JoAnn Falletta, Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Joins the Club

JoAnn Falletta, Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Joins the Club

You saw her guest conduct the Sarasota Orchestra last February and now she returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Monday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., courtesy of the Sarasota Concert Association, to conduct her very own orchestra, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic.
For their Florida tour, conductor JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and guest violin soloist Sandy Cameron will  present  Kodaly's Dances of Galánta, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 7. Tickets are available from the Sarasota Concert Association by going to or by calling 941-966-6161.
JoAnn joins Robyn on the podcast this week to talk about her shift from guitar player to conductor, the incredible amount of organization involved in taking a symphony orchestra on tour, and just which movie gets her vote: Tár or Mr. Holland's Opus?
All that and more on this week's episode of the Suncoast Culture Club podcast. Come along and join the club!

• Sarasota Concert Association Website & Facebook

JoAnn Falletta Website & Facebook

• Buffalo Philharmonic Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter

The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota Website & Facebook & Instagram

SCF Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram

Support the show


Robyn Bell: through this podcast, I have had some amazing opportunities to talk to rock stars in the cultural arts community in Sarasota and Bradenton. But today may take the cake she has previously performed in Sarasota when she guest conducted the Sarasota Orchestra last February, and now she is returning with her home band, as I call it, the Buffalo Phil Harmonic on Monday, March the 27th at 7:30 PM at the Van Wezel as part of the Sarasota Concert Association's 2023 season. But today we're gonna chit chat about all the things you may have never known about her. So JoAnn Falletta, welcome to the club. 

JoAnn Falletta: Thank you, Robyn. I'm delighted to be here. 

Robyn Bell: So JoAnn I joined band in seventh grade when I found out you got in free to football games and playing the trumpet. Took me all the way through college before I discovered the baton. But I haven't found that that's kind of the normal story for most musicians turned conductors. So take us back to those early years. How did this music bug thing hit? 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, mine is a little, maybe not so normal. Too Robyn. I received his a seventh birthday present from my father, a little classical guitar with lessons that started the next day. and I fell in love. I fell in love with the guitar. I fell in love with music. I fell in love with, with just the whole idea a, about that instrument. So, uh, my father, uh, picked it in the right. I mean, it was something that, that meant so much to my life. So, I studied guitar, I studied, piano, I studied music, the harmony and, ear training. But when I started to go to concerts at the age of maybe 10 or 11, , that was something beyond my expectations. I remember going to hear a concert at Carnegie Hall, and hearing Beethoven six Symphony for the first time. And that's when I said to myself, okay, I'll always love the guitar and I'll always play it and I'll always study it, but I want to conduct, and I don't know if you had an epiphany like that at some point, what made you want to get on that podium?

Robyn Bell: You know, it's funny because I have this conversation a lot with people, guitarists and piano players. It is such, when you're first learning, it's such an isolating instrument. You're in a practice room, it's just you and your instrument. Maybe you go to a one-on-one lesson. But for me, joining band in the great state of Texas, in the public school system, there were 11 trumpet players and 20 clarinets, and I learned to make music. in an ensemble before I learned individually. So very different to me on Yeah. You know, guitarists and pianists versus maybe the other instruments now, Suzuki violin, you know, things like that. But if you have come to this from the public school area, you are in an ensemble. And so I was conducting when the band director was absent in ninth grade, I just got up on the podium and said, here it goes like this. Right? You just didn't know any different . Um, but yeah, for me it wasn't until. Undergraduate school, I was a music education major. You had to take a conducting class? Yeah, and kind of like trumpet, like when I first put the instrument at my face, like you with guitar, it's just, it was like a natural thing and the conducting was the same way. And so it was a teacher that encouraged me to to move on. But How did you. Connect being a classical guitarist, piano player. Have you had struggles connecting or not now, but early on with that, huge ensemble concept of everybody working together and, and you didn't really play an orchestral instrument. , how'd you deal with that? . 

