The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra opened a weekend of music on March 8 with a Coffee Concert Series performance that featured guest conductor Leon Botstein and clarinetist Anthony McGIll.

The program began with the “Symphony No 8 in B minor” by Franz Schubert, also known as the Unfinished Symphony and includes only two movements instead of the usual four found in a symphony.

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After a short break to reset the stage, New York Philharmonic Orchestra principal clarinet player Anthony McGill took the stage for a performance of Aaron Copeland’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra” in two distinctly different movements.

While the first movement – Slowly and Expressively – features a gorgeous melody, the second movement – Rather Fast – was more like a cross between “Rhapsody in Blue” and a Benny Goodman solo that had people moving in their seats. Not constrained by a chair, McGill used his body to help accent the notes as he played.

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Along with numerous performances as a guest performer with orchestras around the world, McGill also performed as a part of President Barack Obama’s inauguration with Israeli violinist Itzak Perlman.

After the intermission, the BPO returned to perform the “Symphony NO 2 in C major, Op 61” by German composer Robert Schumann.

The BPO repeated the performance of Saturday night.

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