Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
Passionate Music Making Without Boundaries
The Boston Philharmonic message rings loud and clear – music making is a privilege and a joy, and above all, a collaborative adventure. The orchestra’s season includes performances at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University and often Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall. The Philharmonic performs with a wide range of soloists from highly gifted performers at the start of their international careers such as Stefan Jackiw, Gabriela Montero and Caitlin Tully, to world-famous artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Alexander Baillie, Russell Sherman, Jon Kimura Parker and Kim Kashkashian and legendary masters such as Ivry Gitlis, Denes Zsigmondy, Georgy Sandor, Leonard Shure and Oscar Shumsky.
The Philharmonic has released five critically acclaimed recordings, including works by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovich and Ravel. Among many other reviews of extravagant praise, Classic CD magazine gave the Boston Philharmonic’s recording of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring the highest rank of all available recordings. Of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, American Record Guide wrote: “This joins the Rattle and the two Bernstein recordings as the finest on record…All the glory to Zander and his semi-professional orchestra, for the sixth is probably Mahler’s most difficult and complex symphony…All things considered, when I reach for a recording of the sixth to play for my own pleasure, it will most likely be this one.”
Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Shaping Future Leaders Through Music
In September 2012, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was formed under the auspices of the BPO. Conducted by Benjamin Zander, the BPYO’s motto is “Shaping Future Leaders through Music.” The 120 enthusiastic and talented young musicians of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra range in age from 12 to 21. The wide range of ages affords younger members of the orchestra the chance to collaborate with older students who have already begun their professional careers. In turn, collegiate members of the group are offered the opportunity to nurture and coach the future generations.
BPYO offers a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists who want to study great orchestral repertoire in a musically dynamic and intellectually challenging community. BPYO members are asked not only to master their parts and to gain a deep understanding of the musical score (including thorough regular sectional rehearsals led by top professionals from the Boston musical community), but also to engage in dialogue with Mr. Zander, through weekly “white sheets,” where they are invited to share their thoughts on all aspects of the music and the rehearsal process. These conversations often lead to stimulating discussions on personal leadership and often initiate ongoing individual conversations with Mr. Zander through email, phone calls, and conversations at rehearsal, creating a unique mentoring relationship between Mr. Zander and each musician.
In the inaugural 2012-13 season, the BPYO performed two concerts to sold-out audiences in Boston’s Symphony Hall and undertook a wildly successful five-city tour of the Netherlands, culminating in a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony in Amsterdam’s acclaimed Concertgebouw. Six months later, in December 2013, BPYO performed at Carnegie Hall, receiving high praise in The New York Times for their “brilliantly played, fervently felt account” of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, which was later issued by Linn Records. In 2015, the group undertook an 18-day European tour with concerts in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, the Philharmonie of Berlin, and the Culture & Convention Center of Luzern. In 2016, BPYO performed two sold-out concerts in Carnegie Hall, and six concerts in Spain. Each international engagement has been met with top critical approval and formed life-long bonds between the orchestra and the various musical cultures of Europe. Pulitzer Prize winning critic Lloyd Schwartz, formerly of the Boston Phoenix, wrote, “I wish more professional orchestras played as thrillingly as this.”