Chamber Orchestra of New York is the city’s premier young professionals orchestra. Founded to advance the careers of extraordinary artists, the orchestra presents works that bridge the classical and modern traditions. Internationally recognized for its championing of the Italian repertoire, the orchestra aims to cultivate a wider audience for the future of classical music.
Established in 2006, the Chamber Orchestra is the first auditioned young professionals orchestra in the history of New York City. Its triumphant debut was held on October 11, 2007 at Zankel Hall/Carnegie Hall. Following the Inaugural Season 2007/08 finale concert, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote: “The musicians played…producing a polished, rich sound…a stirring performance [of Mahler’s Adagietto and]…a voluptuous rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir….”
Over its first years, the orchestra’s Advisory Board developed to include esteemed artists such as film composer Ennio Morricone, conductor Alan Gilbert, and soloists Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Honorary Board members include Respighi family descendants Elsa and Gloria Pizzoli, Respighi archive curator/cataloger Potito Pedarra and musicologist Luigi Verdi.
The orchestra currently performs its Masterworks Series at Carnegie Hall, together with its regular June performance at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center. It also returns with regularity for concerts at The Morgan Library and Museum. Over recent seasons, the orchestra has been featured at fashion shows by Moncler, Tory Burch, Dolce & Gabbana at Lincoln Center, and Orlebar Brown for their 007 Collection.
In 2008, Ottorino Respighi’s great nieces Elsa and Gloria Pizzoli, and archive curator/cataloger Potito Pedarra, entrusted Music Director and composer Salvatore Di Vittorio with the task of editing, orchestrating, and completing several of Respighi’s early orchestral works – such as the first Violin Concerto (in A) – in their first printed, published editions (now) distributed by Casa Ricordi in Milan. In championing Respighi’s music, the Chamber Orchestra then established The Respighi Prize music competition in 2010 in collaboration with Bologna, Italy (Respighi’s birthplace), and also received a prestigious ongoing Google Grant for online marketing.
With permission to premiere and record the works, the orchestra released its first albums of Respighi’s and Di Vittorio’s music on Naxos Records in 2011, which have been airing internationally from BBC London, RAI throughout Italy, and WQXR NY, and to much critical acclaim. Additional early Respighi editions were published, and the ensemble became the first orchestra on Naxos Records with such masterworks as Respighi’s Trittico Botticelliano and The Birds. The orchestra has also championed restorations of works by Claudio Monteverdi and Alessandro Scarlatti. News of the orchestra’s work led to grants from the Vaughan Williams Trust, for various U.S. Premieres of early Vaughan Williams, projects which inspired yet another Naxos recording.
The orchestra has also been commissioned on several occasions by The Morgan Library and Museum, the home of one of the most important music archives in the world. In 2016, the Morgan Library showcased the orchestra in collaboration with an exhibition on Rome, and invited Maestro Di Vittorio to compose a free transcription based on Liszt’s Fountains of Villa d’Este for piano. Di Vittorio’s own La Villa d’Este a Tivoli received much attention at the premiere, and was then entered into the Morgan’s music archive.
In 2017, the orchestra founded the New York Conducting Workshop, and the program now includes staff conductors Maestros John Farrer (Conductors Guild), Dirk Brossé (Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia) and Toshiyuki Shimada (Yale University Symphony Orchestra).
Chamber Orchestra of New York celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season in 2017/2018 with an opening concert at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on October 28, 2017. In the 2018/2019 Season, the orchestra launched its Maestro Juniors Education Program for New York City Public Schools. For the 12th Season 2019/2020, the orchestra concludes the third of three new albums for Naxos Records – thereby completing seven albums in just twelve seasons. The orchestra also made its Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Opera House debut in collaboration with St. Petersburg Ballet (Russia) for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.