Falletta to Serve as Commencement Speaker

By | February 7, 2023
JoAnn Falletta

JoAnn Falletta


With graduation exercises quickly approaching, Daemen University is pleased to announce that it will honor this year’s graduates with Grammy Award-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta, who will serve as Daemen’s 2023 undergraduate commencement ceremony speaker.

Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate of the Virginia Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center, and Artistic Adviser to the Hawaii Symphony. She was recently named one of the “Fifty Great Conductors,” past and present, by Gramophone Magazine, and is hailed for her work as a conductor, recording artist, audience builder, and champion American composers.

Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble and has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to an unprecedented level of national and international prominence.

Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served by presidential appointment as a member of the National Council on the Arts during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. She has introduced over 600 works by American composers, including well over 150 world premieres. In 2019, she was named Performance Today’s first Classical Woman of The Year and is also the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards.

In the past year, Falletta has led the National Symphony in two PBS televised specials and has conducted concerts in cities all over the world. With a discography of over 120 titles, she is the leading recording artist for Naxos and has won two individual Grammy Awards. In addition, several of her Naxos recordings have also won Grammy Awards. This summer, she is making her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at Tanglewood.

Falletta is a strong advocate and mentor for young professional and student musicians, leading seminars for women conductors and establishing unique collaborations. When not on the podium, she enjoys playing classic guitar, writing, cycling, yoga, and is an avid reader.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at Mannes School of Music, Falletta received master’s and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School.

Daemen’s commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 20, at Kleinhans Music Hall. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at noon, followed by the graduate ceremony at 4:30 p.m.

More information about commencement can be found at Daemen.edu/commencement.