Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

JoAnn Falletta
Kleinhans Music Hall by JoAnn Falletta
Kleinhans Music Hall painted by JoAnn Falletta

Since stepping up to the podium as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall of 1999, Maestro Falletta has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. Under her direction, the Buffalo Philharmonic is continuing its trajectory as one of the most recorded orchestras in America. In 2013, Naxos released three new BPO CDs, Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown, and Beige, Gershwin’s Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, Strike up the Band and Promenade and Tyberg’s Symphony No. 2. Recordings of music of Bela Bartok and Gliere’s Symphony No. 3, performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall as part of the 2013 Spring for Music Festival, will be released by Naxos in the coming months. Performance highlights include a six-concert Florida tour in February 2014. 
Falletta and Michael Ludwig, BPO Concertmaster
Falletta and Michael Ludwig, BPO Concertmaster   (Photo: John Lindberg)
In 2009, for the first time in its history, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra won not one, but two prestigious Grammy awards. The BPO won Grammys for the Best Classical Performance and Best Classical Composition for its John Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan; Three Hallucinations CD, which was released in 2008. Additional accomplishments include six other Grammy nominated discs, numerous ASCAP awards, including the top award for Adventurous Programming in 2004, 2011 and 2013, acclaimed Carnegie Hall performances in 2004 and 2013, a highly successful tour of Florida in 2010, the release of recordings on the orchestra’s own Beau Fleuve label, the founding of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in partnership with WNED, numerous broadcasts on NPR’s Performance Today and Symphony Cast, international broadcasts through the European Broadcasting Union, and a national broadcast on PBS television.
By being innovative and flexible in its approach to changing economic conditions, and stressing artistic excellence, the BPO is continuing to build its reputation as one of the nation’s, and the world’s, great symphony orchestras. Under Falletta’s tenure, subscription numbers have reached record levels, the Orchestra’s budget has increased 25 percent, educational audiences have doubled, the Orchestra completed a successful $34 million endowment campaign, and the popular summer Artpark series has been reestablished. The JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto and Composition Competitions have brought international acclaim and attention to the classical guitar, the Buffalo region and the BPO.
Both on and off the podium, Falletta is a dedicated advocate for the BPO and the Buffalo region. She was named Buffalo’s most influential community leader, and Buffalo and Erie County’s Artist of the Year, and was voted a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and the Western New York Women’s Hall of Fame. Falletta has received twelve honorary doctorates, the Erie County Historical Society’s Red Jacket for outstanding community service, the Theodore Roosevelt award, the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies Award for outstanding leadership in the Tyberg Musical Legacy project and the Human Relations Award from the Buffalo/Niagara Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. Most recently, she was presented with the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, the University of Buffalo’s highest award.