The All-Star Orchestra, similar to Major League Baseball’s All-Star team, is composed of the finest orchestral “athletes” from leading orchestras across the country. Featuring exceptional performances of symphonic masterpieces and contemporary works, the All-Star Orchestra programs seek to expose broad audiences to classical music through a format that is both informative and accessible.
The All-Star Orchestra comprises prominent musicians from the major orchestras in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York (including the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah, Washington D.C., and more. Together these musicians perform on one stage under the leadership of Music Director Gerard Schwarz. The ensemble is featured in the All-Star Orchestra television series seen nationally on public broadcasting stations. The series has won the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Broadcasting Award and three Emmy© Awards in 2014 and 2015 including two for Special Event Coverage and one for Audio Post-Production.
The series is designed to appeal to classical music neophytes and connoisseurs alike. The one hour programs present dynamic performances – recorded in HD – prefaced with lively commentary and storytelling by Mr. Schwarz, the composers, and musical experts. The TV programs entertain, educate and encourage greater understanding of classical music as a living tradition that spans and unites generations.
The first season of eight episodes aired on public television stations nationwide in the fall of 2013 and the second season of four episodes will air beginning October 1, 2015. Programs from the first season were also released on DVD by Naxos of America and are available from Amazon and other retailers. Episodes from the first season are available to stream at http://www.thirteen.org/programs/all-star-orchestra/.
In 2014, the All-Star Orchestra partnered with Khan Academy, the free educational website that has more than 15 million monthly users on average.The collaboration brings music education to the widely visited website that teaches math, science, economics, humanities and many other subjects. To date, All-Star Orchestra lessons and features on the Khan Academy website have garnered over 1.8 million unique page views.