Begun in 1972, this singular ensemble transfers the performance dynamic of a chamber music ensemble to the medium of the symphony orchestra. There is no conductor, and the principals vary from piece to piece. The result is an organic and intuitive approach to orchestral repertoire, complete with the vitality that emerges only when individual energies coalesce into a unified interpretation.
In addition to its home base of Carnegie Hall, the orchestra plays in various venues throughout the country, and remains beholden to no genre within the orchestral repertoire. Orpheus’s relationship with guest soloists—among them violinist Gil Shaham, soprano Kate Royal, and mandolinist Chris Thile—are central to its concerts, which place world premieres alongside performances of Bach, Mozart, Copland, and others. These collaborations are documented through archives of live radio broadcasts presented by WNYC and WQXR. On the education front, the Orpheus Institute prepares student musicians as they transition into the professional world.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Information
- Other Venues: Vary, but include Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College, (Quad Drive, Easton, PA); and The Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase, (735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, NY)
- Public Transportation: Excellent for Carnegie Hall (easily accessible by subway lines N, Q, and R at 57th Street/7th Avenue; B, D, and E at 7th Avenue; F at 57th Street; and buses M5, M7, M20, M31, M57, and M104). All other venues vary
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: 5 Carnegie Hall performances per season; out-of-town concerts vary
- Ticket Prices: $29–$107 with prices varying by seat selection
- Subscriptions: Full Series ($123–$468); Pick 3 Series ($79–$297); Saturday Series ($99–$385)
- Membership: Several options are available. Must call Orchestra for info and to become a member
- Young Orpheus: A special membership for 20–40 something-year-olds that want to expand their knowledge and passion for classical music. Basic membership is $125 and benefits include 5 premium tickets (1 for each Orpheus concert at Carnegie Hall); complimentary cocktails at intermission receptions; ability to bring a friend for $10; invitations to YO events throughout the year; and a listing in the Playbill. Premier membership is $225 and benefits, in addition to the basic benefits, include invitations to VIP Orpheus Society events with private performances by guest artists; and invitations to select rehearsals and behind-the-scenes events.