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Classical 101

Beanballs in the Buffalo Philharmonic

Mark Dellas
JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic

Baseball is full of "unwritten rules."  No showboating when you hit a homerun, or you might get plunked by a fastball next time you hit.  Don't steal bases when your team is way ahead, or you might get plunked by a fastball next time you hit.  If their pitcher hits a teammate, your pitcher needs to return the favor.

You get the idea.


Due to some ongoing turmoil, it would probably be wise to search the instrument cases of the wind section of the Buffalo Philharmonic before each practice and performance.  

Seems several musicians have issues with Pierre Roy, the on again, off again, on again, off again principal oboe for the Buffalo Phil.  Second flute Betsy Reeds, who is usually seated next to the principal oboe, has asked to sit elsewhere during rehearsal and performance, due to verbal clashes with Roy.  That request was denied, though at one point, a plexiglass partition was placed between Roy and Reeds.  Mr. Roy claimed to have been struck by another musician backstage before a concert, which led to a verbal confrontation on-stage at intermission of a holiday concert.

He has been accused of playing in such a way during rehearsal so as to deliberately throw off other musicians, an accusation he has denied.  Falletta even took issue with how he plays the 'A' by which the rest of the orchestra tunes, calling it "unacceptably high, according to an article by Charity Vogel in the Buffalo News. 

Conductor JoAnn Falletta fired him once, after which a grievance was filed through the union, resulting in Roy's reinstatement.  After his most recent dismissal, Roy took things a step further.  According to Vogel's article,  (Roy) "filed a petition in State Supreme Court, hoping to void the arbitrator’s ruling that supported his firing. He wants to be reinstated. The case has since been moved to federal court."

Who needs television drama?  It's all unfolding both on and off stage in Buffalo.  Stay tuned.  I think the best is yet to come. 

Read Storm rages through woodwind section of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra