On April 26 and 27 the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra featured two debut performances and a piano concerto with a guest pianist and a guest conductor.
The program opened with a Classic Series debut of the Romantic era composer Antonin Dvorak in a lively performance of “Heldenlied” – Heroic Song.
Maltan born guest conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe presented a striking pose on the conductor’s podium. A conductor who puts his entire body into his work, Olivierie-Munroe was very emphatic and larger than life with his movements in the European style of Classical music performance and almost putting on a performance of his own.
Next up was the “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” by Russian composer Aram Khachaturian with guest pianist Tanya Gabrielian. A 20th century composer, Khachaturian’s compositions are similar to that of fellow Russians Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok with dissonant and atonal melodies. Though the composition at times resembled a small child discovering a keyboard, the work was none the less demanding and Gabrielian performed it with technical perfection.
After the intermission, the BPO returned to the stage for the Classic Series debut of the Bedrich Smetana and George Szell composition “String Quartet No 1 in E minor, From My Life”. The lively composition was a fitting work to compliment the opening piece by Dvorak and surround the dissonant Khachaturian.