JoAnn Falletta: It was overwhelming. I mean, just to be surrounded by 80 people. I mean, that was just amazing. In fact, what I did when I was in college, I, studied cello and I studied it not from the point of view of really getting to be a great cellist because I knew I was focused on conducting and guitar. But to see what it felt like to sit in that ensemble, just like you did with being singing in the trumpet section. What does it feel like to be listening to a conductor? What is he doing that's inspiring me? and when am I getting kind of antsy that things are not happening? So I learned a lot from that. But, um, you, you sort of grow into it and it is a little bit of a lonely profession, as you said, Robyn, you know, because you're by yourself and, most of the time you're studying scores alone, in silence, just looking at them getting ready to, to be with the orchestra. But then when you are with the orchestra, with all those people, it's intensely communicative and I love.

Robyn Bell: It is, it's, you mentioned going into Carnegie Hall, so you grew up in the New York area? 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah, I grew up in Queens and New York and, uh, we went to a lot of concerts and, and I was just, overwhelmed by the sound of the orchestra and how I felt when I listened to it. 

Robyn Bell: Do you remember the first time you were able , to stand in front of a group and lead a rehearsal?

JoAnn Falletta: I do remember I was 18 years old and I had entered a conservatory. I entered Mannes College of Music in New York, and I was conducting a movement of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov of all things, the slow movement. And I gave the upbeat and they played, which shocked me, like really they played. But I guess I was so into that and I was listening to them that it just slowed down and slowed down. And finally we stopped. And I remember my teacher was very angry. He said, you're not supposed to be. listening to them, you're supposed to be leading them. So the first experience was not a good one, but amazing. . 

Robyn Bell: And isn't it funny, I've talked with people over in Europe before that say, you know, in Europe you can actually get an undergraduate degree in conducting 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: But in America you really can't study, conducting and get a degree until that master's level. 

JoAnn Falletta: What I, I did, and it was a little unusual, Mannes was one of the very, very few schools that would allow you to get a bachelor's degree. So, I feel lucky with that because I've. Actually conducting an orchestra. , in school. Starting in school since I was 18. And there's no shortcut for learning to conduct. You've gotta be on that podium and you've gotta be listening and you have to be learning from the musicians. All of that takes time. 

Robyn Bell: It does. And in high school I also played basketball, so I was like an athlete and a musician. And I think, the conducting thing for me was this perfect synthesis of movement, athleticism, and music making. Because it is, you know, you hold your arms up for three or four hour rehearsal, you know, it's, it's very physical. Right. , 

JoAnn Falletta: it's physical, it's physical.

Robyn Bell: Do you do any kind of, warmups 

JoAnn Falletta: well, I do. I do. And I, and I do, uh, you know, I do stretches over time. I, I into yoga and I think that helps me, but it is very physical, although, you know, I have to say, well, I don't know if I could just do that in silence. Did you ever think about waiting your arms for three hours in silence? No, but somehow when the orchestra is playing, , you lift it up. I mean, it's just energy coming at you. . You realize how, how physical it. 

Robyn Bell: So you finish it at Mannes, you get a, a Bachelor's. Mm-hmm. . And then you go to some school I've never heard of Julliard. 

JoAnn Falletta: Julliard. I went to Juilliard for my master's and my doctorate, , and it was a very different sort of place. But, but by that time I was focused, uh, in Mannes. I got a double degree from, uh, as guitar and orchestral conducting. But by the time I went to Julliard, I was, focused on, orchestral conducting. And um, and it was a fantastic experience. Great teachers. , very intense environment. 

Robyn Bell: I have my doctorate from Boston University and in the academia world, when I was on the faculty, it's Dr. Bell, Dr. Bell, Dr. Bell. But in this world of professional conducting, even community music making that I do, you know, nobody would ever think to call you Dr. Bell. And really before, , we sat down to do this, and I did just a few little Google searches here and there, Dr. Falletta, did anybody ever call you? 

JoAnn Falletta: No, not really.

Robyn Bell: Did you get that doctor because maybe you hoped to teach at, in a academia college setting one day? 

JoAnn Falletta: No, not really. I just wanted to continue to study with my teacher there who was George Mester. And the environment was so inspiring cuz everyone there was great and I wanted to stay there. So I, I took the doctorate and I'm really glad, I mean, again, I, I, I never had the opportunity. Fully work at a university, although I've visited universities and spent time with them, but, um, I just didn't want to, to not have those next two or three years, you know, studying there. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, that's admirable because most people pursue that because they wanna be a college professor, but, You know, I, I know what you just said, that you never worked in a university or college, but you have actually done some great collaborations with students and mentoring people at different universities. Right.

