JoAnn Falletta wins third Grammy Award for recording with London Symphony Orchestra

It's time for Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director JoAnn Falletta to make an important update to her bio: Three-time Grammy Award winner.

Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, brought home another Grammy Award Sunday – for a recording of works by the American composer Kenneth Fuchs with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The award, for best classical compendium, went to Falletta and producer Tim Handley for their 2018 record "Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush."

Falletta, who will begin her 20th year as the BPO's music director in September, won two Grammys in 2009 for John Corigliano’s "Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan" with the BPO, and has received a total of 11 nominations.

"With the Grammys, you're up against world-famous orchestras with big budgets and composers who were really well known, so it makes you feel validated," a Buffalo-bound Falletta said in a phone interview from the Los Angeles International Airport. "And the award is given by vote. The members of the academy vote. So you know your peers have selected you, and that means a lot."

The recording was the fifth on which Fuchs, Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra collaborated. The two met as students at the Juilliard School, where Falletta served as a conductor for some of Fuchs' compositions.

"I've seen him become more and more well known and more successful, but winning for this disc for him is a big, big step," she said. "It really is just a stamp of approval for a composer on a very high level."

A review of the recording from Grammophone praised the London Symphony Orchestra for performing the material "with great flair in a highly approachable idiom" and went on to say that "JoAnn Falletta understands the style perfectly."

BPO Executive Director Dan Hart praised Falletta for her achievement and expressed gratitude for her commitment to Buffalo for the past two decades.

"It just confirms what a superstar we have right here in our midst," Hart said. "What's she's done is incredible here at home, and she continues to be a superstar globally, too. We're just so proud of her."

Falletta said the award is also good for Buffalo and the BPO, whose international profile is on the rise.

"This 20 years has been the best 20 years of my life, and to see the orchestra become stronger and more engaged in the community every year, that's what it's all about," Falletta said. "It's fun to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, but conducting the BPO is my life."

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