Little Orchestra Society Invites NYC to Craft Its New Name; Ideas Accepted thru 3/9
The Little Orchestra Society is reaching out to fellow New Yorkers to help craft its new name. Long time fans of the Orchestra and new enthusiasts alike will have the opportunity to submit their favorite names for an institution beloved by generations of concert-goers. Today through March 9th, music lovers are invited to visit the Orchestra's website: littleorchestra.org, and recommend a new name for an Orchestra known for its audience engagement, inclusive educational mission and commitment to innovative music and multi-disciplinary performances. The Orchestra's new name will be announced later this year.
"I'm very excited to announce that we are reaching out to our audience to help us choose a new name that respects our Orchestra's long, highly valued tradition and our inclusive vision as an orchestra for all New Yorkers," said James Judd, Music Director of LOS. "To me, this 'crowd-sourced' campaign for a new name embodies the qualities that have always been at the heart of our Orchestra: a commitment to the audience. With every performance, education program and community project, we seek to present New Yorkers of all ages with a classical music experience to remember."
"The Little Orchestra Society has created countless memories and experiences for so many New York families over our 66 year history, from unique concerts for adults to award-winning cutting edge series for children of all ages. While the LOS name will always carry a powerful legacy in New York City, we have entered a new era and our name should better reflect our inclusive mission as an orchestra for all people everywhere and our commitment to innovative artistry on every level," said William Ohlemeyer and Carol Schaefer, Co-Presidents of the Orchestra's Board of Directors. "Who better to guide us in discovering that new name than the people who have made this Orchestra an important New York City institution?"
Since its foundingin 1947, the Orchestra has delighted audiences both young and old. LOS' unique approach to audience engagement is a thread that runs through all its concerts. Whether it has been works of early Baroque masters, commissions by American, Latin American and European composers, or works for children, LOS has made a distinct imprint on its hometown, New York City.
LOS' versatility and importance to New York's cultural landscape is demonstrated season after season. Recent guest artists include the iconic rock legend Patti Smith who lived out a lifelong dream by narrating Tubby The Tuba and the Academy-Award nominated actress Sigourney Weaver who narrated Music Takes Flight. Other notable guest artists and collaborators include Daniel Bernard Roumain, Benny Goodman, Marian Anderson, Isaac Stern, David T. Little, Angela Meade, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Matt Haimovitz, Mark O'Connor, Sharon Isbin, and James Earl Jones, among others. The Orchestra's widely popular Lolli-Pops and Peabody-Award winning Happy Concerts series are known for their interactive elements, as demonstrated by the Orchestra's recent performance of Stravinsky's Firebird, which incorporated dance, puppetry, lighting and music. The Orchestra's performance of Music Under the Big Top featured original works by world-renowned violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and composer David T. Little, alongside works by Strauss, Haydn and Stravinsky, all performed under the Big Apple Circus tent-an orchestra first! And soon the Orchestra will present a new production of Hansel and Gretel, as well as The Composer is Dead, with music by Nathaniel Stookey and book by author Daniel Handler. Mr. Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket debuted and narrated this imaginative work in its New York premiere with LOS in 2008. (More information on these events is available at littleorchestra.org.)
LOS is committed to music education for all. This season the Orchestra will continue to provide the Musical Connections program in New York City public schools and the Project 65Plus and Live in Concert! programs across the boroughs. These programs ensure that classical music is accessible to everyone-particularly New York City's underserved communities.
In December 2013, LOS welcomed its third Music Director in its 66-year history, James Judd. Mr. Judd is inspiring a new era for LOS, setting the stage for a new name that truly captures LOS' distinctive identity as an Orchestra for all.
With today's announcement, the Orchestra continues its tradition of engaging New Yorkers in surprising ways-inviting everyone to participate in this creative process and helping to shape LOS' future.
Over the course of the next two weeks, LOS will be accepting name recommendations. Be it your first concert or your fiftieth, LOS would like to hear from you!
About The Little Orchestra Society: The Little Orchestra Society/Orpheon, Inc. (LOS), now in its 66th year, is dedicated to presenting groundbreaking classical music performances for all New Yorkers, as well as dynamic music education and community engagement programs in New York City public schools and communities.