JoAnn Falletta: Oh, I do that all the time where I'm doing it a lot now at Cleveland Institute of Music, where I go a couple times a year to work with the kids and, and in the summertime, almost all of my work in the summer is with young orchestras now, uh, Interlochen, which is high school. That's a really young one. , but, others where they're in college or just post-college, which is a very important time for young people discovering how to go into the music world professionally. As you know, it's not easy. So I love working with these young people and they give me a lot of, hope for the future. You know, sometimes we're worried about our classical music world, but when I, I'm with these young people and I, I see their belief and their dedication and their just enthusiasm for making. 

Robyn Bell: I think it was Gustavo Dudamel that said we need to find a different term than classical music. Because when you talk to kids now, you talk about the classics. They're thinking classic rock and classic cars. And yes, you know, we, we, we kind of need a new term. I think it'll come down, down the way. Do you remember the first time you conducted a concert all by yourself? . Beginning to end? . 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, I remember the first piece that I conducted. Which was at, at Mannes with my friend, a wonderful violinist. We did the Mendelssohn Violin concerto. And that stands out in my mind cause that was a full piece, you know, and did a full piece. And it was a concert and I was graduating with my bachelor's, you know, at the end of that year. . and then I worked a lot with a community orchestra and I loved it. I loved it. I probably, that was my first experience of conducting full concerts and I learned so much from those musicians. 

Robyn Bell: There is something really special about. These community musicians I find that are doing it for really the love of making music and they don't play on million dollar, instruments and they don't have degrees from conservatories and they have their day job and then they come in at night and and really make music for the love making music. It makes the performances very special too. I really enjoy that about my job. , 

JoAnn Falletta: I agree. Because, you know, these people give up a lot of their time. They practice, they come in and, and you can see how much the music means to them. For me, it was a transforming experience to do that. I mean, and I, I still envy the people who do that all the time because that's true joy, don't you think? I mean, when you get to the point where you are giving the concert and their family's there, and their friends are there and, and, and they do it, you know, it's, it's amazing. 

Robyn Bell: and being a trumpet player, as I said, I, I went up through the band world. I was fortunate up in high school that we had an orchestra, so I was able to play in full orchestra and of course going to college, I played in the orchestra, but I was mostly banded. And even my master's degree is instrumental conducting, but my conducting teacher was the band director at the University of Tennessee. Mm-hmm. , so, , I only came into this orchestra stuff kind of by, by chance. And now I really only do orchestra. But have you ever conducted a wind ensemble type group?

JoAnn Falletta: I did, I did. I worked for a while at Queens College in New York City and I was the conductor of the wind ensemble and I loved it. I, I had not, not had experience with wind ensembles cuz I wasn't a wind. . But that's an intense group and there's some really difficult parts, you know, and it's fun to have all those clarinets playing all those notes,

Robyn Bell: Well, and you know, we talk about that because composers nowadays, when you talk to this, if you wanna get a lot of rehearsals and you wanna get. , you know, multiple performances, write for like the university wind ensembles, and I'll go to these conferences, I'll hear these University Wind ensembles play and it's so, such challenging music. I think it really sets them up. Then when they go out into, to take their orchestral auditions, they've, yeah, they just have this new technique because these composers are stretching and stretching them. That I'm not, I don't know how, how that is equating to new music in the orchestral world, but certainly in the wind band world, it's an incredible difference.

JoAnn Falletta: Oh, you know the wind band? It is. And the wind band, I think world is far ahead of us in terms of welcoming new music cuz they want new music and they're asking composers to write it for them and they're not putting limits. They want it to be challenging. And then what happens, Robyn, is that once a great band. they tell all of the other bands in our country, like, you've gotta hear this piece by, and then all of a sudden it has like 300 performances around the country. So a lot of my composer friends have discovered that, that, um, if they will, let's say rearrange one of their orchestral pieces for band. . Wow. It's gonna be played. That's a great thing. I think that's a very American thing to have, those bands, you know, with such great technique, that it played since they were little, children and, and still love to play in the band. 

