Music at The Stanley
August 2nd 2012 · 0 Comments
Fans of classical music were in for a treat Thursday, July 26, as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra played a benefit show at The Stanley to raise money for both the Theatre and the Utica Symphony Orchestra.
Perhaps the real gem of the performance, both for The Stanley and for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, is that the show was virtually sold out, with the Theatre packed to near capacity.
Prior to the event, media and select guests were given the chance to listen to opening remarks by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta. Falletta said that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra was “delighted to get the chance to play for [Utica],” and added that the Orchestra was currently in its 76th season.
Falletta has been with the Orchestra for 11 years, working previously in such places as Milwaukee and California. She has won many prestigious conducting awards, including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s John S. Edwards Award, and the Toscanini Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards.
Falletta stated that The Stanley concert was the second venue of their three-town tour, starting in Saratoga, then Utica, and concluding in their hometown of Buffalo.
According to Falletta, the entire musical staff of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are full-time musicians, which is a feat in a suffering economy.
“This is a tough time for the arts,” she stated, while adding that music, and the presence of the Orchestra, is very important.
Falletta also introduced Concertmaster Michael Ludwig, who played lead violin during the concert. Ludwig, who has played on four continents with appearances in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Boston Pops, and the Beijing Symphony, has an impressive resume and his skill was no less remarkable during The Stanley benefit.
His work on Mozart’s “Concerto No. 5 in A Major for Violin and Orchestra” was remarkable, and had the entire Theatre in standing ovation.
In addition to Mozart’s piece, the Orchestra also played “Overture to The Bartered Bride,” by Bedřich Smetana, as well as “Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, – From the New World” by Antonín Dvořák. Falletta shared that Dvořák, from Prauge, had written this piece in NYC as a guide to his cohorts on how to write American music.
Aside from the great help of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the benefit concert was also sponsored by First Niagara Bank, Meyda Lighting, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Romano, The Community Foundation, McDonald’s and Richard and Martha Widdicombe.
For more information on upcoming shows, or to donate to The Stanley, visit www.thestanley.org, or make a $10 donation by texting “Stanley” to 50555 on your mobile phone.
By Mark Ziobro