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BPO's Falletta signs for another five years

WBFO News photo by Michael Mroziak

By Michael Mroziak


Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director JoAnn Falletta has a new five year contract.

At a special gathering of BPO musicians, staff, Board, donors and volunteers, Board of Trustees Chair Cindy Abbott Letro announced Wednesday a new contract with Falletta.

The BPO also announced it has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2013 and released information on the program schedule for the 2011-12.

Letro said Falletta has agreed to a new contract that will guarantee her leadership through the 2015-2016 season.

"As we finish a year celebrating the glorious history of the BPO over the past 75 years, our attention is now turned to the future. We can think of no better way to begin the next chapter in the life of the BPO than with another five years under the leadership of Maestro Falletta. We have a great opportunity to give new life to the orchestra and our Board is fully committed to securing a bright future for the organization with Maestro Falletta's direction," said Letro.

"I am delighted to be continuing my relationship with the musicians of the Buffalo Philharmonic, with executive director Daniel Hart and with our board and staff. In difficult times for orchestras, the BPO has emerged as a beacon of artistic and administrative excellence. I am excited that we will spend the next five years together, representing the City of Buffalo and Western New York on the highest musical level. On a personal level I am very happy to continue to live and work in a city I deeply love, and to be a part of an exciting future with our extraordinary BPO family," said Falletta.

The BPO also announced its return to Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 as a participant in the prestigious Spring for Music festival.

This will be the orchestra's 24th appearance at Carnegie Hall and its first since Falletta led the orchestra in a much heralded appearance there in June 2004.

Spring for Music is a new annual festival featuring North American orchestras and chamber orchestras performing creative, stimulating, and adventurous programs.

"We are deeply honored to be included in the Spring for Music festival in 2013. There is no doubt an appearance at Carnegie Hall represents the ultimate achievement in artistic goals and is yet another exciting opportunity for us to represent Western New York and all it has to offer culturally. I know the orchestra will make all of us proud as we prepare for this important performance," said Falletta.

The BPO also announced its 2011-12 Season:

Opening with Carmina Burana and closing with Mahler's monumental Third Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 2011-2012 M&T Bank Classics Season is full of old favorites and new surprises. Many of the composers and pieces featured in this season regularly find their way onto the "Classical Top 40" lists - including five masterpieces which made WNED's most recent "Top 40" list (Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, Carmina Burana, the Beethoven Violin Concerto, Handel's Water Music and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto - with the "New World" being ranked the most popular Classical piece).

Strings take center stage on more than half of the Classics programs - whether violin, cello or classical guitar: Joshua Bell performs the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Mark O'Connor returns for a program of American Masters including his Improvised Concerto. The season also has a decidedly "Buffalo" tinge to it with Buffalo native Jason Vieaux making his BPO debut as classical guitar soloist on December 3 & 4; Buffalo composer Paul Moravec offers the world premiere of his Montserrat Concerto - featuring the BPO's own Roman Mekinulov as cello soloist; Concertmaster Michael Ludwig and Associate Concertmaster Amy Glidden are featured as soloists; and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Doreen Rao, Music Director, appear on four programs including the opening and closing concerts, A Classical Christmas, and Haydn's Creation.

Something old, something new, something for everyone! The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 2011-2012 BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Pops Season featurestraditional and the contemporary this season, everything from the big band sounds of Glenn Miller Orchestra to the modern jazz of Chris Botti. Broadway is featured on no less than four concerts - Opening Night with Idina Menzel (of the original cast of Rent and Wicked); John Pizzarelli performing the music of Buffalo's own Harold Arlen; an evening of songs from rock-inspired hit musicals - Broadway Rocks! and the closing Pops Goes the Season! Also included are the 50s folk stylings of the Kingston Trio, Radiance performing the music of the Women of Motown, Magical Music from Disney Movies, JoAnn Falletta conducting our Duke Ellington Festival and Western New York's #1 Holiday Tradition - First Niagara Holiday Pops.

You can click on the above audio to hear a short piece of music performed by the BPO Tuesday morning at the Orchestra's announcement.