Classical music is often thougtht to be soothing and relaxing. There have even been occasions when the music produced on the stage has lulled a concert goer to sleep.

But such cannot be said of a concert with Rebecca Miler behind the baton. While she calls California home, Miller has enthralled audiences around the world with her unique and energetic style of conducting.

On February 23 and 24 Miller was the guest conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Schumann and Beethoven concert.

Going far beyond just waving the baton, Miller made sweeping movements with her arms, moved up and down with the beat, and even jumped up and down as she conducted in a performance worthy of an aerobic workout. While not cartoony, Miller brought visions of a rabbit bouncing up and down.

The BPO opened the concert with “Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56A” by Johannes Brahms.

After a short break to reset the stage wit the grand piano for a guest performance, Julliard School of Music graduate Fei-Fei Dong gave a masterful performance of the “Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 54” by Robert Schumann. As expected from a student from the Julliard School of Music, Dong was a technical master; but she was also very passionate in her performance and expressed feeling as her fingers sometimes glided and at other times flew across the keyboard with a light touch.

For an encore, Dong performed the “Turkish March” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

After the intermission, Miller and the BPO returned to the stage for a rousing performance of “Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60” by Ludwig von Beethoven.

With Rebecca Miller taking the podium for the Schumann and Beethoven concert with the BPO, it was a musical event filled with sights and sounds.

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