Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is Central Florida’s resident professional orchestra, appearing in more than 125 performances each season. The Philharmonic’s mission is to foster and promote symphonic music through excellence in performance, education and cultural leadership. The Orlando Philharmonic proudly enters its 21st anniversary in the 2013-2014 season, led by Christopher Wilkins in his eighth season as Music Director.
The orchestra presents several different types of programming. The Super Series, which runs September through April, comprises ten concerts, including five classical concerts and five “pops” concerts. The 2013-2014 classical series includes guest artists such as conductor Albert-George Schram and violinist Elmar Oliveira. The pops series features music from Broadway musicals, the cinema and popular music. All super series concerts are performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando, FL.
The Philharmonic performs several chamber music concerts each year at the Lowndes Shakespere Center in Orlando, FL as part of its Focus Series. A summer version of this series, the Sounds of Summer Series takes place during June, July and August, featuring programs compiled by the orchestra’s own musicians. Each of the Philharmonic’s Focus Series concerts feature a smaller ensemble performing in an “in the round” setting, with extra commentary from the musicians and conductor.
Additionally, the Orlando Philharmonic performs numerous full-orchestra outdoor fall and spring community pops concerts, performed in partnerships with municipalities throughout the region and offered free to the public.
When the Orlando Opera closed its doors in 2009, the Philharmonic took on the responsibility of keeping opera alive in the Central Florida community. In 2010, the Philharmonic performed two Concert Operas, Carmen and Porgy and Bess. In 2011, the orchestra performed La Bohème. In 2012, the Philharmonic performed Rigoletto. The Orlando Philharmonic annually performs 30 Young People’s Concerts for over 60,000 Orange, Seminole, and Volusia County Public School, private, and home school students at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. The orchestra also offers a program for pre-school age children called Tiny Tots, is now in its 10th season. Each spring, the Philharmonic hosts an annual Young Composer’s Challenge, open to aspiring composers ages between the ages of 13 and 18 throughout the United States. The National Young Composers Challenge provides students with an extensive workshop with renowned composers, followed by a composition challenge for orchestral and chamber works. Winning compositions are performed by the Orlando Philharmonic at the annual Composium, a concert and masterclass offered free to the public.
At over $3 million, the Orlando Philharmonic has the largest endowment of any cultural institution in Central Florida. The orchestra will relocate to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Centre in the near future.
The Philharmonic initiates many community collaborations. Since its inception, the orchestra has partnered with the Orlando Opera, Orlando Ballet, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Florida Young Artists Orchestra, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, Bethune-Cookman University, the University of Central Florida, Stetson University, the “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation, Mad Cow Theatre, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, the Orange County Regional History Center and many other area organizations.