Cayuga Chamber Orchestra

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The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., is based in Ithaca, New York. The 2013-2014 season will mark its 37th year. Each season includes an Orchestral Series, a Chamber Music Series, and special holiday and educational programs.


The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, formally designated as the “Official Orchestra of the City of Ithaca,” has been bringing a wide variety of classical music to audiences of all ages for over three decades.

The Orchestra was founded by Charles E.L. McCary in May 1976 when a group of local professional musicians debuted as the Finger Lakes Orchestra. Distinguished conductor and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Karel Husa, became Music Director of the orchestra in 1977 and served until 1984. He led the CCO in over 50 performances including ballet, oratorios, commissioned works, premieres, and many of his own works. During an interim period from 1984–86, the CCO was led by guest conductors while the organization searched for a new musical leader. In March 1986, the Board of Directors appointed Carl St.Clair Music Director. Under the leadership of Mr. St.Clair, the CCO expanded its offerings from six to ten concerts per season. In 1987-88 the Chamber Music Series was added, and in December 1988, a new holiday event, Caroling by Candlelight, was introduced. Mr. St.Clair stepped down as Music Director in 1991 but continued as Artistic Advisor while the search for his successor was undertaken.

During 1992-93, six finalists led full-orchestra concerts, and in May 1993, Heiichiro Ohyama became the CCO's third Music Director.

Music Director Kimbo Ishii-Eto was the next Music Director for the CCO, and helped lead the milestone celebrations of the CCO’s 25th season, and the 30th anniversary season in 2006-2007. Ishii-Eto was instrumental in working with several local groups and artists in collaborative performances, including highly distinguished artists such as Steven Stucky, Rachel Lampert, Steven Doane, and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. Ishii-Eto’s final performance as Music Director for the CCO was in April 2007, when he conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Bailey Hall with the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club.

On April 19, 2008, the CCO officially announced that Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr. would be taking the podium for the 08-09 Season as the next CCO Music Director.


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