The ISO Symphony is the top ensemble among ISO’s eight major groups. Since the 2010/2011 season it has been led by Artistic Director, Jeffrey Grogan. Its alumni include musicians holding principal chairs in professional orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities. Several notable conductors are also among its alumni, including James Gaffigan (chief conductor, Lucerne Symphony, Switzerland) and Tito Muñoz (Music Director, Opéra national de Lorraine & Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, France).
In recognition of its players’ accomplishments, all ISO Symphony members receive full tuition scholarships. Students range in age from 12 to 19 and come from every part of New York City. Slightly more than half attend public schools, with the others split among private and parochial schools and home schooled. The ISO Symphony rehearses weekly and twice a year takes part in sectional rehearsals led by members of the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. Symphony members have recently taken part in masterclasses given by musicians from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai String Quartet, and the American Brass Quintet.
The ISO Symphony performs two major concerts annually in venues such as Symphony Space, Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. It shared a triple bill in 2013 at Carnegie Hall, and in 2012 it performed there to a sold-out house along with ISO’s other orchestras. At the latter concert, it presented the commissioned world premiere of “Air for Flute and Orchestra” by Lowell Liebermann with Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson of the Met Opera Orchestra as soloist. It also performs community concerts annually for children, seniors, and others lacking access to orchestral performances. It has undertaken international tours to Spain and Venezuela, and in summer 2014 it will represent the U.S. at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland.
Membership is by audition only. All ISO Symphony students receive free tuition. There is only a $75 application fee and $200 registration fee.
The ISO Symphony Concerto Competition is held each winter and the winner performs with the orchestra on a concert.
In summer 2014, the ISO Symphony will represent the U.S. at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.
Jeffrey Grogan, Conductor
Rehearsals Wednesdays from 4:45 – 7:30 pm
Julia Richman Education Complex*
317 East 67th Street
*Near subway stops for the 6, F, N, Q, and R lines