Music

The world’s first public orchestra

“Backed by a $700,000 Pew grant, the Philadelphia Public Orchestra ambitiously seeks to redefine just what an orchestra is — and what it plays.”

Pricey tickets. WASPy galas. The Philadelphia Public Orchestra is set to overturn all of those notions.

The Philadelphia Public Orchestra’s manifesto makes it quite clear that the musicians themselves will eventually and collectively steer the ship: “After the orchestra has been established for at least one season, the orchestra members ideally take control of all decision-making.”

“The orchestra should take over and let the musicians, the performers, think of who they might like to ask for a commission, what themes are interesting to them. We’re coming together to create a kind of work of art, and there is a radical power in that. Interesting things can happen.”

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