A daring orchestral experiment.
The Chelsea Symphony is a dynamic, self-governing ensemble with a major cultural presence in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. It presents music of the highest caliber while upending the traditional hierarchy of the classical orchestra: our musicians rotate as featured soloists, conductors, and composers. Through this collaborative model, it provides professional development opportunities for its members while performing inspiring concerts of music both old and new.
HOW WE WORK
The Chelsea Symphony is a non-profit, self-governing orchestra that aims to provide performance opportunities for its musicians while operating at an affordable scale. Soloists, conductors, and featured composers all come from within the orchestra’s ranks, and earn this benefit by playing in the orchestra. Administrative operations are also handled by members of the ensemble.
Founded in 2005 by young conductors Yaniv Segal and Miguel Campos Neto, The Chelsea Symphony has established a reputation as one of the most innovative ensembles in the New York metropolitan area. Shortly after its inception, the orchestra was featured in WNYC’s “Salute to the Arts” Initiative, and Steve Smith of The New York Times praised the ensemble for its “earnest, vibrant” playing. The Chelsea Symphony has collaborated with many noteworthy artists, including Clay Aiken, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Tony Award winner Lillias White, Broadway composer Seth Rudetsky, the Irish Tenors, and fashion designer Malan Breton. The orchestra’s annual holiday concert has featured guest celebrities Richard Kind, David Hyde Pierce, Ana Gasteyer, Charles Busch, Andrea Martin, Rachel Dratch, Mo Rocca, Victor Garber, BD Wong, Seth Rudetsky, and Annie Golden narrating The Night Before Christmas by Aaron Dai.
An enterprising group of young musicians.
A champion of new music, The Chelsea Symphony has given the first performance of more than fifty compositions and presented many regional premieres. Nearly every one of the orchestra’s concerts features a work by a living American composer. In 2009, the ensemble presented open rehearsals of Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the new opera by legendary Wicked composer and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, in advance of the work’s premiere by Opera Santa Barbara. In 2013, the orchestra gave the New York City premieres of the Americana Symphony and The Improvised Violin Concerto by Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer Mark O’Connor—a performance that was featured in The Wall Street Journal. The Chelsea Symphony’s debut studio recording, Joy and Sorrow, a collection of world premiere compositions by renowned composer David Chesky, was released in September 2015. In the 2014-2015 season, the orchestra initiated a composition contest for early-career composers adjudicated by Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and music director of the All-Star Orchestra Gerard Schwarz, now in its third year.
New York's most intimate orchestral experience.
While maintaining its home base in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the orchestra continues to broaden its reach. The ensemble made its Lincoln Center debut in 2011, and has presented concerts at the United Nations, Bargemusic, Symphony Space, New York Fashion Week, Central Park, Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall (then Avery Fisher Hall), Merkin Concert Hall, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, on the fictitious stage of the "New York Symphony" for the Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle, the American Museum of Natural History, and Rikers Island.
In the 2013-14 season, the orchestra presented an educational programming initiative in collaboration with the Harmony Program, the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights, and the Brooklyn Music School. The Chelsea Symphony performed at the premiere event for the pilot of the Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle in December 2014 at Alice Tully Hall. Members of TCS can be seen in all four seasons of the show, available on Amazon.com.
As a result of its participation in Mozart in the Jungle for the seminal season 3 episode "Not Yet Titled," the orchestra separately partnered with the NYC Department of Correction and began presenting concerts on Rikers Island and other detention facilities throughout the city, being the first - and only - full orchestra to have performed on Rikers. TCS is now in its third season of bringing classical music programming to these communities.
In recent years, TCS has been proud to collaborate with NYC institutions to reach new audiences.
One of New York’s great musical hidden joys.
EarthFest, in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, saw TCS perform under the whale in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life for EarthFest 2018. John Luther Adams' Become Ocean was the highlight of this special concert event.
In June 2019, TCS completed its thirteenth season RESOLUTION with a performance of John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1, "Of Rage and Remembrance," in honor of WorldPride and the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
The fourteenth season RISE UP: Music that Inspires and Uplifts features pieces written in the best and worst of times for the best of humanity.
The Chelsea Symphony is proud to be a member of the Chelsea Cultural Partnership/Destination Chelsea.
|Artistic Directors||Matthew Aubin Mark Seto|
|Executive Director + President||Emily Wong|
|Vice President||Stephen McDougall Graham|
|Members of the Board||Sara Dudley Alicia Furey EJ Lee|
|Personnel Manager||Alicia Furey|
|Development Consultant||Jason Smoller|
|Graphic Designer||Kerri Conrad Visuals|
|Web Design + Development||Nick Buonincontri|
|Logo + Web Design||Bloomsday Design|
|Marketing + PR||Beth Holub|