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BPO strives for wider appeal

Photo from BPO Website

Some symphony orchestras in the U.S. have been struggling financially.  The Philadelphia Orchestra filed for bankruptcy this past year.  Other orchestras,  like Chicago and Atlanta, have dealt with labor disputes.  But the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra ended its fiscal year this past summer with a balanced budget.

WBFO's Eileen Buckley asked BPO music director JoAnn Falletta about the success.

Falletta gives credit to the BPO's executive director Dan Hart and the board of directors for leading in a sound fiscal direction and performances that continue to attract audiences.

"They are the model of excellence when it comes to the board, Dan Hart as well as our executive director," said Falletta.  " I look at these other orchestras that are in trouble and they always say it is financial.  I think the financial part is a symptom, but the real problem is they lost their way. The boards are not providing the stewardship they need."

The BPO also works to play a variety of programs and performances for a wider appeal.  Falletta said they play for all of Western New York.

"We love playing Shostakovich and Beethoven, but we also love playing pop concerts, rock concerts," said Falletta.  "We play for our community, and we are here for our community."

Falletta said she believes the Orchestra belongs to the people of Buffalo.   She reminds us the BPO was started as a federal Works Progress Administration program in 1935.   

"And it has made us really value where we are.  I love it here I can't imagine a better place to play music," said Falletta.