JoAnn Falletta is a finalist for this year’s Spark Award for Artist of the Year, an award honors an individual artist in any discipline for their achievements the previous year. JoAnn is internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music, an inspiring artistic leader, and a champion of American symphonic music.
Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, JoAnn became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble. She has since been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. The orchestra has become one of the leading recording orchestras for Naxos, and returned twice to Carnegie Hall in 2004 and again in 2013.
Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, JoAnn became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble.
In 2018, the BPO made their first international tour in three decades, to perform at Warsaw’s prestigious Beethoven Easter Festival where JoAnn made history as the first American woman to conduct an orchestra at the Festival. She and the BPO have been honored with numerous ASCAP awards, including the top award for Adventurous Programming. Other accomplishments include the establishment of the orchestra’s Beau Fleuve label, the founding of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in partnership with WNED, and the national and international broadcast of concerts on NPR’s Performance Today, SymphonyCast, and the European Broadcasting Union.
With a discography of 112 titles, JoAnn is a leading recording artist for Naxos.
With a discography of 112 titles, JoAnn is a leading recording artist for Naxos. Her discs have won three GRAMMY® Awards and received eleven nominations. She is also the artistic advisor to the Hawaii Symphony and has held the positions of principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra.
For more information on ASI’s seventh annual Spark Awards on November 16, visit the Spark page of our website.
[Please note that ASI is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and its potential impact on this year’s Spark Awards on November 16. In the meantime, we still feel it’s important to spotlight the important work of our many honorees.]
Spark Awards 2020 Honorees & Finalists
We are excited to announce the 2020 Spark Awards honorees and finalists:
Arts Organization of the Year Finalists
1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center
O’Connell & Company
Unique Theatre Co.
Artist of the Year Finalists
Chris J. Handley
The Children’s Guild Foundation Autism Spectrum Disorder Center at Oishei Children’s Hospital
DEC Program of the Year
Lewiston Council on the Arts’ Iroquois Market
Vincent O’Neill, Irish Classical Theatre Co.
West Falls Center for the Arts
Supporter of the Cultural Sector
Joel Feroleto, Buffalo Common Council Member, Delaware District
Trailblazer of the Arts
Michele Agosto, Buffalo Public Schools
Beth Pedersen, Buffalo Society of Artists