The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's return to Carnegie Hall serves as the backdrop to its 2012-2013 season, but to music director JoAnn Falletta, it goes beyond that.
The BPO's traditional classics season includes guest appearances by the likes of Sir James Galway, famed pianist Joyce Yang, banjo player Bela Fleck while its Pops series will see singers Wynonna Judd, Johnny Mathis and Ronan Tynan returning.
"It's going to be a fun season and a diverse one," Falletta said.
Falletta concedes that the BPO's Carnegie Hall concert, set for May 8, 2013, will dominate the season.
"I'm sure from our first rehearsal in September, everyone will be thinking about Carnegie," she said. "It's the biggest step to take."
The BPO last played the famed New York concert hall eight years ago and drew rave reviews.
The weekend before the New York shows, the BPO will play the same program in Kleinhans Music Hall. The orchestra will be performing Giya Kancheli's "Morning Prayers" and Gliere Reinhold Gliere's "Symphony No. 3."
Musically, the season provides a healthy mix of newer pieces with older ones composed by the likes of Mahler, Mozart and Beethoven.
The BPO will present world premiere's of Eric Ewazen's "Triple Trombone Concerto" on Nov. 16 and Geoffrey Gordn's "Flute Concerto" on April 5.
The Gliere symphony along with a pair of George Gershwin pieces, "Catfish Row" and "Overture to 'Strike up the Band'" are being recorded for the orchestra contract with the Naxos label.
Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtuskenko will read some of his poems against the orchestra playing two Shostakovich pieces on Nov. 2.
"There is a Russian thread next season," Falletta said. "But, their pieces are so dramatic and filled with such drama, the audience responds well to them."
Falletta is also bringing rarely heard pieces to Kleinhans Music Hall next season including Rosza's "Hungarian Nocturne" and Goldmark's "Violin Concerto in A Minor" that features concertmaster Michael Ludwig.
The classics season begins on Sept. 22 with Galway as the featured performer and runs through June 2. The Pops season starts on Sept. 29 with Judd's performance and concludes on June 8.