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JoAnn Falletta, the Ulster Orchestra’s newly-appointed Principal Conductor
9 May 2011
Ulster Orchestra Appoints New Principal Conductor
The Ulster Orchestra announced today (9 May) the appointment of its new Principal Conductor - the leading American conductor, JoAnn Falletta. The announcement was made as Ms Falletta took to the Ulster Hall stage to conduct the Orchestra at the launch of its new concert programme for the 2011-2012 Season.
Described by The New York Times as ‘one of the finest conductors of her generation,’ the Grammy Award Winning Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, New York, will have eight engagements with the Ulster Orchestra this season. This will include five of its main season concert programme and regional concerts and other events in the first year of her three-season contract.
Having flown in from the United States this morning JoAnn Falletta said, “The Ulster Orchestra is one of the great orchestra’s of these islands and has been a cornerstone of cultural life here in good times and bad for many, many years now. It is a huge honour for me to become its Principal Conductor.”
Hailed as a ‘leading force for the music of our time’ by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, she conducted the Ulster Orchestra for the first time last year during the BBC’s Summer Invitation Concerts. Ms Falletta said
that it had been nothing short of a ‘wonderful experience’. “I loved the
The Ulster Orchestra’s mission is to ‘enrich life through music’, which Ms Falletta agrees is vital in this day and age. “In a global community where solutions will be found through creativity, ingenuity and imagination, I believe that music holds the key to nurturing the values that will help us find answers to our challenges. I am looking forward to playing my part in furthering the orchestra’s mission and making Northern Ireland my home away from home,” she said.
Making the announcement, the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Executive, Declan McGovern said, “We have within our ranks some of the most talented musicians you’ll find in any orchestra in Ireland and UK. Bringing JoAnn Falletta into the mix as our Principal Conductor, an inspiring artistic leader with an international reputation and great track record, will not only continue to help the Ulster Orchestra to reach new heights, but new audiences as well.”
JoAnn Falletta has conducted many of the finest symphony orchestras around the world. As the Ulster Orchestra’s 12th Principal Conductor, she is the first female to be appointed and first American to hold the position since the orchestra’s inception in 1966. As the UO’s Principal Conductor she joins a distinguished list of conductors of international standing from Russia, Switzerland and China that have also included Vernon Handley, Yan Pascal Tortelier and most recently the Belfast-born conductor, Kenneth Montgomery.
Tamás Kocsis, the Leader of Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra welcomed the new appointment, “I had the pleasure of working with JoAnn in America and I am very much looking forward to working with her again
JoAnn Falletta will conduct the Ulster Orchestra for the first time, as part of its new season, at a special pre-season Taster Concert in the Ulster Hall on Wednesday 21 September. Tickets for all concerts go on sale on 18 July 2011.