Robyn Bell: And I think maybe the orchestra world could take a page from that playbook, you know? And, and 

JoAnn Falletta: that's right. 

Robyn Bell: Sometimes when we schedule an orchestra, Concert, the new piece is the first five or six minutes, right. And then there's an old concerto and then there's a really old Beethoven piece on there, you know, and that's kind of, you know how it goes, so, right. Yeah. We'll see if that moves along. Now you obviously, JoAnn you tour the world guest conducting for many orchestras, and I know there's a unique challenge in that every time you step on the podium, seeing new people and establishing a relationship. Your time. Coming up here in Sarasota is very different. This is taking your orchestra on tour. So tell us, I'd like to know the difference in your mindset in preparing for a guest, conducting appearance all over the country and world, versus taking your home crowd on tour. 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, it is very different, as you said. I mean, when I'm working with Buffalo Philharmonic, I know them so well. I mean, I know them as people so well, and, it's like a family. So, we love coming on tour and we love, especially coming to cities where there are people from Buffalo who are spending, most of their year. , in Florida, many, in Sarasota. So it's fun for us. It's fun to see them again, and it's fun for them to see us. And it's very comfortable. And we feel like we can take chances. We can take risks cause we know each other so well. When you're coming as a guest, it is very exciting. I mean, I suppose you could say it's like a date, first date, 

Robyn Bell: yeah. 

JoAnn Falletta: where you think you're gonna like that person. I mean, it's not a total stranger. You think you, you think it's gonna be a good experience. and it is, you know, because everyone is kind of on their best behavior. They want to impress the conductor, and the conductor wants to, to have a great experience for them so that, at the end of the week we feel like, oh, we did something special. So, , that's for me very much fun. I mean, when you're coming as a guest conductor. You don't necessarily worry about the things you do as music director, which is, are we selling enough tickets? How are we gonna schedule those auditions? What about our concert hall? You know, that you're not worried about that. You're simply focused on the music. And that's, for me, a very beautiful, week. Then 

Robyn Bell: yeah, there, there are those two hats, the music making hat and the administrative hat. And yeah. When you're guest conducting, you've had this experience as well. You're just going in and doing your thing, just making music. And as you say, you don't have to worry too much about the administrative tasks. It lightens the load a bit. It's tough. Yeah. So, you know, here in Sarasota, this is quote, our season, so there's probably 40,000 concerts this week coming up. But in Buffalo, maybe not your season, it's a good time to take your group on the road for a tour like this.

JoAnn Falletta: Well, our season is a big one. I mean, we, play from very beginning of September till, let's say, mid. So, we play every week, but when we do come on tour, the halls invite us and a, as you said, this is the season for concert. So coming in March seemed like a very good time, , to welcome different guest orchestras. And I know they come from all over, even overseas. To come and play. But for us it's, well, you know, we've had a very, very bad winter in Buffalo. . 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, right. . 

JoAnn Falletta: So, just, in terms of, how we feel about going to the sunshine and the warmth is, is tremendous. I mean, we're really looking forward to it.

Robyn Bell: How many stops are on this tour for you guys?

JoAnn Falletta: Two. We're all, we're doing a very short one, but it's important for us, we're coming down it's also important for us to give the musicians a chance to play with different audiences to play in different halls because they hear themselves differently themselves. Sometimes they tell me, oh, you know, I, I've heard things in that symphony that I never heard in Klein hands in Buffalo. I just never heard that. And here, you know, in this hall I was able to hear this. So they, grow a lot. We all grow a lot being in different halls and, and playing for different audiences. And we wanna put our best foot forward. You know, we want to wanna make a. Good impression on the audiences. 

Robyn Bell: It's very similar to, baseball stadiums, you know, that are the, the same yet all very different. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yes. You know. Exactly. 

Robyn Bell: And where else are you playing on this little tour?

JoAnn Falletta: In Vero Beach. 

Robyn Bell: Vero Beach. Okay. 

JoAnn Falletta: There are also very, very many people from Buffalo spending the Winter Stanley there.

