There’s a new song coming from Kleinhans Music Hall, and it’s a song of suspense. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is scouting talent for three important, high-profile jobs.
Michael Ludwig, the concertmaster, is going to be leaving after this season, it was just announced. The concertmaster is the lead violinist and, in effect, the orchestra’s second-in-command next to the music director. Ludwig, who is the scheduled soloist on April 11 and April 12, is leaving to pursue a solo career.
“Michael’s given us eight fantastic years. He’s been wonderful,” said Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “But it’s been on his mind, to launch a solo career. It’s now or never, if he’s going to make a go of it. So many orchestras have invited him, with great success. He’s been focused on a solo career, and he also wants to do more teaching. It’s sad for us, but we’re happy for him. He’s going to get a chance to do what he really wants to do.”
Ludwig’s departure adds a fresh note of suspense to an interlude of transition for the BPO.
Recently, it was announced that Matthew Kraemer, the associate conductor, was leaving. Besides filling that position, the orchestra has just put out the word that it will also be seeking a pops conductor. The job of pops conductor has been vacant since it was held by the late Marvin Hamlisch. Kraemer recently had been doing both jobs.
“We’ve lucked out with Robert Franz and Matt [Kraemer] because they’ve done the pops so well, and the audience has responded well,” said BPO Executive Director Dan Hart. Franz was Kraemer’s predecessor as associate conductor. “They’ve been guys who can do it all – do the classics, then turn around and do pops. But it’s a busy schedule.”
He pointed out that more conductors are now specializing in pops, which is a big part of the BPO’s business.