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January 22, 2002

Unique Orpheus Orchestra performs in Glenn Jan. 24

By Deb Hammacher


In the classical music world, where conductors often are revered as stars, the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra stands out and has risen to the highest echelon of prestige and acclaim.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Orpheus continues to be one of the most respected ensembles performing today and will be making its Emory debut as part of the Flora Glenn Candler Series on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Glenn Auditorium.

Orpheus’ unusual leadership-sharing model is central to its personality. For every work, the members of the orchestra determine the concertmaster and the principal players for each section.

In the orchestra’s own words, “Orpheus is an artistic home for dozens of virtuoso musicians to practice their art with freedom to experiment and explore within the framework of mutual respect and commitment. This unique atmosphere unleashes the talent, vision, creativity and leadership of each human being.”

The core group is formed by 17 string and 10 wind players, and is a self-governing organization that is successful because each of the members demands personal and musical responsibility. Henry Holt/New York Times Books has just published a book about Orpheus and its management model, co-authored by bestselling business writer Peter Economy and Orpheus executive director, Harvey Seifter.

Orpheus isn’t just a musical oddity—and the subject of study by business educators and leaders—but one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. The group’s recorded catalog has more than 50 titles, and the orchestra is in demand internationally each season, being named 1998 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

Orpheus has received a number of awards for its recordings, including a 1999 Grammy Award for the jazz-inspired recording of Ravel and Gershwin with pianist Herbie Hancock, and a 2001 Grammy for best small-ensemble performance (with or without conductor) for “Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures.”

At Emory, Orpheus will be performing Wolf’s “Italian Serenade,” Mozart’s Concerto in G Major for violin and orchestra, and Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes Orchestral Suite.”

Tickets for the event are $20–$35; Emory students with ID receive half-price discounts. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050.




Back to Emory Report January 22, 2002

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