About

Mission Statement

The Little Orchestra Society (LOS) presents live music in ways that inspire and educate audiences of all ages while creating a new model for the 21st century orchestra that emphasizes connections with the community. LOS has given more than 65 premieres and launched the careers of many major musical talents in its concert programming for adult and family audiences. Founded by Thomas K. Scherman in 1947, LOS is among the oldest professional orchestras in New York City. Under the direction of Dino Anagnost from 1979 to 2011, LOS became particularly well known for family programs and created an array of music education and community engagement programs in the belief that access to live music should be extended to all members of the community. Led by Music Director James Judd since 2013, LOS continues to advance its commitment to sharing the vitality of live classical music and building future audiences. 

Music Director

An artist of outstanding versatility, British born conductor James Judd is sought after for his passionate musicianship and his charismatic presence both on and off the podium. Known for his extraordinarily communicative style and bold, imaginative programming, repeat engagements in concert halls from Vienna to Tokyo attest to his rapport with audiences and musicians alike.

In his distinguished career, James Judd has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo and the orchestras of Dallas, St. Louis, Baltimore and Montreal, among others. Considered one of the pre-eminent interpreters of British orchestral music, Judd’s recording of Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 with the Halle Orchestra is still a highly regarded reference standard among Elgar lovers today.

He has amassed an extensive discography on the Naxos label, including an unprecedented number in partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, where he is Music Director Emeritus. Recordings of works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Beethoven,Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin and many others received critical acclaim. A champion of the works of Gustav Mahler, Judd’s performances of this composer have been praised the world over.

His recording of Mahler’s Symphony No.1 was awarded the Gold Medal by France’s Diapason as well as the Toblacher Komponierhauschen for the best Mahler recording of the year. Judd’s orchestral recordings are also featured on the Decca, EMI and Philips labels. An accomplished operatic conductor, Judd has appeared with the English National Opera, Wexford Festival and Glyndebourne Opera Festival in productions of Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro and La Cenerentola.

From 1993-1996 Judd served as Artistic Director of the Florida Grand Opera where he conducted works including Don Giovanni, Un Ballo en Maschera, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly and the Turn of the Screw. In addition to staged productions, Judd has conducted concert performances of Tannhauser, Fidelio and La Clemenza di Tito. His operatic recordings include the complete operas of Meyerbeer and Donizetti. A graduate of London’s Trinity College of Music, Mr. Judd came to international attention as the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, a post he accepted at the invitation of Lorin Maazel. Two years later, he returned to Europe after being appointed Associate Music Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra by Claudio Abbado.

James Judd served as Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for 14 years. His reputation as an orchestra builder was established in Florida as he grew this once small, regional ensemble into the largest performing arts organization in the state. Contemporary programming initiatives, critically acclaimed performances and the development of a hugely successful summer festival marked a period of striking artistic growth for the ensemble, culminating in international recognition for their recordings of Walton, Bernstein and Mahler. The measure of the orchestra’s artistic growth during James Judd’s tenure is best summed up by music critic Tim Smith. Of a performance by Judd and the Philharmonic of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Smith wrote “Making the results doubly satisfying is the fact that the Philharmonic can withstand direct comparison with the San Francisco Symphony, which played Mahler’s Fifth in the same hall three weeks earlier. Not long ago, the Philharmonic’s playing was light-years away from that of a major orchestra like the San Francisco. On Tuesday, that distance could be measured in mere miles.”

During his eight years as Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Judd brought the ensemble to a new level of visibility and international renown. In addition to recording, Judd led the NZSO on its first tour of the major concert halls of Europe, including the Concertgebouw and the Royal Albert Hall where it performed at the BBC Proms; "the players sounded absolutely on top of the piece, and Judd's astute conducting charted it's structure with a sure touch. The result gained in concentration and dynamism right through to the resplendent close." (The Guardian)

Previous directorships include Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Nationale de Lille (France) and Principal Guest Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony (Australia).

In 2008 James founded the Miami Music Project in South Florida. Underwritten by a generous grant from the John and James L. Knight Foundation, the Miami Music Project ( MMP) provides education, instruction and performance opportunities for hundreds of children from diverse and underserved communities throughout the city. Inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema model, the MMP has opened academies for musical instruction in the Doral and Little Haiti communities of Miami, with plans underway for expansion into Little Havana and Liberty City. Additionally, the MMP continues it’s mission to give the older and most talented young musicians an opportunity to rehearse and perform the masterworks of the orchestral repertoire with the establishment of ESMIA (El Sistema Miami) Youth Orchestra.

James Judd’s conducting schedule in the upcoming season will include appearances with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra of Tokyo, Wiener Concert Verein, the Slovenian National Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony and performances of Britten’s War Requiem at the Bucharest Festival. He makes his home in the US with his wife and daughter.

Administrative Staff

Joanne Bernstein-Cohen, Executive Director
Peter Shavitz, Director of Development   x101
Dan Lobel, Director of Audience Services/Associate Director of Marketing   x123
Anthony Ball, Associate Executive Director/Director of Education   x122
Ben McNaboe, Production Manager   x107
Caleb Jaster, Music Assistant   x107
Carly Shaw, Music Education Intern   x113
Kaitlyn Grant, Development Intern   x102

Main Line   212-971-9500

Kiwi Partners, Financial Services
McLaughlin & Stern, Alvin Deutsch, Counsel
Crowell & Moring LLP, Legal Services
Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP, Legal Services
Connolly, McLaughlin & Woloz, Public Relations

 

Board of Directors

William S. Ohlemeyer, President
William Craig III, Chair Emeritus 
Sharon Hite, Vice President
Greg Parsons, Treasurer
Sharon L. Volckhausen, Secretary 

