Classical 94.5 WNED Interviews

This weekend, Buffalo begins "Finnfest," the citywide celebration of Finnish music and architecture, as we mark the Saarinen-designed Kleinhans Music Hall's 75th anniversary and the 150th birthday of Finland's musical icon, Jean Sibelius.  The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has invited one of Finland's stars of the piano, Juho Pohjonen, who will perform the beloved piano concerto of Norway's Edvard Grieg. Juho spoke to WNED from his home in Finland.

The Amherst Chamber Ensembles (ACE) celebrate 20 years of music making with a 3 p.m. concert this Sunday, October 4th featuring beloved music by Mendelssohn, Barber, and Bizet. The concert will be at the Norh Presbyterian Church, 300 North Forest Road in Williamsville. ACE Music Director Dr. Thomas Witakowski and soprano (and violinist) Leslie Bahler get inside the music in this conversation with WNED.  

The Buffalo Chamber Players (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and friends) have a new home - the Albright Knox Art Gallery at 1285 Elmwood Avenue - and their inaugural concert will be Thursday, October 1 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium. The gallery is open during concerts and tickets may be purchased through the AK website. WNED spoke with BCP Artistic Director Janz Castelo about both the history of performance in that space and Thursday's program spanning 400 years of music from the 1700s to the past few years.

The exciting young Toronto pianist Stewart Goodyear brings his formidable stamina to two legendary works: Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.  Starting at 3:15 p.m. in Walter Hall in the Edward F. Johnson Building on Sunday, September 27, Stewart will show that these works should not be put on a pedestal to be revered but should be listened to. He recently spoke to WNED.



The Albrights and a reunited Babik join the BPO for an exciting symphonic mash-up of indie rock, cutting-edge classical and Gypsy jazz! The after-party features Verve Dance Studios and a DJ. Stefan Sanders conducts the music collaboration of the year. A free beverage and slice of pizza are included with the very affordable admission. Thursday night, September 24th at 8pm. WNED spoke with Stefan Sanders and found out more.

 We tend to put classical composers on pedestals, but they were living, breathing men very much struggling to get along in the world as much as anyone. This weekend, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra (with narrator and soloists) presents "Mozart the Hero, Mozart the Legend" including favorite excerpts, some clips from the film "Amadeus," and the complete Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Two performances: Friday September 18 at 7:30 at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church and Sunday, September 20 at 4:00 at King Concert Hall, SUNY Fredonia.  Artistic Director Glen Cortese spoke with WNED about what made Mozart tick.

Buffalo audiences have watched her grow up on various stages throughout WNY and this Sunday afternoon 21-year-old soprano Emily Helenbrook takes a day off from studying at the Eastman School of Music to sing a recital of music by Wolf, Berg, Satie, Mozart, and more. The first “Friends of Vienna” recital of the new season begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Avenue, one block south of Gates Circle. Emily spoke with WNED about her new voice coach and her plans for life after Eastman.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra kicks off its new season with an all-Rachmaninoff concert featuring superstar pianist Lang Lang playing the beloved Piano Concerto No. 2.  BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta has brought Lang Lang to Buffalo before, and talks about his spontaneity, his physicality, and his down-to-earth manner with his audience.

 The Westben Music Festival presents "Music from the Sistine Chapel" Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m. with Montreal's Studio de Music Ancienne conducted by Christopher Jackson at "The Barn" on Campbellford Road in Campbellford Ontario.  WNED spoke with Jackson about Palestrina, Allegri, Tallis, and Monteverdi and why audiences love this music from 400 years ago.

Toronto-born pianist Stewart Goodyear makes his home in Philadelphia (he is, after all, a graduate of the Curtis Institute) but he's coming back to Ontario, to play J.S. Bach's monumental keyboard solo work - The Goldberg Variations. That work is now a standard in the repertoire primarily because of another Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. Goodyear will perform at the Westben Arts Festival located on County Road 30 just outside of Cambellford, Ontario, Sunday July 19 at 2 p.m.

The Westben Arts Festival has a vibrant summer musical lineup, including Analekta recording artist Valerie Milot, harp, and her life partner, Antoine Bareil, violin, who bring an intimate evening of favorite classics to "The Barn" 6698 County Road 30 North in Campbellford, Ontario, Thursday, July 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.  The couple recently spoke to WNED.

JoAnn Falletta's only local appearance this summer will be Monday, July 20th at the Shaw Festival, featuring Marko Topchii, winner of the 2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition and Atis Bankas, violinist and artistic director of Music Niagara, featuring music by Rodrigo, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Rossini. WNED recently spoke with the guitarist at home in Ukraine.

The Roycroft Chamber Music Festival wraps up this weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13, with both concerts at 8 at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in East Aurora. Friday's concert includes the exciting Mozart G minor Piano Quartet and Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Tale" with seven BPO musicians. Saturday night features music by Schubert, Debussy, and Dvorak. Once again, guest cellist Michelle Djokic spoke with WNED.


It's called "null point 7. Decay/Reverberate: Site-Specific Sound at Silo City" and Colin Tucker (studying composition at UB) along with friends is putting on a four-day event at Silo City on Childs Street (aka Silo City Row) sponsored by UB's Center for 21st Century Music. Programs start on Thursday, June 11 at 7:30pm and while there will be performances all weekend, you can come anytime and enjoy the installations.  There's also a "sound walk" through the Old First Ward on Saturday at 2:30. For a schedule, simply Google "null point 7." Colin Tucker spoke with WNED.

Nickel City Opera presents Mozart's ever popular "The Marriage of Figaro" with Metropolitan Opera Baritone Valerian Ruminski as Figaro and soprano Amy Grable as Susannah, the object of not just Figaro's affection but, unfortunately, also Count Almaviva's! This puts the plot into motion and along the way we hear some gorgeous music, including the "Sull'Aria" made famous in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption." Sung in Italian with English supertitles there are two performances at the Riviera Theatre: Friday, June 26th at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 28th at 2:30pm.  Amy Grable spoke with WNED.

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