Robyn Bell: And I am interested. Talk about administrative tasks, and I know you have a whole team, but what does that look like? Taking all of these musicians, their instruments, their tuxedos, everything that you need, your guest artist, do you fly down? Do you bus down? How, how does all that work? Like logistically? 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah. It, it, I guess I should say it's a nightmare, but they managed to do it and they're, and they're in good spirits afterwards. So, the musicians will fly down. The instruments will, will be driven down, uh, in a truck. Of course the musicians who can carry their instruments on board, a plane will take them, but for double basses and the podium and all of those things, we'll truck them down. It's very exciting. I mean, it's takes enormous coordination. We all have to get there at the same time. We have to find the right hotels. We have to get them from the hotels to the hall. They have to get to the hall in time to warm up and, and get to know it a little bit. We have to make sure there are places that they can eat. and it's, it's great. I mean, I have to say, it's just so much fun.

Robyn Bell: Do you have rehearsal time in the hall before the performances? 

JoAnn Falletta: No, we just have time to warm up so the musicians will get there early and warm up and get used to the sound. 

Robyn Bell: Wow, that, that's kind of a scary thought to me. I would want to, okay, let's run the opening of this here.

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: See what the sounds like together. And do you build in any kind of fun time for the musicians? Do they get a day to go to the beach and then kind of enjoy the sunshine? 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, when we come on the longer tour, We always plan a day off for them and they really appreciate that. This is gonna be just a quick one. We're gonna go back, right afterwards, but, um, yes, we do. And you know what I find too, Robyn, is that it's a bonding time for the musicians. You know, they're away from home for three or four days or whatever and, and they're with their colleagues, but they're with their colleagues in a different way. They're actually having dinner with them. They're maybe going on a little junket somewhere, a little trip to see something that they always wanted to. it, it brings 'em closer together and it's, uh, I see a lot of them like laughing together and smiling together and, it's a good thing all around 

Robyn Bell: a big field trip.

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: Well, let's talk about this particular performance for the Sarasota Concert Association. First of all, have you teamed with the Sarasota Concert Association before? 

JoAnn Falletta: Yes, we have. We have. And they're a great group and, and we really love playing there. And of course the, the hall is in, in the most beautiful spot, I think in, in, in the country. Wow. It's just amazing. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. That big purple, building out there. We, we think maybe there was a sale on purple paint when they painted it . I know. I don't know. So talk to us. It's so, yeah, it is, it is. It's very unique and it's a destination for certain. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Talk to us about this program, the three pieces you're playing, how you chose them, your guest artist, 

JoAnn Falletta: Well there, it's romantic, but from different places. And I love that. I mean, we're starting out with something very wild because it's Hungarian by Kodaly. And this was a piece he wrote. He was commissioned to write a piece, for the Budapest Symphony. And he thought back to when he was a child growing up in Galante and the gypsy band that played. and they had a very famous gypsy band in Galante and he knew all the kids of the people who played in the gypsy band, and he heard them all the time either playing outside the tavern or, hearing them rehearse in different houses. So, the orchestra becomes that gypsy band and it's absolutely wild. You know, if you imagine the gypsies with the notes flying and, this great, great burst of. 

Robyn Bell: Fun to play, but also fun to conduct those. Its really fun.

JoAnn Falletta: It's fun to conduct and I think it's fun to hear because yeah. How often do you really hear authentic gypsy music When Kodaly writes, it's authentic. I mean, it's music that he grew up with. 

Robyn Bell: Absolutely. 

JoAnn Falletta: And then we go to, a great classic, I'm gonna use the word classic, even though, but I mean a classic in that. , it's probably one of the most beloved violin concertos ever written by Felix Mendelssohn, written for his concert master. It's elegant, it's beautiful. It's songful. It's virtuosic. And Sandy Cameron is, is a great player who's played with us before, so we're happy to bring her down to do that. and then we close with, uh, Dvorak Symphony. Now, I, almost all your audience, I would imagine knows the New World Symphony, which is a fantastic piece. But people say, and I feel this too, that the seventh Symphony is his masterpiece. I mean, , he was writing it as a kind of tribute to Brahms who was his mentor, and. , it is a beautiful piece, uh, rooted in his background, which was Bohemia. So it's, it's a piece of great warmth, of great vitality of, of great tenderness, and I hope people will love it. 

