New Philharmonia Orchestra of Massachusetts

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The New Philharmonia Orchestra of Massachusetts, founded in 1995, is a 75-member mostly non-professional regional orchestra based in Newton, Massachusetts. The "New Phil" performs in at the First Baptist Church in Newton (Massachusetts), and on occasion at Mission Church in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, as well as other locations in the region.

The current and founding music director of the orchestra is Ronald Knudsen, a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1965 and occasional guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.[1]

The orchestra's programs include a mix of familiar and unfamiliar classical repertoire (including collaborations with local choruses), as well as new music, including commissions. In 2005, the New Philharmonia participated in the Made in America' commission from noted American composer Joan Tower,[2] and premiered a number of other pieces by local composers. The 2009-2010 season included the Boston-area premiere of blue cathedral by Jennifer Higdon. The 2005-2006 concert series also included a performance of Mahler's second symphony.

Eminent soloists who have performed with the orchestra include the flutist Eugenia Zukerman, violinists James Oliver Buswell IV and Stefan Jackiw, cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianists Randall Hodgkinson and Benjamin Pasternack, as well as many soloists drawn from the ranks of the Boston Symphony, including Ann Hobson Pilot, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Tatiana Dimitriades, Edwin Barker, Haldan Martinson, Daniel Katzen, Sato Knudsen and Keisuke Wakao. The orchestra's inaugural season featured a guest conducting appearance by Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops. Its fifteenth season was launched on July 1, 2009 with a concert in Boston's Symphony Hall, featuring French music for organ and orchestra, with James David Christie (organist of the Boston Symphony) as soloist. The concert marked the opening night of the New England convention of the American Guild of Organists.

The motto of the orchestra is Music for All. In that spirit, the orchestra conducts active outreach programs in the Boston public schools and has strong links to other local school systems and civic organizations. The 2007-2008 season concluded with a benefit concert at the Kennedy Library attended by the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, honoring the orchestra's partnership with John Hancock financial services. Under this partnership, members of the orchestra have been offering supplemental music education programs in the Oliver H. Perry elementary school in South Boston.[3]

The New Philharmonia Orchestra is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League and the New England Orchestra Consortium.


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  2. ^ [1] Boston Globe, November 18 2005
  3. ^ [2] Boston Globe, June 6, 2008

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