Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
A founding resident company of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is a 33-member professional ensemble led by Dirk Brossé. The orchestra has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the 21st century.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia was founded in 1964 by Marc Mostovoy. Its development was motivated in part by the desire to provide performance opportunities to young professional musicians emerging from the Curtis Institute of Music and other regional training programs but also by a desire to make substantial contribution to the City and region’s cultural life. In addition to presenting its own productions, the Orchestra started to develop an entrepreneurial approach by seeking other performance opportunities among the region’s presenter/producer community, thereby providing additional employment for its members. Maestro Mostovoy and his ensemble also championed new music, focusing on regional composers. In total, the organization has commissioned and premiered over seventy new works.
In 1994, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a concert pianist and conducting graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, joined the Chamber Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. In 1998, he was named Principal Conductor and Music Director in 2004. Solzhenitsyn became Conductor Laureate in 2010 and remains closely associated with the Orchestra. The Chamber Orchestra has performed with such internationally acclaimed guest artists as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Rudolf Serkin, Eroica Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal, The Romero Guitar Quartet, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Sylvia McNair, Steven Isserlis, Joseph Silverstein, Ransom Wilson, Gerard Schwarz, Jahja Ling and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, among others. The ensemble travels regularly, having toured the United States, Europe, and Israel.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia engaged Dirk Brossé as its Music Director in September 2010. A conductor and composer of international acclaim, Brossé had guest-conducted The Chamber Orchestra in, among other appearances, its October 2009 Scandinavian Perspectives program and its 2008 performance of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Brossé will conduct four of the Orchestra’s concert programs in his first season as Music Director.
The Chamber Orchestra performed six pairs of concerts during its subscription season from September through April 2010 in the Kimmel Center's 600-seat Perelman Theater. Five of the concert programs will also be performed at The Baptist Temple at Temple University; an introduction to the 2010-2011 season was given at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts; and the final program of the season, Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat, was performed at the Please Touch Museum. As a participant in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), the Chamber Orchestra performed three concerts of L’Histoire in a collaborative production with stage director Robert Smythe. The Orchestra also performed the world premiere of a PIFA commission, Hope: An Oratorio by Jonathan Leshnoff, with the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia, and soloists Angelique Kidjo and David Linx, in the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall.