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, has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the twenty-first century.
The 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 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. The 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. Maestro Solzhenitsyn, in assuming the position of Conductor Laureate in 2010, remains closely associated with the Orchestra.
A conductor and composer of international acclaim, Maestro Dirk Brossé enters his fourth season as Music Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in September 2013. In the 2013-2014 subscription season, the Orchestra will perform six concert programs from September through May in the Kimmel Center’s intimate, 600-seat Perelman Theater and one concert program in the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. Two of the concert programs will also be performed at Lincoln University.
The Chamber Orchestra has performed with such internationally acclaimed guest artists as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Issac Stern, Rudolph Serkin, The Eroica Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal, The Romeros 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.