About the Artist:
Now in its 120th year, the Princeton University Orchestra is a renowned, touring symphonic orchestra that plays a wide range of works by composers from the Classical period up through freshly composed works by Princeton composers.
The Princeton University Orchestra began with a group of professional musicians from the New York Symphony and Philharmonic Societies who performed a series of concerts at Alexander Hall in 1896. The proceeds were “devoted to the funds for the establishment of a School of Music for the Study of Musical Composition, Theory, and History at Princeton University.” Over the ensuing century, the Orchestra has become an almost exclusively student organization, some 100 undergraduate and graduate musicians representing a broad spectrum of academic departments come together for concerts in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall.
Participation in the Orchestra is voluntary and extracurricular; students commit many hours to rehearsal over and above the time required for academic coursework. Graduates of the Orchestra have gone on to be performers, music teachers, and arts administrators, but the comprehensive list of occupations is as diverse as Princeton itself.
Under the direction of Michael Pratt, the Orchestra performs from 10 to 16 times each year both on campus and touring. Last season, it premiered the Piano Concerto of faculty member Juri Seo and combined forces with the Glee Club to perform Mozart’s Requiem to packed houses in Richardson Auditorium.
The Orchestra serves an important role in Princeton’s Department of Music by both reading and performing new works by graduate students in composition. It periodically engages in special collaborations across campus with other performance-oriented groups and departments, and is also typically called on to perform at special University functions.
The Orchestra has represented Princeton in New York concert halls and on tour across Europe, from Edinburgh to Lisbon, and from London to Budapest. In January 2017, the Orchestra toured Central Europe: Prague, Vienna, Bratislava (Slovakia), and Budapest.