In 2022, the Buffalo Philharmonic hired Fernanda Lastra for a two-year term as its Conductor Diversity Fellow.

“American symphony orchestras have long struggled with a lack of diversity,” writes Jeff Miers in Tuesday’s (1/17) Buffalo News (login may be required). “But Buffalo has always been a bit different in that regard, according to BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta. ‘It really hasn’t been difficult to embrace diversity and inclusion in our programming,’ she says…. ‘It’s always been a part of the DNA here.’ On Jan. 26 when the BPO kicks off 2023 with a six-concert run aimed at renewing the organization’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access ‘IDEA,’ in the BPO’s parlance – Falletta and Executive Director Dan Hart said they hope that the DNA of diversity will be in full evidence. ‘Our diversity efforts are really connected to the community,’ Hart said…. The BPO signed Mayor Byron Brown’s Opportunity Pledge in 2016, committing to the program’s emphasis on diversity in businesses, and simultaneously formed its own Diversity Council, comprised of community leaders, BPO staff and musicians. For Hart, these steps represented a deepening of an already existing interest in community-wide inclusivity…. Some of these goals have already been achieved.”