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'Incredibly imaginative' work highlights BPO's celebration of JoAnn Falletta

University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor David Felder. (Robert Kirkham/News file photo)

Adventurous programming is reflected in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 20th anniversary celebration of JoAnn Falletta, including an October world premiere of a piece commissioned by Falletta. That would be University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor David Felder’s “Die Dammerungen,” a four-movement work Falletta calls “very challenging, incredibly imaginative and composed so that it uses the orchestra in a truly beautiful way.”

“David,” Falletta continued, “is really at the forefront of new music. We have, now, people in this country writing all different styles – they’re writing in neo-romanticism, they’re writing in neo-impressionism, they’re writing minimalism. David has this uncompromising sense of looking forward. He refuses to live in the past. I think that’s fantastic, for us to be able to work on that music, to be in that world.”

For a composer on the cutting edge like Felder, working with an artist willing to navigate the complex depths of a brave new piece with the blend of skill and grace that Falletta possesses is not something to be taken for granted.

"JoAnn is a truly committed champion of this work," Felder wrote in an email. "I’ve been thrilled to collaborate with her, and the musicians she leads through the thickets of this new work, in producing many world-class concerts of contemporary music at our region's June in Buffalo Festival during this period. Working with her and the orchestra on this project has been a fantastic experience. She has been completely open, is super curious about what I’m thinking about in making the piece, from details through imagistic and philosophical overviews, and has been a wonderful advocate for the work with the great musicians of the orchestra.

"This is sort of a dream for a composer, having a great advocate willing and able to help you through the beta testing that is so crucial to making something work. I’ve not had such an opportunity before – believe me, it's rare. JoAnn provided that. I am deeply grateful, though now I'm completely spoiled."

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View the complete schedule of special programming and events to celebrate Falletta's 20 years as music director of the BPO at

Two decades and dozens of accolades later, BPO's Falletta isn't done yet

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