Growing up on the Great Lakes, the BPO Pop's new Music Director John Morris Russell is looking forward to Christmas in Buffalo and especially the four-concert "Holiday Pops" series at Kleinhans, Friday morning and evening December 18, Saturday evening December 19, and Sunday afternoon, December 20. He spoke with WNED about his early musical career, how much he loves Buffalo, and why arrangers are so important.

The great Wagnerian soprano, Jane Eaglen, will be one of the three judges Saturday, December 12, from 10am to 5pm when the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions come to the Nichols School in Buffalo. The public is strongly encouraged to come (it's free!) and hear the future stars of tomorrow.  Ms. Eaglen spoke with WNED from her studio in Boston.

In concerts jam packed with seasonal favorites, JoAnn Falletta conducts a Classical Christmas with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, first at the always packed "Coffee Concert" on Friday morning, Decmber 11 at 10:30am (get there early for complimentary coffee and donuts) and then Saturday night, December 12 at 8:00pm. Both concerts are at Kleinhans.  Maestro Falletta spoke with WNED about some surprises this year.

2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition medalist Beatrice Rana "owns" Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 - she played it at the Van Cliburn, she's recorded it, and now she's bringing it to Kleinhans Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Saturday, December 5 at 8pm and Sunday, December 6 at 2:30. Ms. Rana spoke from Rome about the Van Cliburn and the Piano Concerto which she describes as "apocalyptic."

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra presents their holiday concert "Traditions, Old & New" this Sunday at the Amherst Middle School, 55 Kings Hwy in Snyder, at 3pm with a pre-Concert event featuring the youngsters from Buffalo String Works at 2:15pm and a cookie reception to follow the concert.  Violinist Yuki Numata Resnick will play Vivaldi, French Hornist Marc Guy will play a Holiday Concerto, and Nicholas DelBello will conduct.  All three spoke with WNED about the event.