About Boston Classical Orchestra
The Boston Classical Orchestra delivers outstanding performances of classical repertoire and provides an intimate audience experience, inspiring and entertaining Boston concertgoers and the community at large in our historic Faneuil Hall setting.
The Boston Classical Orchestra, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt, non-profit registered organization under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Founded by violinist and long-time BCO concertmaster Robert Brink, the orchestra gave its inaugural performance at historic Faneuil Hall in May, 1980 with the BCO’s first Music Director, F. John Adams, conducting. The orchestra has been performing in this remarkable auditorium ever since. In 1983 Harry Ellis Dickson became Music Director. During his 16-year tenure the orchestra’s offerings tripled, many world-class solo artists were engaged and a program of in-school youth concerts was inaugurated. In 1999 when Steven Lipsitt was named Music Director, Dickson became Music Director Laureate (a post he held until his death in March, 2003).
The Boston Classical Orchestra is a fully professional chamber orchestra focused primarily on music of the Classical period. The Orchestra performs five programs each season on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Each program is carefully crafted to encompass a broad spectrum of classical music appropriate for a chamber orchestra. Depending on the programming, the orchestra can range from 21 to 45 players. One of the most popular programs of the season is the annual Valentine’s concert, which, given the intimate nature of that celebration, can feature still smaller ensembles. A lecture about the music precedes both Saturday and Sunday concerts, and the conductor offers brief spoken commentary about the music and musicians during the concerts.
In addition to playing familiar and lesser-known classics, the BCO occasionally juxtaposes Classically inspired modern compositions. In the 2000-2001 season the orchestra undertook its first-ever commissioned work to honor the late Alford P. Rudnick, a longtime supporter and donor. The result, Herschel Garfein’s Places to Live, was performed to audience acclaim and rave reviews. For our 25th anniversary season (2004-2005) ,the BCO commissioned four works from Boston-based or Boston-trained composers:a fanfare by Kenneth Amis, a Bach-inspired overture by Robert Aldridge, a set of variations on a theme of Mozart by Lawrence Wolfe, and a musical portrait of Colonial Boston by Tison Street. This last piece earned a prestigious Koussevitzky Award. In March 2006, the BCO performed Michael Weinstein’s Chamber Symphony in collaboration with the New England Orchestra Consortium and the American Composers Forum New England. In March 2007 the BCO will peform the world premiere of a new work by Howard Frazin, “Theme & Reverberations” for Two Tubas and orchestra, featuring tubists Mike Roylance and Eli Newberger.
Performances often include internationally celebrated soloists. Recent programs have featured pianists Robert Levin and Benjamin Pasternack; Richard Stoltzman, clarinet; violinists Jennifer Frautschi and Irina Muresanu; the Borromeo String Quartet; cellist Leslie Parnas; and Sharon Isbin, classical guitar, to name only a few.
The BCO offers outstanding live performances in an intimate, welcoming, and historic setting. It is one of Boston’s richest cultural treasures.