On Monday, April 18, JoAnn Falletta was the guest speaker at the annual Norfolk Collegiate School Arts Recognition Luncheon at the Upper School. A recipient of 2 Grammy Awards, Ms. Falletta, music director for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, inspired students, as an artist or a patron, to make the arts a lifelong passion.
“The arts are important for intellectual and individual development, a significant part of our self-identity. They teach flexible thinking, collaboration, understanding of diversity, multiculturalism and creativity…valuable traits for the 21st century workplace,” Falletta said. “From the arts we learn self-discipline, patience and tenacity. The arts encourage excellence – forcing constant judgment and critical analysis where the only discriminator is quality.”
As a conductor she describes her role as being a catalyst for creating the environment where something good or beautiful can happen and challenges the audience to take that position in whatever they do in life.
In closing remarks, she addressed the NCS seniors: “You are leaving this school as an artist and well equipped – more so than many of your contemporaries – because of the fine training you’ve received here. I hope you enjoy your last month in school.”
Falletta performed a classical guitar duet with NCS’s own Heather Jersild, upper school science faculty member, classical guitarist and member of The Tidewater Guitar Orchestra. The guest list was comprised of fine and performing arts NCS seniors who have gone above and beyond in the dedication to the arts at Norfolk Collegiate School and the NCS upper and middle school art faculty.
About Our Guest
Few artists are as important to the fabric of their communities as JoAnn Falletta. Acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation”, she serves as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Festival.
Ms. Falletta has been invited to guest conduct many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony and the National Symphony.
Ms. Falletta serves on the National Council on the Arts and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards. She is hailed as a “leading force for the music of our time” by ASCAP, and has presented over one hundred world premières.
Her discography includes over 60 titles. Under her direction, the Buffalo Philharmonic returned to recording, releasing 12 discs on the NAXOS label over the course of 10 years, with nine Grammy nominations in the past 5 years and two Grammy Awards. Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School, and her master’s and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School.
Thanks to NCS Communications Arts Faculty Member Mark McElhaney for video edits