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Classical Music
If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

JoAnn Falletta, American conductor and advocate for women composers


When JoAnn Falletta matriculated at Mannes College of Music as a guitar major, she had already set her sights on the conductor’s podium. Despite the administration’s doubts that a woman could be a Music Director, they changed her major, and Falletta never looked back. Now many years into her career as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta never lost her love of guitar, establishing an international competition in 2004.

Falletta accepted her first individual GRAMMY Award on Feb 10, 2019 for Best Classical Compendium for the recording of Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush with the London Symphony Orchestra. The album (Naxos: 8.558924) which was released in August 2018 features music of Falletta's long-time friend and composer Kenneth Fuchs.

Learn more about her career, her biography and her discography.

Hear JoAnn talk to kids about what it's like to be a conductor.

Credit https://bpo.org/

In 2020, JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass & Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J'Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann & Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus & UCLA Chamber Singers) won a Grammy Award in the Best Choral Performance for Richard Danielpour's The Passion of Yeshua.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.