Not long ago we played the fascinating game of "Where in the World is JoAnn Falletta?" Now it is time for Round 2!
Shrewdly, I noticed that Falletta was not in evidence at Kleinhans Music Hall this weekend. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is being conducted by Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer, who is presiding over a tribute to ABBA. (Want to go? The show is sold out, but it it whispered that standing room is still available.)
So... where is JoAnn Falletta?
We call on timpanist Matthew Bassett to give us the drum roll...
Falletta is in ... recognize this town?
She is conducting the Omaha Symphony in Prokofiev’s “Cinderella: Suite,” Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,” and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” The program also features 19-year-old cellist Julian Schwarz performing Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. Julian Schwartz has performed with Falletta and the Virginia Symphony but not with the Buffalo Philharmonic. You can watch him in action in this clip of him performing the incredibly beautiful slow movement from Schumann's Piano Quartet.
Back to Falletta. Interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald, she said she is thrilled to be back in Omaha. The last time she was there was in 2005 and she conducted Beethoven's Ninth, in addition to "Purple Rhapsody" by Joan Tower.
Let us poke into the doings of the Omaha Symphony. The orchestra's music director is Thomas Wilkins ...
... who is also principal guest conductor at the Hollywood Bowl. Wilkins has conducted here in Buffalo, but not recently. The last time seems to have been in 2002, when he conducted Handel's "Messiah." I wrote at the time that he conducted the choruses with great gusto and you could sometimes see him shaping the music with his hands. Wilkins has a blog on the Omaha Symphony's Web site. He is a little bit behind with his blog! He has not checked in since April 7. Get with it, Maestro! We are up to date here at PopStand.
The Omaha Symphony recently turned 90 years old. It performs at the Holland Performing Arts Center which opened in 2005. That is the hall pictured at the top of this post! Here is what it looks like inside.
Now you know!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
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