JoAnn Falletta is internationally celebrated 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, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras. This year, she will make return engagements with the Krakow Philharmonic in Poland and the Goettingen Symphony in Germany, and debuts with the Czech Philharmonic and Croatia National Philharmonic.
Highlights of her recent international guest conducting appearances include her South American debut with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile in Santiago Chile, and performances with orchestras of Philadelphia, Detroit, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Houston, Rochester, Utah, Edmonton, Quebec and the National Symphony. Ms. Falletta’s summer activities have taken her to numerous music festivals including the Brevard Festival in North Carolina, where she is in her second season as Principal Guest Conductor, Aspen, Tanglewood, Hollywood Bowl, Grand Teton, Wolf Trap, Eastern Music, Cabrillo, OK Mozart International, Lanaudiere, Peter Britt, Breckenridge, Brevard and Interlochen, among others. She is also Artistic Adviser to the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra which was founded last year.
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 has been honored with eleven ASCAP awards. Ms. Falletta serves as a Member of the National Council on the Arts.
Under her direction, the Buffalo Philharmonic is continuing its trajectory as one of the most recorded orchestras in America with the release of two new Naxos CDs in the 2012-13 season, Tyberg’s Symphony No. 2 and Gershwin’s Catfish Row, Rhapsody in Blue, Strike up the Band and Promenade, and the recording of its 16th Naxos disc, Gliere’s Symphony No 3. Performance highlights include a concert at Carnegie Hall in May 2013, as part of the Spring for Music Festival, and the Orchestra’s debut at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
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 has become one of the leading orchestras for the Naxos label, earning two Grammy Awards and five Grammy nominations. This season, the BPO will once again be featured on national broadcasts of NPR’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast, and international broadcasts through the European Broadcasting Union.
The Virginia Symphony’s 2012-13 season will be highlighted by a Stravinsky Festival with a performance by the VSO and the Richmond Ballet of The Rite of Spring on the exact date of the 100th anniversary of its world premier, and a recording of Stravinsky’s Les Noces. In 2012, the Orchestra made their first CD for the Naxos label with a collection of five pieces, including two world premieres, by composer Adolphus Hailstork.
As Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra Falletta will make her Proms debut in Royal Albert Hall in August 2012, and will conduct many of the main season programs, select regional concerts and other events. In November 2013, she will lead the Orchestra in a US tour with flute soloist, Sir James Galway. She is the first American and the first woman to lead the Orchestra. The orchestra has a unique exclusive broadcast partnership with BBC, under which its concerts are recorded and streamed for internet broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, Radio Ulster and BBC TV. Under Falletta’s leadership, the Ulster Orchestra entered into an exciting new multi-year recording relationship with Naxos. The first disc, to be released in June 2012, includes works of Gustav Holst, with upcoming discs to feature works of Moeran and Boyle.
Maestro Falletta is having an extraordinary recording year. With 18 Naxos discs released under her baton in the past ten years garnering nine Grammy nominations and two Grammy Awards, she is scheduled to see four additional recordings with four different orchestras released in 2012; an exceptional accomplishment in the current recording environment. These include Naxos’ thirteenth disc featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Gershwin), the first of three discs with the Ulster Orchestra (Gustav Holst), the 1st Naxos recording with the Virginia Symphony (Adolphus Hailstork), and a world premiere recording with the London Symphony (Kenneth Fuchs). In the past ten years, her recordings for Naxos have garnered nine Grammy nominations, including two Grammy awards in 2009 for John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man with the BPO. Maestro Falletta’s growing discography, which currently includes almost 70 titles, consists of recordings with the London Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Czech National Symphony, Philadelphia Philharmonia and Women’s Philharmonic, among others.
Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York, her master’s and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School, and has been awarded twelve honorary doctorates.