The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra performs and records music influenced by a range of cultural and popular traditions, including folk, gospel, jazz, rock, musical theater and literature.
Founded in 1987 by artistic director Richard Auldon Clark, the orchestra has since premiered and recorded the works of the composers William Grant Still, Alec Wilder, Victor Herbert, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, Otto Luening, Dominick Argento, Randall Thompson, Eric Ewazen, David Amram and Dave Soldier, among others.
Significant performances have included the works Three Songs by Frank Bridge, A Little Light Music by Seymour Barab, Three Madrigals by Bohuslav Martinu and Sonata for Viola and Piano by Alec Wilder. One recent concert at the Women’s Interfaith Institute in Seneca Falls, New York, included the work of composers Rebecca Clark, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Susan Follari.
The orchestra performs an average of eight concerts per year in New York, presenting its Mostly American series at Merkin Concert Hall. It also appears regularly in the popular concert series at Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York. Moreover, the orchestra undertakes a special concert program for elementary school children from the Harlem area in conjunction with Riverbank State Park.
The orchestra records an average of three new CD titles each season. In 1995, the orchestra received the NAIRD Indie award for Best Classical Album for its Mountains and Rivers Without End. The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra’s 30 CDs are released on the Newport Classic, KOCH International, AVANT, VOX, Helicon, KLEOS Classics and Mulatta record labels.