JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmic Orchestra, has been with the Buffalo Orchestra for the past eleven years. She is already the longest tenured music director in the orchestra’s 75-year history. Adding to that tenure, she has just signed a five-year contract to continue as Director through the 2015-2016 season. Her salary is reported to be in the $300,000 range.
The orchestra has had great success, even in these economic times, which is not the case with the philharmonic orchestras in other cities such as Detroit, Michigan. Buffalo’s orchestra has managed to tighten its belt by cutting staff, freezing wages and monitoring the funds it spends on programming and soloists. Dan Hart, BPO Executive Director and JoAnn Falletta both took a 10% decrease in salary and pledged $50,000 apiece to bolster the orchestra.
Another piece of good news is that the orchestra has been invited to return to Carnegie Hall in May 2013 to be part of a new Spring for Music Festival. The competition for this honor was open to orchestras throughout the United States and Canada. This honor marks the twenty-fourth time that the orchestra has appeared at Carnegie Hall. During last season, they toured Florida in a multicity tour which they had not accomplished since 1988. Please click here for an in-depth look at the Florida tour.
With JoAnn Falletta at the helm, the orchestra has released 18 recordings, including 12 CDs. They have won two Grammy Awards in addition to nine Grammy nominations. The orchestra even has its own label, Beau Fleuve. Beau Fleuve, meaning beautiful water, is the name the Indians gave to the Buffalo region and from which the name Buffalo is derived.
In addition to her duties with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Falletta has been the music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for the past twenty years. However, the Buffalo Orchestra is her major commitment.
During her tenure, the orchestra’s endowment has grown, thanks to a fundraising campaign that raised more than $32 million. Private foundations have also helped out since the Arts can no longer count on government funding.
JoAnn Falletta loves Buffalo and its people. Unlike former music directors, she has embraced the community and made it her home. The New York Times has hailed her as one of the finest conductors of her generation. We look forward to her further successes with the orchestra in the next five years. Please click here to view the schedule for the 2011-2012 BPO Season.
The Buffalo News, 2-17-2011