From programming to performance to education and outreach, discovery is at the heart of RIVERSIDE SYMPHONY, one of New York’s most admired ensembles. 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 in an amazingly wide range of styles and periods. Now in its 34th 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 six CDs have been acclaimed in both the U.S. and the international press.
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.
Unraveling the mystery of music is addressed close up at Riverside Symphony’s popular Salon Series, which deepens appreciation and enjoyment for listeners through behind-the-scenes concert previews. Drawing on a wide range of musical excerpts, directors Korf and Rothman, joined by visiting soloists, composers and orchestra members, explore the program, revealing how and why the selections work together to create a musically satisfying experience. These thoughtfully structured salons are presented in a casual setting with plenty of opportunity for audience participation. The Salons, which are free to subscribers and at a nominal charge to others, include a meet-the-artist reception.
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;
- Six 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.
Photograph © Chad Batka