The BPO serves thousands of school-age children with free concerts, but what about adults? For many years, the "BPOvations" have served as popular "music appreciation" courses.
There's no doubt that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is doing more than ever before to educate young people. Since this September, the BPO has performed for over 22,000 students through Music for Youth concerts alone. But what about adults who week in and week out attend concerts? Well, there are more educational opportunities than you'd think.
For example, the BPO offers "Musically Speaking" where one hour prior to each weekend Classics concert, attendees can join a guest speaker in the Main Hall at Kleinhans for a discussion of the evening’s performance. There are Master Classes where visiting concert artists work one-on-one with students in front of an audience. There's the Buffalo Philharmonic Fantasy Camp where adult amateur musicians join the musicians of the BPO in a day-long experience that culminates in a side-by-side concert onstage at Kleinhans. There are "Informally Formal" concerts at Canisius College. There are "Know the Score" concerts where a single work, say Beethoven's 5th Symphony, is broken down and put back together in a complete performance. And, there are "BPOvations" where BPO conductors, musicians, or staff travel to three local libraries for free adult education.
The next BPOvation lecture series will feature BPO Associate Principal Bassist, Brett Shurtliffe, with his double bass, talking about "The Three Bs of Classical Music - Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms" at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries, Monday March 20th at 12:00 noon at the Downtown branch, the same day at 6:30 p.m. at the Orchard Park library, and Monday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Amherst Audubon library. All BPOvation talks are free and open to the public.
In a conversation with WNED|WBFO's Peter Hall, Shurtliffe tells how the same note on the musical staff will be played differently depending on whether it's in a piece of music composed by Bach, Beethoven, or by Brahms. And moving into the 20th century, some of the sounds are even "barbaric!"