Under Ruth Ochs’ leadership, the Princeton University Sinfonia has grown from a small chamber orchestra into a full symphony orchestra since taking the helm twenty years ago. Welcoming undergraduate and graduate student musicians, as well as musical members of the Princeton University community willing to make the commitment, the Sinfonia performs music from the baroque to the most recent, including symphonies of Haydn, Beethoven, Beach, Brahms, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. In recent years, the ensemble’s programming has expanded to include a robust selection of lesser-known yet equally exciting repertory. Sinfonia regularly offers opportunities for its members to perform as soloist, and an ever-expanding list of Princeton undergraduate composers have their work premiered by the ensemble in recent years.
In addition to her work with Sinfonia, Ruth Ochs has conducted the Princeton University Orchestra on many occasions, including leading that orchestra on its 2019 tour of Spain. For the past eighteen years, she has served as music director of the Westminster Community Orchestra, the community orchestra of the Westminster Conservatory of Music. She has led the orchestra in collaborations with faculty, students, and choral ensembles from the Westminster Conservatory and the Westminster Choir College. After a successful renewal after the pandemic, this community ensemble continues to create meaningful musical outlets for musicians from central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
In the classroom Dr. Ochs loves to teach courses that explore the intersections of performance and scholarship. Invigorating syllabi with new perspectives and sounds, exploring lesser-considered angles, and imparting tools for a life-long respect for music are central to her philosophy as an educator.
Degrees in Music and Orchestral Conducting: Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. in Musicology at Princeton University, with a dissertation on Karol Szymanowski’s ballet Harnasie. (2018)
Studied with Maestro Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine.