Buffalo Philharmonic’s rising fortunes mirror those of its city

Posted on: October 27, 2016

“JoAnn Falletta, the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, stood outside Kleinhans Music Hall here at dusk one recent Saturday and pointed to the brick exterior,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Wednesday’s (10/26) New York Times. “ ‘When I got here,’ she said, ‘there was graffiti all over this, and the glass was broken.’ That was in the late 1990s, when many assumed that Buffalo and its orchestra were both pretty much finished. Declines in industry and population had decimated this once-thriving city and starved its largest classical music institution.… Nearly two decades later, the orchestra has proved its viability.… The Philharmonic has balanced its budget in 11 of the past 12 years.… The ensemble has also diligently worked in recent years to increase its endowment.… The Buffalo musicians received permission from their union last month to sign an unusually long (six-year) contract.… Taking advantage of the Buffalo orchestra’s beefy, red-blooded sound, [Falletta] and the players have made an unlikely recording specialty of sumptuous late-Romantic rarities.” Also discussed are the orchestra’s expanding role in the community, the challenges of filling the 2,400-seat Kleinhans Music Hall, and details of the ensemble’s endowment campaign.

Posted October 27, 2016

Pictured: JoAnn Falletta leads the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall. Photo by Brendan Bannon / The New York Times