Washington D.C. region’s unsung, thriving smaller orchestras

Posted on: September 19, 2019

“This summer, a small local orchestra made big waves: The National Philharmonic, a Maryland-based ensemble, announced that it was going to have to close,” writes Anne Midgette in Wednesday’s (9/18) Washington Post. “The ensuing publicity helped the orchestra raise the funds it needed and stave off disaster. It also turned the spotlight on the region’s small orchestras … many [of which are] overlooked in the crowded cultural landscape. The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra … is a jewel of its city…. It brings in recognized soloists … in well-balanced concerts under its popular Spanish music director, José-Luis Novo… The Maryland Symphony Orchestra opened its season last year with a program of contemporary American music to a full and excited house [led by] its dynamic female music director, Elizabeth Schulze.… The Fairfax Symphony’s … dynamic, capable music director, Christopher Zimmerman, assembles smart and distinctive programs, such as its season opener, called ‘The Downton Abbey Era.’ ” Also included are the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, which under James Ross, its new music director, has begun “sparking a creative reinvention,” and the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW), a chamber ensemble that “aims to present an alternative to the model of the mainstream orchestra.”

Posted September 19, 2019

In photo: The Maryland Symphony Orchestra in performance with Music Director Elizabeth Schulze