Judith Ann Conk
Eileen K. Cutler, MD
Samantha Hite

Carol D. Schaefer
Rosanna Troiano
Joan Weinreich, Ph.D.
Dr. C. Christine Wheeler

Artistic Advisory Council

Kate Baldwin
Harolyn Blackwell
John Corigliano
Robert Cuccioli
Hector Elizondo
Elliott Forrest
Andy Garcia
Joel Grey
Matt Haimovitz
Sally Ann Howes
Sharon Isbin
Kevin Kline
David T. Little
Jeffrey Lyons
Maureen McGovern
Donna McKechnie
Angela Meade
Michael Medved
Rita Moreno
Donna Murphy
Phyllis Newman
Mark O'Connor
Estelle Parsons
Peter H. Reynolds
Bobby Rivers
Tony Roberts
Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Daniel Bernard Roumain
Peter Schickele
Robert Sherman
Gretchen Shugart
Patti Smith

 

History

The Little Orchestra Society/Orpheon, Inc. (LOS), now in its 68th year, is dedicated to presenting groundbreaking classical music performances for all New Yorkers, as well as dynamic music education and community engagement programs in New York City public schools and communities.

Founded in 1947 by Thomas K. Scherman, LOS has remained a pioneer of innovative music from its founding days to its 32 years under the direction of Dino Anagnost, and continues to innovate under the leadership of world-renowned conductor James Judd, who took the helm in 2013.

The Orchestra has had many important American and World premieres that have launched and celebrated the careers of major musical talents. Past American premieres include: Intermezzo, Daphne and Horn Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Major by Richard Strauss; L’enfance du Christ and Béatrice et Bénédict by Hector Berlioz; Sir Michael Tippett’s Concerto for Piano ; and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba in F Minor . World premieres have showcased the talents of composers Morton Gould, Alan Hovhaness and David Diamond, among others. Our professional recordings include Dvorak’s Legends Op. 59 ; William Mayer and Susan Otto’s Hello World , narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt; and Prokoflev’s Peter and the Wolf , narrated by Dom DeLuise and nominated for a Grammy Award in 1991.

The Orchestra’s highly regarded Lolli-Pops ™ series for children ages 3 to 5, and the Peabody Award-winning Happy Concerts for Young People for children ages 6 to 12, have entertained generations of New York families. The common thread running through all LOS concerts, whether for adults or children, is a special focus on creating memorable music experiences, often complemented by other artistic disciplines, including dance, animation, narration and puppetry. For example, this season LOS presented acclaimed performances of Stravinsky’s Firebird that featured masterful puppetry by director/designer Chris Green, choreography by David Neumann and lighting design by Clifton Taylor.

Our repertoire has included works from the early Baroque to commissions by American, Latin American and European composers, as well as jazz, blues, folk and other music that has inspired our audiences.

Guest artists have played an important role in the history of the Orchestra, including jazz aficionado Benny Goodman, contralto Marian Anderson, violinist Isaac Stern, baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and bluegrass legend, composer and violinist Mark O’Connor.

Recent guest artists have ranged from the iconic rock legend Patti Smith who narrated Tubby The Tuba and Academy-Award nominated actress Sigourney Weaver who narrated Music Takes Flight , to violinist and composer Daniel Roumain who gave the New York premiere of his Woodbox Violin Concerto in Music Under the Big Top , the Orchestra’s first concert in the ring at the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center. The 2013-14 season marked the start of James Judd’s role as Music Director of the Orchestra. Mr. Judd is an internationally acclaimed conductor and educator—an artist of outstanding versatility. In his premiere season, LOS presented, among other works, Music Under the Big Top at the Big Apple Circus tent at Lincoln Center and The Composer is Dead, with music by Nathaniel Stookey and book by Lemony Snicket. In 2011,

Daniel Handler, the author and creator of the popular book series, chose LOS to debut this important work for New York audiences, and he narrated this premiere performance himself.

This season LOS will present a new series for families at The Kaye Playhouse called LOS KIDS, which will introduce children to the music and lives of four famous composers in a fun and educational way.  Once again LOS will present its Musical Connections program in New York City public schools. Expertly led by experienced teaching artists, this unique program will be further enhanced by the addition of James Judd’s passion and commitment to music education. In addition, LOS will continue providing New Yorkers with its Project 65Plus and Live In Concert! programs that guarantee accessibility to classical music for everyone—including underserved communities.

Violin I

Christopher Lee, Concertmaster
Eric DeGioia
Lilit Gampel
Mineko Yajima
Barbara Long
Krystof Witek
Victor Schultz

Violin II

Michael Gillette, Principal
Howard Hall
Mary Whitaker     *in memoriam
Katsuko Esaki
Ann Gillette
Lisa Tipton

Viola

Lois Martin, Principal
Ah-Ling Neu
Claire Bergman
Sarah Adams

Violoncello

Scott Ballantyne, Principal
David Heiss

Double Bass

Judith Sugarman, Principal
John Beal

Flute

Melanie Bradford, Principal 
Susan Rotholz

Oboe

Randall Ellis, Principal 
Diane Lesser

Clarinet

Alan Kay, Principal 
KeriAnn Di Bari

Bassoon

Andrew Schwartz, Principal The Loren Glickman Principal Bassoon Chair 
Lisa Alexander

French Horn

David Wakefield, Principal 
Susan Panny
Daniel Culpepper

Trumpet

Lowell J. Hershey, Principal 
John Sheppard

Trombone

Michael Powell, Principal 
John Rojak

Tuba

Marcus Rojas

Timpani

Jonathan Haas

Percussion

David Wilson, Principal 

Harp

Susan Jolles

Piano

Elizabeth DiFelice