Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
490 Riverside Drive, 11th floor
New York, NY 10027-5788

(212) 896 1700

Press Kit

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Announces 2020-2021 Season at Carnegie Hall and 92Y

WEDNESDAY MAY 20 2020 6:39AM

Screen Shot 2020 04 07 at 11 12 30 AM

Soloists Include Alessio Bax, Angela Hewitt, Branford Marsalis, Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, Fazil Say, Karen Slack, and Christian Tetzlaff

New York, NY

NEW YORK, NY (May XX, 2020)Orpheus Chamber Orchestra today announces programming for its 2020-21 season with three concerts presented by the organization in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall and two concerts presented by the 92nd Street Y, as well as touring engagements throughout the United States. Orpheus collaborates this season with an innovative group of soloists including soprano Karen Slack, guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and pianist Fazil Say at Carnegie Hall, and Angela Hewitt and Christian Tetzlaff at 92Y, in addition to Alessio Bax on tour.

In announcing the 2020-21 season, Executive Director Alexander Scheirle expresses, “As the response to COVID-19 continues, we acknowledge that our concert schedule may change, and that our own lives are just as unpredictable. But we can make this promise: we'll be here when the concert halls open. We'll be here when the ushers start scanning tickets. We'll be here, ready with our music for healing, connecting, and celebrating. And we look forward to sharing that moment with our fans."

Before the New York City season opens, Orpheus embarks on a tour with pianist Alessio Bax with concerts in Texas and New York, including Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at Stude Concert Hall at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston presented by Chamber Music Houston. The performances feature Elgar’s Serenade in E minor for Strings, Op. 20; Dvořák’s Notturno in B, Op. 40; Suk’s Serenade for Strings; and Mozart’s Concerto for Piano No. 12 in A Major K414 with Bax as featured soloist.

Orpheus officially opens its 2020-21 season on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall with Speaking Truth to Power, an homage to courageous voices. The concert features soprano Karen Slack in the New York premiere of Tarkmann’s chamber orchestra arrangement of Beethoven’s Incidental Music from Egmont, Op. 84, accompanied by a powerful new translation of Goethe’s historical drama by Philip Boehm. Orpheus pairs this work with Valerie Coleman’s Phenomenal Women, a work inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem and book of the same name in which virtuosic soloists within the orchestra weave inspiring portraits of real-life heroines in storied moments of adversity and achievement. Orpheus premiered the chamber orchestra arrangement of Phenomenal Women at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C in 2019.

Orpheus presents Spanish Fantasía on Saturday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, a program featuring internationally acclaimed guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas in his Orpheus debut performing Rodrigo’s classic concerto Fantasía para un gentilhombre. Orpheus gives the New York premiere of Courtney Bryan’s Carmen Jazz Suite on Themes by Bizet, a contemporary and experimental new commission that includes responses to selected themes from Bizet’s classic 1875 opera, imagining a world in which Carmen lives and wins. The piece features long-time Orpheus collaborator, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, as a special guest member of the orchestra, with whom Marsalis has collaborated for 20 years. Courtney Bryan studied in her native New Orleans with Marsalis’ father, renowned American jazz pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis Jr. Also on the program is Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Rodrigo’s Soleriana, and Turina’s La oración del torero.

The performance is bookended by an extensive seven-state US tour featuring Marsalis as soloist from January 8-26, 2021, including stops on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California; on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. presented by Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA; on Wednesday, January 21, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland; on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Illinois; and many more to be announced. The tour concerts include a program of Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Rodrigo’s Soleriana, Ibert’s Concertino da camera, Debussy’s Rhapsody for alto sax & orchestra, Turina’s La oración del torero, and Bryan’s Carmen Jazz Suite on Themes by Bizet.

Pianist Angela Hewitt is featured with Orpheus in an all-Bach program on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. presented by the 92nd Street Y at Kaufmann Concert Hall. The program includes J. S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in A Major; Keyboard Concerto, No. 2 in E Major; Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor; Concerto for flute, violin, keyboard in A minor (“Triple”); and Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor.

On Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:30 p.m, the 92nd Street Y presents Orpheus in an all-Mozart program featuring German violinist Christian Tetzlaff in the composer’s Concerto for Violin No. 3 in G Major, K216 and Rondo in C Major for Violin and Orchestra, K373, paired with Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G, K74 and Symphony No. 29 in A, K201 (K186a). The Chicago Tribune describes Tetzlaff’s playing as having an “extra degree of incisive brilliance and fierce elegance.”

Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say reunites with Orpheus on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. in the orchestra’s season finale concert, Becoming, at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. The program includes Abel’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major arranged by Mozart; Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Major featuring Say as soloist; Say’s 2015 Orpheus commission Chamber Symphony, Op. 62; and the New York premiere of Fazil Say’s own Yürüyen Kösk, Op. 72b.

Orpheus Artistic Director James Wilson says, "Equality, justice, beauty and tradition – these powerful words reverberate through both Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's mission and our 2020-21 season. We are thrilled to bring our audiences the musical treasures of Mozart, Bach, and Debussy, in addition to exciting new creations by trail blazers such as Courtney Bryan, Valerie Coleman and Fazil Say. And it all kicks off with a bang with Beethoven's ode to freedom, ‘Egmont.’"

