I have grown up with Classical music my entire life. I attended my first concert when I was still a small child.

But after not being able to attend a concert for two years, everything seemed different…

On March 4, 2022 the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performed a program that featured Alexander Malofeev performing the “Concerto No. 3 in C Major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 26” by Sergie Prokofiev.

The program opened with a beautiful performance of the Ukrainian National Anthem and concluded with the “Symphony No. 2 in c minor, Opus 29” by Alexander Scriabin after the intermission.

Watching the musicians as they play is always a part of the concert experience; however, this time it was the focus of my attention. At times I barely heard the music as I watched the movements of the musicians hand working the bow or the ballet that was music director JoAnn Falletta’s movements as she directed the orchestra.

At 21 years old, Malofeev looked like he was barely in his teens; but controlled the piano keyboard as if he had been playing for decades. He was so familiar with the Concerto that he often times took his eyes away from the keyboard and was looking around the room. A technical master, young Alexander became more expressive with his movements the longer he played.

After retuning to the stage for three bows, Malofeev sat down to perform an encore – another piece by Prokofiev, this time excerpts from the seventh symphony.

Before beginning the program, JoAnn Falletta spoke to the crowd saying that she hoped the music hall was a place of sanctuary – a respite from from all the stress and troubles of the world.

It is often said that “music soothes the savage beast” and after the past two harrowing years of lock downs, illness and death, and uncertainty; there is a great deal of soothing needed to sooth a world of savage beasts.

Music has always been a respite for me. I not only felt safe in the music hall but reminded of what the BPO and music is all about…Joy and Peace!

A morning concert, the hall was not packed with people but it was filled with the sound of music and the joy of being able to hear it live once again.