In Monday’s (2/8) Buffalo News (New York), Tom Buckham writes, “Not since Michael Tilson Thomas wielded the baton in the 1970s has the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performed in Florida. The more than three-decade-long interval between appearances will end next month when the orchestra jets off for a weeklong tour of five Sunshine State cities planned with the help of orchestra supporters who are now full-time or seasonal Florida residents. The Florida Friends Tour will kick off with a gala dinner and concert March 12 in Fort Lauderdale and continue with performances March 13 in Daytona Beach, March 15 in Vero Beach and March 16 in Sarasota before winding up March 18 in Gainesville. Three years in the making, the Florida Friends Tour, featuring pianist Fabio Bidini as guest artist, will serve as the overture to the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebration this fall. … Though tours have been few and far between in recent years, largely because of budget constraints, they can and should be ‘an integral part of the [orchestra’s] artistic development’ said JoAnn Falletta, music director. … This will be the Philharmonic’s first multiple-city tour since a 1988 European trip under Semyon Bychkov.”

Posted February 11, 2010