JoAnn Falletta


Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate of the Virginia Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center, and Conductor Laureate of the Hawaii Symphony. She was recently named one of the “Fifty Great Conductors,” past and present, by Gramophone Magazine, and is hailed for her work as a conductor, recording artist, audience builder, and champion of American composers.

As Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, and has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to an unprecedented level of national and international prominence. The Buffalo Philharmonic has become one of the leading recording orchestras for Naxos, with two GRAMMY Award-winning recordings.

Internationally, Falletta has conducted many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, and South America, including recent and upcoming concerts in Spain, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, and Croatia. Her recent and upcoming North American guest conducting includes the National Symphony, the orchestras of Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, Nashville, Indianapolis, Houston, Toronto, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Quebec, and a concert at Alice Tully Hall with her alma mater, The Juilliard Orchestra. In 2022, she led the National Symphony in two PBS televised specials for New Year’s Eve and the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center, and made her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at the Tanglewood Music Center.

With a discography of over 125 titles, Falletta is a leading recording artist for Naxos. She has won two individual GRAMMY Awards, including the 2021 GRAMMY Award for Best Choral Performance as conductor of the world premiere Naxos recording, Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua. In 2019, she won her first individual GRAMMY Award as conductor of the London Symphony in the Best Classical Compendium category for Spiritualist, her fifth world premiere recording of the music of Kenneth Fuchs. Her Naxos recording of John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan received two GRAMMYs in 2008. Her 2020 Naxos recording of orchestral music of Florent Schmitt with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award. Her 2023-24 releases for Naxos include a new recording of orchestral works of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály– Hary Janos, Symphony and Summer Evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and a recording of concertos by Copland, Creston, Kay, and Piston with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic and soloists Anna Mattix (oboe) and Tim McAllister (saxophone). Last season, Naxos released two highly praised albums with Falletta and the BPO, Alexander Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy and Symphony No. 2, and a recording of two concertos by award-winning American composers, Danny Elfman’s violin concerto Eleven Eleven performed by Sandy Cameron, and Adolphus Hailstork’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Stewart Goodyear.

Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has served by presidential appointment as a Member of the National Council on the Arts during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. She has conducted over 1,600 orchestral works by 600-plus composers, including over 125 works by women. Credited with performing more than 150 world premieres, ASCAP honored her as “a leading force for music of our time.” In 2019, JoAnn was named Performance Today’s first Classical Woman of The Year, calling her a “tireless champion,” and lauding her “unique combination of artistic authority and compassion, compelling musicianship and humanity.”

Falletta is a strong advocate and mentor for young professional and student musicians. She has led seminars for women conductors for the League of American Orchestras, and established a unique collaboration between the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Mannes College of Music to give up-and-coming conductors professional experience with a leading American orchestra. In 2018, she served on the jury of the Malko Competition in Denmark. She has had great success working with young musicians, guest conducting orchestras at top conservatories and summer programs such as Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Interlochen, and Brevard Music Center, and as Artistic Advisor at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Falletta has held the positions of Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, Music Director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra and The Women’s Philharmonic.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at Mannes, Falletta received master’s and doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School. When not on the podium, JoAnn enjoys playing classical guitar, writing, cycling, yoga, and is an avid reader.