Robyn Bell: And a nice, bookend of the Hungarian and the Bohemian, sort of the Eastern European. Yeah, 

JoAnn Falletta: yeah.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Very nice. And I, I do love the seventh Symphony of Dvorak. 

JoAnn Falletta: Oh, thank you. Thank you. 

Robyn Bell: Really great program. It sounds like a wonderful thing you've put together. Now, are these three pieces, are they specific to this tour or is this a concert you will do later for Buffalo, or have you done.

JoAnn Falletta: Right before, we will have done it right before and then come down and do it again. And that's normally how we would plan a tour. We would do it in Buffalo and and then bring it on tour. . 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So I have a specific question about this because as I said, I do a pops orchestra here and we usually, we rehearse and then we do two performances of a show. But this last concert we did, we had a Beatles group in with us and the very popular plus it was, super Bowl weekend. So we said, well, let's add a Saturday show in case, you know, people decide they want to go to the Super Bowl. Turns out we sold out all three shows. Um, 

JoAnn Falletta: fantastic. 

Robyn Bell: It, it was really a remarkable experience. Personally and professionally and for the musicians as well. But you know, usually we do two shows. This was three, so by the third show, it was like you felt more loose. You were just more in tune. It was like, Do you get that when you have multiple runs of the same performance?

JoAnn Falletta: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Each time. I mean, the first one's exciting cuz it's like, oh, this is our first time doing it. But in, and I don't wanna say it's old. No, it is like, whew. We're more like fitting into your comfortable jeans now. Right? You feel that way?

JoAnn Falletta: Comfortable. More comfortable. I think. Exactly. That's right. It is the, the opening, the opening concert is everyone's at the edge of their chairs, you know, on their, maybe a little worried, you know, about certain little details. But it's very exciting because of that and the energy they bring. But then the second day, the third day for us, we are more comfortable. Maybe we. Again, be a little bit more risk taking. We, you know, we know we did it, we know it was good and, and we can try things, , subtle things so I think hopefully we'll be in good shape when we are there in Sarasota.

Robyn Bell: You can also address, you know, last night that one section didn't go so well, so let's. Yeah. You know, we're all, I'm maybe on higher alert, but yeah, I like the idea And we, we used to just do a series of rehearsals in one concert, right? Cuz it's a semi-professional orchestra, so mostly community members. And it was someone that retired, you . Know, everyone down here is retired. They had wonderful careers and he was in manufacturing and he came to me one day and he said, I don't know why we're putting together such a great product and only selling it once. He said, in the business world, You make a great product and you sell millions of them. And, and boy, that really resonated with me, that these multiple performances, uh, 

JoAnn Falletta: they're important. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Really, really important. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: And so it's neat though when you can take something like this on the road. So you will have performed this in Buffalo a couple of times, right? 

JoAnn Falletta: That's, 

Robyn Bell: yes, 

JoAnn Falletta: that's right. right. 

Robyn Bell: Well, by the time you hit Sarasota, it's just, 

JoAnn Falletta: oh, we'll be ready. the, 

Robyn Bell: the sprinkles on the cupcake, as I like to say, . Alright. I have a few very, very difficult questions for you, and you're gonna have to like, go deep down inside and, 

JoAnn Falletta: oh, I'm getting nervous. 

Robyn Bell: I know, I know. No pressure. No pressure. All right. Snowmen or sandcastles. 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, snowman, that's all I, that's what we have. I don't think I've seen a sandcastle ever in Buffalo. snowman. 

Robyn Bell: Viola jokes or conductor jokes? 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, okay, I'll be a good sport and say conductor jokes. . . 

Robyn Bell: All right. Tennis shoes or flip flops? 

JoAnn Falletta: Tennis shoes. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, me too. I don't like the flip flops. They're dangerous. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah. All right. This, and you can run in tennis shoes. You can get around. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. You run in flip flops, you're toast, you're down . Okay. Miss Guitarist. Eddie Van Halen or Eric Clapton? 

JoAnn Falletta: Eric Clapton. I've always loved him. . 

Robyn Bell: I agree. Tar or Mr. Holland's? Opus.

