One of the most impressive female conductors on the gamut, JoAnn Falletta has recorded over 100 works, served as guest conductor with over 100 orchestras in North America and prestigious orchestras across Europe, as she continues to support and encourage music education for young students.
JoAnn Falletta studied classical guitar in her undergraduate studies at Mannes College in New York City and received her Doctorate in conducting from Juilliard in 1989. Since then, she has performed, recorded, and conducted her way through the international scene winning two Grammys and being nominated for 10 more.
Notable posts she has held include Associate Conductor of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from 1985 until 1988, Music Director of Queen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1978-1988, Denver Symphony Orchestra from 1983 until 1992 and the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic from 1986 until 1996.
In 1989 she served as Music Director of Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and in 1992 was the first woman to conduct the Nationaltheater in Mannheim.
In 1991, JoAnn Falletta was appointed Music Director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for whom she is credited for expanding their series to pops and family concerts in the region as well as debut performances with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The group has recorded on Naxos at the Virginia Arts Festival featuring the repertoire of Mahler and Stravinsky. The Virginia Symphony, under her leadership, is close to being the most recorded orchestra in North America, including two Grammys.
In 1998, Falletta became Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. JoAnn Falletta has premiered more than 60 works and as guest conductor, she has conducted the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and more. Her international visits include London Symphony Orchestra with whom she recorded with at the renowned Abbey Road Studios.
Falletta has won many ASCAP awards for innovative programming within the orchestras she conducted and led. She has also led seminars for the League of American Orchestras on women conductors and was noted as one of the first conductors to work with Orchestra Now.
Her recorded discography totals over 100 titles with repertoire of Scriabin, Stravinsky, Wagner, Marx, Fuchs, and more. Occasionally, you’ll find JoAnn put the baton aside to play guitar, mandolin or lute with New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, American Ballet Orchestra and has several critically acclaimed guitar recordings. “...one of the finest conductors of her generation” - The New York Times
“Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.” - The Washington Post
Header image by Cheryl Gorski