Founded in 1947 by Thomas K. Scherman, LOS has remained a pioneer of innovative music from its founding days to its 32 years under the direction of Dino Anagnost, and continues to innovate under the leadership of world-renowned conductor James Judd, who took the helm in 2013.
The Orchestra has had many important American and World premieres that have launched and celebrated the careers of major musical talents. Past American premieres include: Intermezzo, Daphne and Horn Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Major by Richard Strauss; L'enfance du Christ and Béatrice et Bénédict by Hector Berlioz; Sir Michael Tippett's Concerto for Piano; and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Concerto for Bass Tuba in F Minor. World premieres have showcased the talents of composers Morton Gould, Alan Hovhaness and David Diamond, among others. Our professional recordings include Dvorak's Legends Op. 59; William Mayer and Susan Otto's Hello World, narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt; and Prokoflev's Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Dom DeLuise and nominated for a Grammy Award.
The Orchestra's highly regarded Lolli-Pops series for children ages 3 to 5, and the Peabody Award-winning Happy Concerts for Young People for children ages 6 to 12, have entertained generations of New York families. The common thread running through all LOS concerts, whether for adults or children, is a special focus on creating memorable music experiences, often complemented by other artistic disciplines, including dance, animation, narration and puppetry. For example, this season LOS presented acclaimed performances of Stravinsky's Firebird that featured puppets designed by Chris Green, choreography by David Neumann and lighting by Clifton Taylor. The entire production was directed by Mr. Green.
About James Judd, Music Director: British conductor James Judd's music directorships have included the New Zealand Symphony, a groundbreaking 14 years at the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and now The Little Orchestra Society of New York. During his eight years as Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony, Judd garnered acclaim for his recordings with the orchestra, including works by Copland, Bernstein, Vaughan Williams, Gershwin and many others. He brought the orchestra to international renown through appearances at many festivals, and led the orchestra on its first tour of the major concert halls of Europe, culminating with the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and is currently Artistic Advisor for the classical series at Florida's Broward Center, and artist in residence at Florida International University.
James Judd's live recordings of Mahler's Symphonies No. 9 with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and No. 10 with the European Community Youth Orchestra were enthusiastically received, and his performance of Elgar's Symphony No. 1 with the Hallé Orchestra is still a highly-regarded reference standard among conductors today. The most recent addition to his discography is a recording with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on the Decca label.
Mr. Judd came to international attention as the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra at the invitation of Lorin Maazel. Four years later, he returned to Europe after being appointed Associate Music Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra by Claudio Abbado. Since that time, James Judd has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic, conducted in the great halls of Europe including the Salzburg Mozarteum and Vienna's Musikverein, and made guest appearances with such prestigious ensembles as the Vienna Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Monte Carlo Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, and the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. In the Far East, he works regularly with Tokyo's NHK Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic.
Dedication to the development of young musicians and a passionate belief in the transformative power of music have inspired James Judd to make an important place in his life for this work. Since 2007 he has been Principal Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), an ensemble of the most gifted musicians from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. For more than twenty years the AYO has brought these young musicians across political, social and religious boundaries to perform with some of the finest conductors and soloists in the world. The highly successful Miami Music Project, which he founded in 2008, uses music on El Sistema lines as an instrument for social transformation, enabling children to achieve their full potential while positively influencing their society through the study and performance of music.
James Judd is the co-founder of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which he led on tours throughout the United States, the Far East and Europe. In North and South America he is a frequent and much admired guest conductor, having appeared with the orchestras of St. Louis, Montreal, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Seattle, Indianapolis, Utah, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
His performances of Holst's 'The Planets' with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, where he replaced Mariss Jansons at short notice, brought standing ovations. Other highlights of recent seasons include concerts with the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Evgeny Kissin as soloist, the Hungarian National Orchestra, the Beijing Symphony with Vadim Repin, and the Vienna Symphony with performances of Elgar's oratorio 'The Dream of Gerontius'.
Last season featured concerts with the Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra and with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra in Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and concerts in cities as diverse as San Juan, Tel Aviv, Melbourne and Taipei. The summer began with James Judd at the Istanbul Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and opening the Féstival de Radio France in Montpellier with Leonard Bernstein's 'Mass', prior to touring Asia with his Asian Youth Orchestra. He conducted Britten's 'War Requiem' at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest.