Matthew Kraemer, Associate Conductor
Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and
“energized sense of interpretation,” conductor Matthew Kraemer is quickly
gaining notice for his inspired performances and versatility. Currently in his second season as Music
Director of the Butler County Symphony and the Erie Chamber Orchestra, he has
reinvigorated both ensembles with innovative programming and elevated artistic
standards. Now in his final season as
associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, he appears on each
of the orchestra’s major series, including Classics, Pops, BPO Kids, and
summer concerts. He plays a vital role in designing and conducting the
BPO’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, as well as
assisting Music Director JoAnn Falletta during recording sessions and on tour. Upcoming
highlights include performances with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, violinists Rachel
Barton Pine, David Kim and Elmar Oliveira, trumpeter Chris Botti, and
trombonist Jeremy Wilson. Guest
conducting engagements include the Elgin Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Symphoria,
and the Rochester Philharmonic.
Recipient of the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant, Mr. Kraemer served a residency with the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2006 Salzburg Music Festival. As a guest conductor, he has appeared on the podium of many of the nation’s finest orchestras, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, North Carolina, Spokane, St. Louis, and Virginia symphony orchestras, as well as Canada’s Mississauga Symphony and Hamilton Philharmonic and in Europe with the Vidin Philharmonic and the Orquesta de Cadaqués. Equally at home in the ballet pit, he has led fully-staged productions with Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ohio Ballet, First Coast Nutcracker, Neglia Ballet Artists, and Todd Rosenlieb Dance. He conducted Broadway superstar Idina Menzel’s numerous engagements nationwide and has collaborated with many other leading artists, including Philippe Quint, Jennifer Koh, Awadagin Pratt, Richard Stolzman, Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Ben Folds, Chris Botti, the Indigo Girls, Wynona Judd, and Natalie Merchant. He conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic to considerable acclaim when superstar Lang Lang performed Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto at Kleinhans Music Hall.
Prior to his appointment in Buffalo, Kraemer completed a successful three-year tenure as associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he led the orchestra in more than 200 performances throughout the state.
Kraemer is a passionate advocate for new music
and has performed the works of many living composers during his career. He has led composer readings and workshops
with several orchestras, including the BPO’s Earshot partnership with the American Composers Orchestra, which
was profiled in The Wall Street Journal.
Also recognized for his advocacy of music education and his devotion to
young audiences, he has created numerous arts education programs and has taught
at music festivals in the US and abroad.
The Buffalo Philharmonic’s education concerts have grown under his
leadership, expanding to reach more than 40,000 students throughout Western New
An Indiana native, Kraemer studied conducting in Vienna, Austria with Salvador Mas Conde and was twice a fellowship conductor at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. He has participated in the National Arts Center Conductor’s Program in Ottawa, Canada. His conducting teachers include David Zinman, Robert Spano, Stanley DeRusha, and Jorma Panula. Kraemer is a graduate of Butler University and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he assisted former Cincinnati Symphony concertmaster Phillip Ruder. An accomplished violinist in his own right, he was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet. His principal violin teachers include Phillip Ruder, Herbert Greenberg, and Larry Shapiro. When he is not performing, Kraemer enjoys cooking, running, and reading. He and his wife Megan reside in Buffalo with their son Gabriel.
Paul Ferington, staff conductor
Paul Ferington, hailed as a “distinguished local Guest Conductor” by The Buffalo News and a “local musical treasure” by Artvoice, is in his 29th year as a member of the conducting staff of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time, he has conducted the Philharmonic in more than 460 concerts at more than 65 varied locations around Western New York, Northern Pennsylvania, Southern Ontario, and at Kleinhans Music Hall. A graduate in orchestral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, he was a conducting student of Max Rudolph, Robert Shaw, Erich Kunzel, and Thomas Schippers. He has been a guest conductor and recital accompanist nationally and internationally, as well as pianist for conductors Yehudi Menuhin, Erich Kunzel, Robert Shaw, Julius Rudel, James Levine, and Cincinnati May Festival Chorus. Over the years, Ferington has led the Philharmonic’s major educational and family outreach programs, Pops concerts and regional concerts. He has served as interim conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and as a two-term member of the boards of trustees of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus.Ferington also completed a distinguished career as a college professor and administrator, receiving not only the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and professor emeritus status, but also the OperaBuffs of Western New York Educator of the Year Award. For the 2005-2006 orchestra season, Ferington inaugurated the Philharmonic’s highly successful concert preview lectures for the Classics series, continuing into 2013-2014 as BPOvation Lectures, partnered with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.
In addition to his BPO conducting and lecturing responsibilities, Ferington is an adjunct professor in the music department at Buffalo State College, teaching his online course Music & Political Action, as well as serving as conductor and music director for the college/community Buffalo State College Philharmonia Orchestra. Ferington also serves as a presenter and facilitator for the Druminar - Team Building Experience headed by the BPO’s principal percussionist Mark Hodges.
In April 2010, in recognition of his 25 years of service to the BPO, he was honored by the musicians of the BPO with a newly commissioned work, Christopher Rogerson’s Luminosity, debuted at the annual Donor Concert with JoAnn Falletta conducting. The same week, he was honored by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus who presented him with the Jessamine E. Long Award for outstanding contributions to the chorus. Later that year, he was honored by the board of the Buffalo Philharmonic Society with a 25th Anniversary Artistic Leadership Award. In May 2011 he was honored by the Friends of the BPO Volunteers,and in November 2011 he received the distinguished Friend of the Arts Award from the Buffalo Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.