Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

©Neda Navaee
©Chris Lee
©Chris Lee
Neda Navee
©Matt Dine

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is a radical experiment in musical democracy, proving for fifty years what happens when exceptional artists gather with total trust in each other and faith in the creative process. In that age of co-ops and communes, the idealistic Orpheans snubbed the “corporate” path of symphony orchestras and learned how to play, plan and promote concerts as a true collective, with leadership roles rotating from the very first performance.

The sound of Orpheus is defined by its relationships, and guest artists have always been crucial partners in the process. Orpheus brings the best out of its collaborators, and those bonds deepen over time, as heard in the long arc of music-making with soloists such as Richard Goode and Branford Marsalis, and in the commitment to welcoming next-generation artists including Nobuyuki Tsujii and Tine Thing Helseth. Breaking down the barriers of classical repertoire, partnerships with Brad Mehldau, Wayne Shorter, Ravi Shankar, and many others from the sphere of jazz and beyond have redefined what a chamber orchestra can do.

At home in New York and in the many concert halls it visits in the U.S. and beyond, Orpheus begins its next fifty years with a renewed commitment to enriching and reflecting the surrounding community. It will continue its groundbreaking work with those living with Alzheimer’s Disease through Orpheus Reflections, and the Orpheus Academy as well as the Orpheus Leadership Institute spread the positive lessons of trust and democracy to young musicians and those in positions of power.

“This fully collaborative, almost chamber music approach to music was great.” (Jan Lisiecki)



“These are performances that deserve to be remembered.”

Gramophone, 2021

“It whirls, glistens, purrs and sparkles so much it’s a joy.”

concerti, 22 March 2019

“… and once again confirmed the artistry of an excellent orchestra
in big, thick letters.”

bachtrack, 21 April 2015


Programmes and projects on request.

February und March 2027
Branford Marsalis, Saxophone

M. Ravel: Très rythmé from String Quartet in F-Dur (arrang. Michi Wiancko)
H. Tomasi: Concerto for Alto Saxophone (arr. tbc)
E. Lecuona: Andalucia, Suite Espagnol (orch. Janina Norpoth)
G. Gershwin: An American in Paris (arr. Javier Diaz)

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra & Branford Marsalis © Chris Lee