about all-star orchestra
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.
Fresh from winning its sixth Emmy© award, All-Star Orchestra returned for a third season last fall. Led by internationally renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz, the all-new season of All-Star Orchestra started being broadcast by public television stations nationwide in September 2017.
Maestro Schwarz’s All-Star Orchestra is comprised of top players from some of the country’s greatest orchestra’s including New York (the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, St Louis, Utah, Washington D.C., and more. Together these musicians perform on one stage under the leadership of Maestro Schwarz, former Music Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, who led the Seattle Symphony for 26 years and now serves as its Conductor Laureate. He is currently Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival, and has recently published an acclaimed memoir, Behind the Baton. 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 six Emmy© Awards in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
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.
Highlights of Season Three include the spectacular “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky, the beloved “Romeo and Juliet” by Prokofiev, the beautiful “Enigma Variations” by Sir Edward Elgar (watch a preview here) and “Mysterious Mountain” by the American mystic Alan Hovhaness.
The first season of eight episodes aired on public television stations nationwide in the fall of 2013 and the second season of four episodes aired in the fall of 2015. Programs from the first two seasons 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.