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The Chelsea Symphony is a dynamic, self-governing ensemble with a major cultural presence in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. We present music of the highest caliber while upending the traditional hierarchy of the classical orchestra: our musicians rotate as featured soloists, conductors, and composers. Through this collaborative model, we provide professional development opportunities for our members while performing inspiring concerts of music both old and new.
Founded in 2005 by young conductors Yaniv Segal and Miguel Campos Neto, The Chelsea Symphony has established a reputation as one of the most innovative ensembles in the New York metropolitan area. Shortly after its inception, the orchestra was featured in WNYC’s "Salute to the Arts" Initiative, and Steve Smith of The New York Times praised the ensemble for its "earnest, vibrant" playing. The Chelsea Symphony has collaborated with many noteworthy artists, including Clay Aiken, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Tony Award winner Lillias White, Broadway composer Seth Rudetsky, and fashion designer Malan Breton. The orchestra’s annual holiday concert has featured guest celebrities Richard Kind, David Hyde Pierce, Ana Gasteyer, Charles Busch, Andrea Martin, Rachel Dratch, Mo Rocca, and Victor Garber narrating The Night Before Christmas by Aaron Dai.
A champion of new music, The Chelsea Symphony has given the first performance of more than fifty compositions and presented many regional premieres. Nearly every one of the orchestra’s concerts features a work by a living American composer. In 2009, the ensemble presented open rehearsals of Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the new opera by legendary Wicked composer and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, in advance of the work’s premiere by Opera Santa Barbara. In 2013, the orchestra gave the New York City premieres of the Americana Symphony and The Improvised Violin Concerto by Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer Mark O’Connor--a performance that was featured in The Wall Street Journal. The Chelsea Symphony’s debut studio recording, a collection of world premiere compositions by David Chesky. In the 2014-2015 season, the orchestra is initiating a composition contest for early-career composers.
While maintaining its home base in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the orchestra has broadened its reach in recent years. The ensemble made its Lincoln Center debut in 2011, and has presented concerts at the United Nations, Bargemusic, Symphony Space, New York Fashion Week, and Central Park. In 2013, the orchestra launched an educational programming initiative in collaboration with the Harmony Program and the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights. More recently, members of The Chelsea Symphony can be seen in the Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle.
The Chelsea Symphony is proud to be a member of the Chelsea Cultural Partnership/Destination Chelsea.
The Chelsea Symphony is a non-profit, self-governing orchestra that aims to provide performance opportunities for its musicians while operating at an affordable scale. Soloists, conductors, and featured composers all come from within the orchestra’s ranks, and earn this benefit by playing in the orchestra. Our administrative operations are also handled by members of the ensemble.