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NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2015)—In its fourth consecutive summer with the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs works by Haydn, Wagner, and Beethoven on Tuesday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, located south of the 72nd Street cross-drive in Manhattan.  Since 1905, Naumburg Orchestral Concerts has continuously presented free, open-air summer concerts to New Yorkers.  A thousand seats are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no tickets distributed. Benches around the concert ground are also available.  WQXR will broadcast the concert live on 105.9 FM and via live stream at www.wqxr.org, with host Annie Bergen.

The ensemble will perform signature works including Haydn’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op 92.  Kristine Spensieri, Orpheus’s Interim Executive Director said, “We are excited to return to the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts and honored to participate in this outstanding series and historic New York tradition. It is incredibly important, and meaningful, for Orpheus to give back to the community and we look forward to performing these great symphonic works in an idyllic outdoor setting.”

In a review of Orpheus’ April 2015 concert at Carnegie Hall, The New York Times remarked that Orpheus gave a “melting account” of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. In a review of Orpheus’s recent album, Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7, which featured live performances, Gramophone stated that Orpheus performed “in their trademark virtuoso, positive style. The Seventh in particular [showed] the creativity-through-collaboration model working at full blend and firing on all cylinders” and capturing “Orpheus at their most brilliant yet.”

Since its first concert with the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in the summer of 2012, Orpheus has presented programs of popular and lesser-known pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries, including works by Bartók, Beethoven, Grieg, Haydn, Rossini, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
The 2015-16 season marks Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s 43rd year of making internationally acclaimed music, from classical to contemporary, while reinventing the way individuals and organizations across the world think about collaboration, outreach, and democratic leadership. Performing without a conductor, Orpheus integrates musicians into virtually every facet of the organization, including artistic and administrative decisions, by rotating musical leadership roles for each piece and running open forum rehearsals. With over 70 albums, collaborations with leading contemporary soloists, and more than 40 commissioned works as part of its history, Orpheus strives to expand the repertoire for chamber orchestra and continues to develop its international reputation through innovative projects and tours to Europe, Asia, and South America.

Orpheus’s four-concert Signature Series at Carnegie Hall in 2015-16 features performances with acclaimed soloists including cellist Jan Vogler and violinist Mira Wang, pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, and violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Augustin Hadelich, in addition to premieres of Orpheus-commissioned works by award-winning composers Wolfgang Rihm and Harold Meltzer, and new arrangements of works by Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff by Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Paul Chihara. Orpheus will travel to Cartagena, Japan and Toronto, and perform at the Dresden Music Festival.

The Orpheus Process™, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution, has been the focus of studies at Harvard, and of leadership seminars at Morgan Stanley and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. This approach is the basis of two education and engagement programs: Access Orpheus, which provides free learning opportunities, including in-class visits, tickets, and educational material, for over 2,500 New York City public school students each year; and the Orpheus Institute, which teaches experiential training in collective leadership to the next generation of musicians, university students, musical entrepreneurs, and business leaders, through residencies at select universities and conservatories that have included Dartmouth College, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Maryland. For more information, visit www.orpheusnyc.com.

About the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
Since 1905, the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts has continuously presented free, outdoor classical music concerts to New Yorkers of all walks of life. Named after founder and philanthropist Elkan Naumburg, who donated the Naumburg Bandshell to New York City in 1923, and inspired by his own love of music, the series seeks to stimulate and encourage new and expanded audiences for classical music in the informal and beautiful setting of Central Park.

In late nineteenth century New York, Mr. Naumburg felt a need to encourage and stimulate the public’s interest in symphonic and semi-classical music. In 1873, Naumburg helped found the Oratorio Society of New York in the family parlor where Leopold Damrosch, Theodore Thomas, and Marcella Sembrich, among others, played weekly in the 1870’s, 80’s & 90’s. Mr. Naumburg’s wife, Bertha, gave that group its name. Elkan’s son, Walter, further reinforced the family tradition of supporting classical music when he established the Walter W. Naumburg Prize in 1926, as did his grand-niece, Eleanor Naumburg Sanger, who co-founded WQXR, New York’s classical music radio station. In 1912, the Concert Ground’s earlier Central Park Bandstand was deemed inadequate. Elkan’s replacement greatly improved the conditions for musical performance over the earlier facility. A nephew, William G. Tachau, designed the building in 1916.

In 1992 a lawsuit was filed against the Central Park Conservancy and the Parks Department to save the Bandshell from imminent demolition. A decision on July 6th, 1993 by New York’s highest court ended both the litigation and the planned demolition. After Elkan Naumburg’s death in 1924, his sons, Walter W. Naumburg and George W. Naumburg continued the park concerts. When Walter W. Naumburg died in 1959, his will provided for the perpetuation of these concerts.

Today, the concerts feature promising new talent and promote the professional development of young composers and conductors. It is the oldest such concert series in the United States. The Naumburg Orchestral Concerts is a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer board of trustees; contributions towards its programs are fully tax-deductible.

Naumburg Orchestral Concerts

Tuesday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park

HAYDN  Symphony No. 1 in D Major, 1759, Hoboken l/1
WAGNER Siegfried Idyll, 1870, WWV. 103
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, 1813

WQXR will broadcast the concert live on 105.9 FM and via live-stream at www.wqxr.org.

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