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Cultural Arts

New Orleans Symphony Orchestras

New Orleans symphony orchestra
New Orleans orchestra

Classical music has a long and storied history in New Orleans, dating back to the French colonial era. Members of the city’s upper class were privately entertained by chamber music in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and public performances by full orchestras took place in the city’s many acoustically ideal old theaters.

Over the years, a number of New Orleans symphony orchestras have come and gone in New Orleans. The latest incarnation is the present-day Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra which was the first totally musician-owned symphony orchestra in the United States. Like a mythical phoenix, it rose from the ashes of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra which went bankrupt and ceased performing in 1993.

In recent years, LPO has brought to the stage such renowned guest artists as violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Mark O’Connor, flutist James Galway and pianist/composer Marvin Hamlisch. Its seasons’ repertoires generally range from the works of classical composers – Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and others – to Broadway show tunes, pop standards and patriotic themes. Of the city’s major performing arts groups, LPO has the greatest mobility, being able to offer concerts in many locations, including the outdoors. LPO generally offers about two to three dozen concerts a year.

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