Guest Conductor, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Camp
Principal Conductor, Ulster Orchestra; Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center, and Music Advisor to the Hawaii Symphony. She has been acclaimed 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."
Falletta has guest conducted over 100 orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the National Symphony at Wolf Trap, the RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), the New Japan Philharmonic, the Mexico Symphony Philharmonic, the National Orchestras of Peru, Columbia and Iceland; debut performances in Belgrade, Gothenburg, Lima, Bogotá, Helsingborg, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's; a European tour with the Stuttgart Orchestra; return engagements with the Warsaw, Detroit, Phoenix, and Krakow Symphony Orchestras; and a 13-city United States tour with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with James Galway.
Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble. She has since been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. The orchestra has become one of the leading recording orchestras for Naxos and returned twice to Carnegie Hall, first in 2004 after a 20-year absence, and again in 2013 as part of the Spring for Music Festival. In 2018, the BPO made their first international tour in three decades, to perform at Warsaw's prestigious Beethoven Easter Festival where Falletta made history as the first American women conductor to lead an orchestra at the Festival. Other accomplishments include the establishment of the orchestra's Beau Fleuve label, the founding of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in partnership with WNED, and the national and international broadcast of concerts on NPR's Performance Today and SymphonyCast and the European Broadcasting Union.
With a discography of 115 titles, Falletta is a leading recording artist for Naxos. Her discs have won two GRAMMY® Awards and received ten nominations. In 2018, Naxos released four recordings with Falletta: Wagner: Music from Der Ring del Nibelugen with the BPO; Franz Schreker: The Birthday of the Infanta—Suite with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kodaly: Concerto for Orchestra with the BPO; and her fifth world-premiere recording of music of Kenneth Fuchs with the London Symphony. Upcoming albums include Respighi's Rome Trilogy with the BPO to be released by Naxos in February 2019.
Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has served as a Member of the National Council on the Arts, and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards. She has introduced over 500 works by American composers, including well over 100 world premieres.
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.
She received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School of Music, and her master's and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School. When not on the podium, Falletta enjoys writing, cycling, and yoga, and is an avid reader.