JoAnn Falletta has a rapidly growing international reputation as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader. An effervescent and exuberant figure on the podium, she has been praised by The Washington Post as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.” Acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” she serves as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland (the first American and the first woman to lead the Orchestra), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center.
Highlights of her recent international guest conducting appearances include the Warsaw National Philharmonic, Kraków Philharmonic, Orchestra National de Belgique, Seoul Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan), Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestra of Asturias (Spain), Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National De Lyon, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Falletta has guest conducted over 100 orchestras in North America, including the orchestras of Philadelphia, Detroit, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Houston, Rochester, Utah, Edmonton, Quebec and the National Symphony.
She is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, the coveted Stokowski Competition, and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards for conducting, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra League’s prestigious John S. Edwards Award. She is an ardent champion of music of our time, introducing over 400 works by American composers, including more than 100 world premieres. Hailing her as a “leading force for the music of our time,” she was honored with her 10th ASCAP award in 2008. Falletta serves as a Member of the National Council on the Arts.
The Buffalo Philharmonic, which celebrated its 75th Anniversary Season, last year, will release three new recordings, and record a fourth this season and has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in May 2013, as part of the Spring for Music Festival. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP presented the BPO with a 2010–2011 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and second place nationally for Programming of Contemporary Music.
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 returned to recording, releasing 12 discs on the NAXOS label over the course of 10 years, earning two Grammy Awards and five Grammy nominations, and making the BPO one of the leading orchestras for the Naxos label and one of the most frequently recorded orchestras in the country. The BPO recently released a disc of works by Gershwin and record music of Duke Ellington for the Naxos label.
The Virginia Symphony’s 2011–12 season was highlighted by the Orchestra’s first CD for the NAXOS label with a collection of five pieces, including two world premieres, by composer Adolphus Hailstork.
Falletta received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York, and her master’s and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School.