Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) is a collegiate symphony orchestra comprised of Harvard students and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in March of 1808 as the Pierian Sodality, the orchestra is considered by some to be the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. This is disputed by others because of the organization's somewhat informal beginnings (the original charter states that the intent of the Pierian Sodality is to "perform music for the enjoyment of others as well as serenade young women in the square"), and as a result, some consider the New York Philharmonic to be the oldest American orchestra. The HRO assumed its current form as a modern symphony orchestra during the first half of the 20th century, and was, for a brief time, the nation's largest collegiate orchestra.
The orchestra currently contains over 100 members, and is the largest of the orchestras at Harvard University (though at one point during its history, the orchestra contained only one member, a flutist named Henry Gassett). In general, only students of Harvard College are eligible for membership, though this rule is not absolute and has occasionally been waived when necessary. The orchestra plays four concerts every year in Sanders Theater on Harvard's campus. Its alumni board is still known as the Pierian Sodality of 1808.
The orchestra has been led since 1964 by James Yannatos, a composer and member of the music faculty at Harvard.
The HRO has toured various places throughout its history, including Brazil, Washington, D.C., Mexico, Canada, Carnegie Hall, Italy, Soviet Union, Asia, and Europe. In 1978, the HRO placed third in the International Festival of Student Orchestras.
Posted by so2374 at 7:44 AM