In March the musicians of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), members of Local 92 (Buffalo, NY), went on international tour for the first time in 30 years, and only the second time ever. The tour to Poland was a result of BPOs friendship with composer/conductor Krzysztof Penderecki and Beethoven Easter Festival founder and artistic director Elzbieta Penderecka. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta, a member of Local 125 (Norfolk, VA), had met them while guest-conducting in Krakow. In December 2016, Penderecki led a BPO concert. Soon after, Penderecka invited BPO to perform at the 11-day Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw. This year’s Festival celebrated Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. The orchestra also gave sold-out performances in Wroclaw, Lublin, and Katowice.
A group of about 30 BPO patrons took part in a special tour, attending the concert in Warsaw, then visiting Krakow and Prague. A brass and wind octet strengthened ties with Buffalo sister city Rzeszow by performing there. They also gave a masterclass and performance at the Penderecki Center in Lusalwice.