BPO history keeper discovers Gustav Mahler conducted Wagner work in 1910 in Buffalo

Nov 1, 2013

One of the "history keepers" of archived material for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra uncovered some very interesting material as he prepared the program notes for this weekend's performance.

WBFO's Eileen Buckley met with the Orchestra's historian Edward Yadzinski, a retired BPO musician, at his Amherst home, where he works on program guides and tracks the history of the orchestra.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's historian Edward Yadzinski in his Amherst home where he conducts some of his research.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

This weekend the Philharmonic will be saluting what would have marked the 200th birthday of opera composer Richard Wagner. 

Fifty years ago, Yadzinki first started as a young musician with the BPO after attending the Eastman School of Music. He played both the clarinet and saxophone. 

Boxes of BPO programs from past shows.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

A hard covered BPO Program book for Symphony Concert performances 1947-1948.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

After 30 years with the BPO, Yadzinski retired. He and a small group of other retired BPO members decided to volunteer for the archival project they started back in 2001.

As Yadzinski began digging through orchestra material, he discovered one of the very first BPO programs. It was from November of 1935. 

But Yadzinski also uncovered pre-BPO information that provides a history of classical music performances right here in Buffalo. He discovered that Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod was first performed in Buffalo in December of 1910 by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Gustav Mahler.   

The BPO performs Mythical Wagner Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m. and again Sunday, November 3 at 2:30 p.m.