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BPO names new assistant conductor

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has chosen a new assistant conductor. He is Todd Craven.

Craven is the music director of the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra and has served as a cover conductor for the Detroit Symphony. At the BPO, he succeeds Stefan Sanders, who is leaving at the end of the summer season to focus on his new positions as music director of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Spartanburg Philharmonic. Sanders has held the BPO post since the 2014-15 season.

Like Sanders, Craven is a brass player. Before he began his conducting career, he was principal trumpet with the
Sarasota Orchestra for 12 years. He has also performed as a substitute with the New York Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

He holds a master’s degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan. Formerly, he was the music director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra and interim music director of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra. Currently based in Baltimore, he just completed a graduate performance diploma in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Conservatory.

As assistant conductor, Craven will lead the BPO’s award-winning Music For Youth program, which serves more than 50,000 Western New York students each year. He will also be on the podium for the popular children's concerts. He will become a familiar face to BPO audiences by presiding over pops concerts and special orchestral engagements. Craven will also be involved in planning programs for children and youth.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the venerable tradition of artistic excellence, dedication to high quality programming and educational/community outreach at the Buffalo Philharmonic,” Craven said as his appointment was announced. “I am so very excited to work with Maestra JoAnn Falletta and the wonderful musicians and staff.”

Falletta, the BPO's music director, welcomed him warmly.

“The BPO musicians and I are thrilled that Todd Craven will join our conducting team,” she said in a statement. “Todd has a history as a great orchestra player, and his skills on the podium are superb. I feel certain that his dedication to excellence, his warm charisma and his connection with people of all ages will make him an absolutely extraordinary leader and colleague.”

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