Classical 94.5 WNED Interviews

Michael Ludwig, our BPO concertmaster for so many years, has left to pursue a career playing violin concertos with orchestras.  Guess which orchestra he's playing with this weekend!  That's right, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  WNED spoke with Michael about his current life and the Sibelius Violin Concerto which he'll play Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Kleinhans.

Very romantic, emotional music by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (remember “Finlandia”) is on this weekend’s BPO program (Saturday night at 8, Sunday afternoon at 2:30) as JoAnn Falletta invites former concertmaster Michael Ludwig to play the Sibelius Violin Concerto and English Hornist Anna Mattix to solo in the haunting “Swan of Tuonela.”  WNED’s Peter Hall spoke with JoAnn Falletta.

It's a choral celebration when the Canisius College Chorale joins the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Robert Duerr this Sunday, Dec. 7. Opening with a commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7, 1942) and ending with a carol sing-a-long, the concert starts at 3 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School, 55 Kings Highway. Before the concert there's a program with the Chorale, Frank Scinta, director, and afterwards everybody is invited to partake in homemade cookies. WNED's Peter Hall and Maestro Duerr had a conversation about this annual event.

Can you improve upon tradition? Of course! Two of the three kings in Nickel City Opera’s presentation of Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at the Riviera Theater (67 Webster Street) are not only singer and actors, but also directors. Inspired by Menotti himself, they’ve added a minor character, and have new costumes, props, a bigger chorus, and a new sensibility about the plight of the impoverished boy and his mother. Be prepared to laugh-- but also cry-- during this short (55 minute) but moving opera. Gregory Sheppard (King Balthasar) and David MacAdam (King Kaspar) discuss some of the finer points with WNED’s Peter Hall.

Neglia Ballet Artists bring the splendor of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” to Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Saturday night November 29th at 7pm and Sunday afternoon at 2pm.  Conducting the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit will be their new Associate Conductor, former trombonist, Stefan Sanders, whose favorite moment was the result of a bet that Tchaikovsky won.  WNED’s Peter Hall found out more.

Rarely performed and almost never with the original poetry, Tchaikovsky's "The Seasons" - 12 miniatures for piano depicting the months of January to December - will be performed by Buffalo born pianist Susan Yondt at this Sunday, November 23rd's "Friends of Vienna" concert at The Unity Church, 1234 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.  WNED's Peter Hall found out more.

 

Opera Sacra presents Francis Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites," the story of French nuns who refused to renounce their vocation and were guillotined.  Conducted by Roland E. Martin at St. Joseph's University Church, 3269 Main Street, Friday and Saturday, November 21st and 22nd both nights at 7:30.  WNED's Peter Hall spoke with Opera Sacra's founder, Fr. Jack Ledwon. 

 

 Igor Stravinsky’s ballet "The Rite of Spring" sent shockwaves throughout the worlds of music and dance when it premiered (and caused a riot) in Paris in 1913. See what all the fuss was about as the Richmond Ballet performs, one night only, on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 at UB's Center for the Arts. The program opens with Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" Overture and also includes Tchaikovsky’s "Mozartiana" with Balanchine’s choreography. JoAnn Falletta conducts the BPO. WNED's Peter Hall found out more. 

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER. Event will be rescheduled at a later date in 2015.

Actress Renee Taylor, known to millions as Fran Drescher’s overbearing (and overeating) mother on the TV series “The Nanny,” brings her one-woman show “My Life on a Diet” to Shea’s Smith Theatre from November 6th to the 16th.  WNED’s Peter Hall found out more from this 81-year-old actress about the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg and actresses she met, including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Joan Crawford.  

Scotland, Czechoslovakia and Ukraine have all been in the news recently, but did you know that composers Mendelssohn, Mozart and Tchaikovsky wrote symphonies about them? Join BPO guest conductor Paul Ferington for free "adult music appreciation" courses called "Symphonic Traveling" on either Nov. 5 or 12 at various public libraries. WNED's Peter Hall found out more.

National Opera Week wraps up in Buffalo but not before contralto Suzanne Fatta gives a free OperaBuffs of WNY presentation “Wayward Sisters: Witches, Sorceresses, and Gypsies in Opera” Saturday morning, November 1st (All Souls Day) at 10:30 in Room 124 of Buff State’s Rockwell Hall.  Roland E. "Ron" Martin, accompanies on the piano and harpsichord.  WNED’s Peter Hall found out more.

 


Arts Canisius presents Mostly Mozarts featuring a performance by the Camerata di Sant’ Antonio and the Canisius College Chorale Friday evening October 24 at 7:30 at the Montante Cultural Center on the Main Street campus of Canisius College in Buffalo. WNED's Peter Hall (who gives the pre-concert talk at 7:00pm) spoke with their Music Director, Chris Weber..

Beethoven himself would have applauded a free performance of his mighty Symphony No. 9 with the Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra, the Fredonia College Choir, and soloists.  The concert is at Villa Maria College Auditorium Sunday October 26 at 3:00 with a pre-concert talk with the CSO's Music Director, John Landis at 2:00.  WNED's Peter Hall found out more in this 14 minute interview than he ever knew before about Beethoven's 9th and you will too!

The Japan Culture Center of WNY will host a Japanese taiko drum performance at the SUNY Buffalo State Performing Arts Center in Rockwell Hall on Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m featuring World-renowned taiko drummer Eitetsu Hayashi .  With five other drummers onstage with Eitetsu Hayashi will be Matthew Bassett, principal timpanist of the Buffalo Philharmonic, who will engage Mr. Hayashi in a "battle of the drums."  The concert will also feature shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). There is a taiko/shakuhachi demonstration at Rockwell Hall on Thursday, October 23 from 12:15 to 1:45.  WNED's Peter Hall found out more. Check out this video of Eitetsu performing by clicking here!

"Props to him for being such a  wonderful composer" says this weekend's piano soloist with the BPO - Gabriela Martinez - about Rachmaninoff.  How does a pianist with normal sized hands tackle his Piano Concerto No. 1?  Apparently, as she told WNED's Peter Hall, the composer knew how to arrange all those difficult sounding notes in a playable way. Gabriela performs this weekend at Kleinhans Music Hall, Saturday night at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30.