate conductor

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, after a few months of searching, has just announced its new associate conductor. He is Stefan Sanders, a former trombone player with the orchestra and a former apprentice conductor.

He will succeed the current associate conductor, Matthew Kraemer, who is departing at the end of this season.

Sanders was the last of the candidates who participated in a recent day of auditions in Kleinhans Music Hall, observed by BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta. With the orchestra present, he demonstrated his manner of conducting and his speaking style as well. The associate conductor’s job includes presiding over the popular children’s concerts.

Sanders is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Juilliard School. He began his career as a trombonist with the BPO in 1999 after winning the position while a student at Juilliard. He was a member of the BPO’s trombone section until 2006.

– Mary Kunz Goldman

40/40 Club lands in Atlanta

Jay Z brought his 40/40 Club to the world’s busiest airport Wednesday, with the opening of the swanky bar’s third location.

40/40 is open to ticketed passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to spokeswoman Victoria Hong of Delaware North Companies, which partners with the rap mogul.

“We want to have the same type of feel as the regular 40/40 Club,” Hong said. “It’s the airport version of the 40/40 Club.”

40/40 restaurant and lounges also are located in Manhattan and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

‘Star Wars’ in Emirates

The rumors began swirling a long time ago. Now the Uited Arab Emirates is finally acknowledging it is standing in for George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away.

A media company backed by the Gulf federation’s capital of Abu Dhabi announced Wednesday that the next installment of “Star Wars” is filming in the oil-rich Middle Eastern emirate.

It was the first definitive word from the Mideast nation that filming had begun.

Officials previously had refused to confirm any involvement with the seventh installment of the galactic franchise, even after a paper reported on the preparations.

The media company, known as twofour54, said director J.J. Abrams and cast arrived in early May.

Sophia still a star at 79

Svelte siren Sophia Loren, 79, has outshone women half her age at the Cannes Film Festival in head-to-toe red.

She playfully flirted with photographers Wednesday for the screening of “Human Voice,” directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti.

The age-defying Loren, who’s being honored as a special guest at this year’s festival, also wowed crowds with enviable curves at the premiere of “Two Days, One Night.” Loren’s iconic 1964 film “Marriage Italian Style” is being shown at the festival.

– From News wire services