JoAnn Falletta: Tar. I love it. I, no, you know, I know that's a controversial movie and it's sound, a lot of criticism, but you know what I say, Robyn, any movie that has Mahler Symphony number five in it, and Elgar Cello concerto in an orchestra intensely making music. It gets five stars. In my bunk, I mean, that was, it was fabulous. And Kate Blanchett was amazing. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, yeah. Who, who doesn't wanna watch Kate Blanchett conduct? Right? . It's just it. It was, it was beautiful. All right. Ooh, this one's gonna be really hard. Sabers or bills? 

JoAnn Falletta: The bills. Wow. You know, even though we had a sad end to our, great year with the bills, we, we love them still, you know?

Robyn Bell: Yes. Yeah. And are you a hockey fan? Are you a sports fan? Do you go to the hockey games?

JoAnn Falletta: Well, I've become a Bills fan. I really, I wasn't much of a sports fan, but I've become a Bills fan and I do go to the games when I can't. But, um, and not, we love the Sabres too, but there's just something about the bills that is so Buffalo.

Robyn Bell: It is. It's like, I mean I went to a big s e c football school, the University of Tennessee, and when I see those Buffalo Bills games and I hear the crowd, I'm like, that's like a college crowd. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: Like they're in in crazy. They're crazy. 

JoAnn Falletta: We love them. We love them . 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Here's the last one then. This is a very Sarasota question, but hopefully you can relate roundabouts or stoplights. 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, we have roundabouts in Buffalo, so I'm completely comfortable with roundabouts, but I know they are not popular in Sarasota . 

Robyn Bell: Well, because people haven't learned to drive with them yet, , 

JoAnn Falletta: they're, they're confusing. I mean, I, I had to learn how to drive in Buffalo, all of these roundabouts, but, uh, yeah, I don't know. I, I guess the jury is still out on those in Sarasota. 

Robyn Bell: You know, the Canadian Brass obviously, and, Ronnie Romm, who, who's founded the Canadian Brass lives here. His son Aaron Romm, teaches trumpet here at the college, and Ronnie and I were having a conversation about roundabouts or stoplights, and he said it best. He goes, at stoplights your brain goes dead. Even maybe you're attempted to pick up your phone and, and then you're like, okay, it's green. I can. Been in a roundabout. Your brain goes, whoop, extra fire. Here we go, get thinking. And he goes,

JoAnn Falletta: that's not bad. I like that. 

Robyn Bell: I'm a little safer. Yeah, totally. 

JoAnn Falletta: Yeah. I, I, I think he said a good thing.

Robyn Bell: Well, congratulations JoAnn Falletta. You are now officially part of the club now. If people want to follow your career and maybe next appearances, where can they find that information? 

JoAnn Falletta: Well, I have a website, but I also am on Facebook. Uh, so I have Facebook page and I would, you know, love them to go and take a look and see what's going on.

Robyn Bell: And we'll put links to both your website and your Facebook page, in our show notes so people can just click. Now I have to ask, do you do your Facebook page or do you have someone that does your Facebook page? 

JoAnn Falletta: I have someone who helps me input things, but I send all the material because I'm on the spot, you know, I'm on the spot with the soloist, and that's, that's right. Not as working with our chorus. And we took a big picture of them, so, it's fun for me to collect those things. 

Robyn Bell: it is, the whole social media thing is an added level on, what, what we do already with the market marketing stuff. It's, it's a, it's a lot, but it's so worth it and it is how, people stay connected with you and, and others. 

JoAnn Falletta: It's, it's actually fun. It's a lot of fun. 

Robyn Bell: Well, we look forward to having you and the Buffalo Philharmonic at the Van Wezel performing Arts Hall, courtesy of the Sarasota Concert Association on Monday, March 27th at 7:30 PM tickets can be purchased from their website at. SCA or by calling 9 4 1 9 6 6 6 1 6 1. JoAnn, best of luck to you in the orchestra on your tour. I know it's gonna be fantastic and I really enjoyed our visit today.

JoAnn Falletta: I did too. Robyn, thank you. This was so much fun with you. Thanks so much for taking the time. You're amazing. See on March. 

Robyn Bell: See you in March