Orpheus Chamber Orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, and a passion for artistic excellence. Orpheus strives to be the world’s premier chamber orchestra by performing music at the highest level, challenging artistic boundaries, inspiring the public to think and work with new perspectives, and building a broad and active audience in New York City and around the world.
A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus was founded in 1972 by a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble with the richness of an orchestra. Orpheus performs without a conductor, rotating musical leadership roles for each work, and striving to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered 50 new compositions. Orpheus’ recordings include the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures for Deutsche Grammophon, and over 70 other recordings for DG, Sony Classical, EMI Classics, BMG/RCA Red Seal, Decca, and others, including its own label, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Records.
Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues. The 2017-18 Orpheus series in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall features pianist André Watts; Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk in his first appearance with Orpheus; classical trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth in her Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage debut; and violinist Lisa Batiashvili in her first appearance with Orpheus. As part of Orpheus’ ongoing American Notes commissioning initiative, two new pieces—by Indian-American jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer, and award-winning Chinese composer Shuying Li—are additionally featured in the 2017-18 season.
About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Educational Initiatives
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process®, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard University and of leadership seminars at IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Orpheus aims to bring this unique approach to students of all ages through its worldwide education and engagement programs: Access Orpheus-NYC, Orpheus Music Academy, and Orpheus Leadership Institute.
Access Orpheus-NYC shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with K-12 public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. While New York is among the cultural capitals of the world, many schoolchildren are underserved in arts participation. Access Orpheus-NYC helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, invitations to working rehearsals, instrument discovery days, and free tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.
The Orpheus Music Academy encompasses Orpheus’ programs for intermediate and advanced music students. Orpheus musicians share their artistry, expertise, and collaborative approach to music-making through masterclasses with Orpheus musicians and guest artists, side-by-side workshops, and residencies on tour.
The Orpheus Leadership Institute brings the Orpheus Process® to the private and nonprofit sectors and educational institutions to empower the leaders of tomorrow through collaborative management training. Teams of all kinds participate in customizable programs to gain insight from Orpheus’ democratic process and develop essential skills in communication, collective ownership, and creative problem solving.