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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Opens 2016-17 Season on October 27 at Carnegie Hall

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra launches its 44th season with a concert at Carnegie Hall in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Thursday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m. Orpheus is joined by award-winning pianist Christian Zacharias-widely known for his interpretations and recordings of Beethoven's works-for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.

A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world's foremost chamber orchestras. It was founded in 1972 by a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble with the richness of an orchestra. With 71 albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, and 43 commissioned and premiered original works, Orpheus rotates musical leadership roles and strives to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue. Performing without a conductor, Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues.

Continuing Orpheus' American Notes commissioning initiative launched during the 2014-15 season, which engages composers from diverse musical styles and backgrounds to create works that explore the question of American identity, the orchestra presents the New York City premiere of Jessie Montgomery's Records from a Vanishing City on the October 27th concert. The piece is a personal tribute to the Lower East Side artistic community that fostered Ms. Montgomery's creative growth during her childhood in the 1980s and 90s and examines her "records"-both her personal memories of the music that surrounded her while growing up, and an eclectic collection of vintage vinyl that she inherited from a family friend who passed away.

Also on the program are Mozart's Overture to La Clemenzo di Tito, and Bizet's Symphony in C Major, one of the composer's earliest works.

The program will be previewed on Sunday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Memorial Chapel at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

The 2016-17 Orpheus season at Carnegie Hall features four soloists who have developed strong musical relationships with Orpheus including pianists Christian Zacharias and Fazil Say (Saturday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m.), violinist Vadim Gluzman (Saturday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m.), and cellist Alisa Weilerstein (Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m.). The season also includes cutting-edge new works by American composers Jessie Montgomery and Michael Hersch, and thrilling symphonies by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Bizet.

Continuing Orpheus' long-standing commitment to rotating democratic leadership, clarinetist Alan R. Kay has been appointed to a three-year term as Artistic Director for Programming, joining current Artistic Directors Eric Wyrick and Laura Frautschi. He previously served as an Orpheus Artistic Director from 2002-2007 and has been a member of Orpheus since 2002.

"We are thrilled to welcome back Alan as an Artistic Director at Orpheus in the upcoming season," said Alexander Scheirle, Executive Director. "Our collaborative artistic planning process is crucial to the success of the organization and we look forward to Alan's wisdom and insight in building and strengthening Orpheus' identity and reach, and its commitment to musical excellence and creative expression."

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Educational Initiatives
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard University and of leadership seminars at IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Two unique education and engagement programs, Access Orpheus and Orpheus Institute, aim to bring this approach to students of all ages.

Access Orpheus, shares the orchestra's collaborative music-making process with public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. Due to declining resources for arts education, many public schools do not have access to full-time arts teachers to provide music instruction and exposure to art and culture. Access Orpheus helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, attendance at working rehearsals, and free tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.

Orpheus Institute brings the Orpheus Process and the orchestra's musicians to select colleges, universities, conservatories, and businesses to work directly with leaders of tomorrow. Corporate employees and students in all fields of study learn from Orpheus' creative process and in areas of collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and shared leadership. In the coming seasons, Orpheus will continue to share its leadership methods and performance practices as the ensemble provides audiences with the highest level of musicianship and programming.

About Christian Zacharias
Beginning as a pianist and later moving on to work as a conductor as well, Christian Zacharias' international career burgeoned through numerous widely acclaimed concerts with the world's leading orchestras and renowned conductors, and through several awards and recordings.

Zacharias' career as a conductor, pianist and chamber musician reflects his desire to build long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musical partners. As of the 2009-10 season, Zacharias has been an Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also maintains close ties with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Kammerorchester Basel, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and the Bamberger Symphoniker. Zacharias also performs recitals in the major musical centers of the world and collaborates with like-minded musicians such as Frank Peter Zimmermann, the Leipziger Streichquartett, and Baiba Skride. Zacharias regularly turns his attention to opera, leading productions of Mozart's opera seria La Clemenza di Tito, his opera Le nozze di Figaro, and Offenbach's La Belle Hélène. In early 2015, he conducted Otto Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège. This production was awarded the "Prix de l´Europe Francophone" 2014-15 by the Association Professionnelle de la Critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse.

He has appeared in several films since 1990: Domenico Scarlatti in Sevilla, Robert Schumann - der Dichter spricht (INA, Paris), Zwischen Bühne und Künstlerzimmer (WDR-Arte), De B comme Beethoven à Z comme Zacharias (RTS, Switzerland), and he released a recording of all Beethoven piano concertos (SSR-arte).

Zacharias' work in the world of music has earned him numerous awards and prizes, including the 2007 Midem Classical Award "Artist of the Year." The French government also honored him as an "Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" and he was awarded for his contributions to culture in Romania in 2009.

During his time as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, his recordings with the orchestra garnered widespread critical claim among the international press. Of note is his complete cycle of Mozart piano concertos, which won the Diapason d'Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, and ECHO Klassik awards. His most recent recordings feature the four Schumann symphonies and C.P.E. Bach's Berlin symphonies.

Christian Zacharias chaired the Jury of the Clara Haskil Competition in 2015 and will also chair it in 2017.

About Alan R. Kay
Praised by The New York Times for his "spellbinding" performances and "infectious enthusiasm and panache," Alan R. Kay is Principal Clarinetist and Artistic Director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as Principal Clarinet of New York's Riverside Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society.

Mr. Kay also appears as Principal with the American Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. His honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard's 1980 Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet Hexagon later featured in the prizewinning documentary film, "Debut." Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon; he appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His summer festivals include the Yellow Barn and Skaneateles Festivals, and his innovative programming for the New York Chamber Ensemble is a feature of the Cape May Music Festival.

A virtuoso of wind repertoire, Mr. Kay has recorded with Hexagon, Windscape, the Sylvan Winds, Orpheus and numerous other ensembles. His arrangements for wind quintet are available from Trevco Music Publishing and International Opus.

Also a conductor, Mr. Kay studied conducting at The Juilliard School with Otto-Werner Mueller and has conducted orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the New York City area. In the past season, he was invited to conduct the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Orchestra in Long Island and the New York Concerto Sinfonietta in Manhattan. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard and Stony Brook University. He has served on the juries of the International Chamber Music Competition in Trapani, Italy, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Concert Artist Guild Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

Program Information
Thursday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Christian Zacharias, piano

MOZART Overture to La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1
JESSIE MONTGOMERY Records from a Vanishing City
BIZET Symphony in C Major

Subscriptions for Carnegie Hall concerts can be purchased by visiting or calling (212) 896-1704. Single tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance, priced at $12.50 - $110, are available for purchase at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, at 57th and Seventh, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website at Tickets for the Colgate University performance are available by visiting

Photo Credit: Matt Dine

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