Reached on the phone, Kraemer confirmed his departure, although he will likely continue conducting here through next summer. He said that he and his wife and their new son are going to be heading back to the Cleveland area, where she is originally from.
Kraemer will be missed in Buffalo because of his easy style and sense of humor. (For the last concert he conducted at Kleinhans Music Hall, the Halloween kids' concert called Symphonic Spooktacular, he even ascended the podium sporting a chicken suit.) His departure, though, is not surprising. The job of associate conductor with the BPO usually turns out to be a stepping stone to a bigger job, and he probably has a new job lined up he is not talking about yet.
As long as we are playing guessing games, I am going to go out on a limb and say that as far as his successor in Buffalo goes, the possibility is being whispered that it could be Erin Freeman, the new director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Besides her position in Buffalo, Freeman is both associate conductor and choral director for the Richmond Symphony in Virginia. She and BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta enjoyed working with each other in Virginia and it is conceivable that Falletta would consider Freeman as an associate conductor here.
Time will tell, as we continue the saga of As The Orchestra Turns.
Tune in for updates!