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'It's been a long two years': conductor JoAnn Falletta on this week's WYSO program

JoAnn Falletta for 2021
Photo by Mark Dellas
Conductor JoAnn Falletta

This weekend, conductor JoAnn Falletta will lead the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in the Symphony no. 2 by Jean Sibelius.

For all of the young musicians of WYSO, this is their very first time playing a Sibelius symphony. The music of Jean Sibelius, Falletta says, is "his world, his geography, his soul."

"If you do Sibelius 2," she explains, "you have an idea of all of his symphonies, of his signature sound, of his psyche."

Amanda and JoAnn Falletta 2021
Matthew Cochran
IPR's music director Amanda Sewell and conductor JoAnn Falletta chat in IPR's Studio B

Falletta also shared her delight in being back at Interlochen working with young musicians. "It's been a long two years," she says.

"To see friendships grow and people having fun with each other from different backgrounds is so inspiring to me," she told IPR.

Sunday's program also includes a work for percussion ensemble by Joe W. Moore III called "Ojo." Keith Aleo will direct that piece, which Falletta says is "dazzling."

Listen live on IPR Sunday evening to hear the World Youth Symphony Orchestra under Falletta's baton.

Pre-concert coverage begins at 7 p.m. with the downbeat at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Amanda Sewell is IPR's music director.