Marc Mostovoy establishes the Concerto Soloists 16. Their repertoire consists mainly of Baroque and Classical works, featuring members of the ensemble as soloists. The ensemble quickly garners a reputation for quality on the regional, national and international scene.
Mission & History
To be a sustainable musical institution that brings the intimate experience of a world-class chamber orchestra performance to the greater Philadelphia area, enriching the musical life of the City and region by the integrity and excellence of its musicianship, the boldness and vitality of its programming, and by cultivating and building the loyalty of its audiences, musicians and supporters.
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 Music Director Dirk Brossé. The Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1964 by Marc Mostovoy, has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the twenty-first century.
The Chamber Orchestra’s 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 a substantial contribution to the city and the region’s cultural life. In addition to presenting its own productions, the Chamber Orchestra started to develop an entrepreneurial business model by seeking other performance opportunities among the region’s presenter/producer community, thereby providing supplementary employment for its members. The ensemble also championed new music, with a focus on local 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, ultimately, Music Director in 2004. Maestro Solzhenitsyn, in assuming the position of Conductor Laureate in 2010, remains closely associated with the Chamber Orchestra. A conductor and composer of international acclaim, Maestro Dirk Brossé now enters his seventh season as Music Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. In the 2016-2017 season, the Orchestra will perform six programs from October through May in the Kimmel Center’s intimate, 600-seat Perelman Theater.
Over the course of the ensemble’s rich and diverse history, COP has performed with such internationally acclaimed guest artists as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Rudolph Serkin, The Eroica Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Romero Guitar Quartet, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Ben Folds, Branford Marsalis, 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.
Successful tours of Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Belgium and Israel and standout performances at Carnegie Hall highlight the group’s early development. Mostovoy seeks out unusual works not in the standard repertory and commissions over sixty new works, many by American composers.
As the number of concerts significantly increases, Mostovoy brings in internationally-famed and respected maestro, Max Rudolf, professor of conducting at The Curtis Institute of Music and former conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Metropolitan Opera, to share the podium with him. Rudolf serves as Conductor Laureate from the early 1980s until just prior to his death in 1995.
Ignat Solzhenitsyn joins the Orchestra while a student at The Curtis Institute of Music as Assistant Conductor, then as Associate Conductor, and later as Principal Conductor. He soon receives acclaim as “an interpreter of probing intellect as well as an avid risk-taker” (The Washington Post).
The ensemble is renamed The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and selected as one of eight founding resident companies of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In its new home—the intimate, 600-seat Perelman Theater—The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia brings great music—performed with the utmost integrity and on the highest possible level of artistic excellence—to the people of Philadelphia.
Ignat Solzhenitsyn is named Music Director and continues to expand the Chamber Orchestra’s repertoire to include more compositions from the Classical and early Romantic periods, as well as fascinating 20th-century works. Highlights of Solzhenitsyn’s first season include performances with soloists cellist Steven Isserlis and violinist Leila Josefowicz and leading the ensemble from the keyboard in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 60, as part of an All-Beethoven program in April, 2005, which then toured to New York and Michigan.
Dirk Brossé is named Music Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. An internationally-acclaimed conductor and composer, our audiences enjoyed him during two “Guest Conductor” appearances with the Chamber Orchestra in 2008 and 2009. As Music Director Elect, Brossé conducted the Orchestra’s Free Family Concerts in May 2010. The talent, versatility and broad experience that Maestro Brossé brings to the orchestra is sure to be enjoyed by audiences in many seasons to come.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Under the baton of Music Director Dirk Brossé, the Chamber Orchestra commemorates the ensemble’s founding and the rich history it has enjoyed with a renewed commitment to timeless music, artistry, and excellence in musicianship. As Philadelphia’s premier chamber ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra looks forward to another 50 incredible years.