Who We Are

Poised for its 36th season, Riverside Symphony is widely credited for bringing a unique musical perspective to classical music audiences in New York City. Its vibrant performances of innovative programs are routinely lauded by The New York Times, and its seven CDs have been acclaimed in both the U.S. and international press.

From programming to performance to education and outreach, discovery is at the heart of Riverside Symphony’s artistic credo. Drawing on the legendary breadth and depth of New York City’s freelance musical community, conductor George Rothman and composer Anthony Korf, who co-founded the orchestra in 1981, have forged a team of supremely accomplished instrumentalists, comfortable with music in an amazingly wide range of styles and periods.

Many orchestras talk up the idea
of adventurous programming— Riverside Symphony has been putting the concept into practice for decades. New York Times, Jan. 2014

The orchestra’s success owes much to the special bond between this virtuoso ensemble and its imaginative and dedicated conductor, a relationship apparent to even the most inexperienced concertgoer. The orchestra’s musicians thrive on the challenge of preparing and performing new and unusual repertory, and the delight and enthusiasm they take in performing it is conveyed to Riverside Symphony’s “equally adventurous audience” (Musical America). This spirit of freshness and discovery also informs the performance of the traditional works featured on every program, providing a new context for the familiar.

Beyond its success in the concert hall, Riverside Symphony is also well known for its citywide educational efforts. For over a decade, the orchestra has brought the joys of music to New York City public schools with its enriching Music Memory program, while engaging adults with its popular Salon Series and Hear Hear! preview performances.

Riverside Symphony provides transformative performances and other enriching musical experiences to the broadest possible audience and furthers the careers of emerging composers and soloists. In fulfillment of its mission, the orchestra:

  • Performs boldly envisioned concerts distinguished by extraordinary yet rarely heard orchestral works from all musical periods;
  • Showcases up-and-coming soloists and composers of exceptional promise at major concert venues;
  • Commissions and records important new works;
  • Provides dynamic, substantive education programs for children and adults.

In all its endeavors, Riverside Symphony strives to serve the art form and inspire adventurous listeners of all backgrounds to engage with classical music.

Riverside’s milestone accomplishments include:

  • Numerous premieres of major orchestral works by today’s most important composers, six of them Riverside Symphony commissions;
  • Performances of rarely heard orchestral compositions by such masters as Haydn, Prokofiev, and Ravel;
  • The presentation of more than 50 world-class young soloists, many in their New York orchestral debuts;
  • Seven internationally acclaimed recordings of contemporary orchestral works, one a 2000 Grammy Award nominee;
  • The Riverside Symphony International Composer Reading Project, a forum for composers worldwide, with a special competition for American composers.

Photos: Peter Schaaf

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Riverside Symphony

225 West 99th Street :: New York, NY 10025
P 212/864-4197 :: F 212/864-9795