Program Information


Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

Speaking Truth to Power

  • VALERIE COLEMAN: Phenomenal Women
  • BEETHOVEN: Incidental Music from Egmont, Op. 84 (New York Premiere)
    Karen Slack, soprano
Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Spanish Fantasía

  • ROSSINI: Overture to The Barber of Seville
  • RODRIGO: Selections from Soleriana
  • RODRIGO: Fantasía para un gentilhombre
    Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, guitar
  • TURINA: La oración del toreroCOURTNEY BRYAN:

Carmen Jazz Suite on Themes by Bizet (New York Premiere)
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.


  • MOZART: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, K. 18
  • FAZIL SAY: Yürüyen Kösk, Op. 72b (New York Premiere)
  • FAZIL SAY: Chamber Symphony, Op. 62
  • MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Major, K. 37

Fazil Say, piano


92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall

Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.

Angela Hewitt Performs Bach

  • BACH: Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055
  • BACH: Keyboard Concerto, No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053
  • BACH: Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056
  • BACH: Concerto for flute, violin, keyboard in A minor (“Triple”), BWV 1044
  • BACH: Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Christian Tetzlaff Performs Mozart

  • MOZART: Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74

  • MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216
    Christian Tetzlaff, violin
  • MOZART: Rondo for Violin & Orchestra in C Major, K. 373
    Christian Tetzlaff, violin
  • MOZART: Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201 (K. 186a)

Ticket Information

Subscriptions and flexible Orpheus Passes are available at orpheusnyc.org or by calling (212) 896-1704. Single tickets for Carnegie Hall concerts can be purchased at carnegiehall.org or by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, beginning mid-August. 92Y single tickets can be purchased at 92Y.org or by calling (212) 415-5500.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Orpheus believes in empowering the unique voice of all people to make a valuable contribution. Working together as a collective of leaders, members explore each other’s musical ideas using their signature collaborative method, the Orpheus Process®, and give flight to vibrant, unconventional interpretations. Orpheus performances unfold dynamically, moment-by-moment, creating an energy shared by musicians and audiences alike.

The Grammy Award-winning ensemble 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 and has performed without the use of a conductor since its inception. Musicians rotate leadership roles for all rehearsals and performances as well as organizational capacities such as programming and governance.

Orpheus has recorded over 70 albums on all major classical labels and commissioned and premiered 49 new works for chamber orchestra. Orpheus presents an annual performance series in New York City featuring collaborations with world-class guest soloists. A touring ensemble, Orpheus has performed in major international venues across 167 cities in 46 countries across four continents and has appeared regularly in Japan for 30 years.

Orpheus is committed to sharing its collaborative Process® with communities worldwide through engagement programs for listeners of all ages. These include underwritten concert tickets and in-class visits from musicians for K-12 NYC students, development opportunities for emerging professional musician from demographics underrepresented in classical music, and Orpheus Reflections, an enriching program for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia and their caregivers.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Engagement Initiatives

In 1972, a group of young artists made history by creating an orchestra without a conductor in which musicians led themselves democratically. Since then, the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has recorded over 70 albums on all major classical labels, toured to 46 countries across four continents, and collaborated with hundreds of world-class soloists.

Orpheus’ 34 member musicians work together as a collective and rotate leadership roles for all works performed, giving flight to unconventional interpretations. This democratic structure also extends to organizational functions including programming and governance: the orchestra elects three members to Artistic Director positions and three to the Board of Trustees.

Orpheus’ 2020-21 season features collaborations with soprano Karen Slack; guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas; saxophonist Branford Marsalis; pianists Fazil Say, Alessio Bax, and Angela Hewitt; and violinist Christian Tetzlaff.

An essential part of New York City’s cultural landscape, Orpheus presents annual series at Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y. Orpheus tours to major international venues and has appeared regularly in Japan for 30 years; recent engagements include the Prague Spring and Dresden Music Festivals and a 12-concert tour of Asia. The orchestra’s extensive discography includes a February 2019 release on Deutsche Grammophon of Mendelssohn concertos with pianist Jan Lisiecki. Champions of chamber orchestra repertoire, Orpheus has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works.

Orpheus shares its collaborative model through education and community engagement initiatives that promote equity and access to the arts for listeners of all ages around the world. These include programs for K-12 students, opportunities for emerging professional musicians, and a music and wellness program for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

For more information about Orpheus please visit www.OrpheusNYC.org or call 212-896-1700.

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*Photos at the Top of Release (L-R): Alessio Bax by Margo Borggreve, Angela Hewitt by Keith Saunders, Branford Marsalis by Eric Ryan Anderson, Pablo Sáinz-Villegas by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, Fazil Say by Marco Borggreve, Karen Slack by Roni Ely, and Christian Tetzlaff by Giorgia Bertazzi

Public Relations

Katy Salomon[link email address: katy@morahanartsandmedia.com], Morahan Arts & Media