Orchestra 2001 (O2001) is dedicated to performing and promoting the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, premiering new works, providing a major focus for the best new music of our time, introducing unknown older works, and reaching out to regional and international audiences. Our name pointed to the future when the ensemble was founded in 1988. Today the name, by now indelibly associated with landmark performances and recordings of new music, points in a new way to the future of the music of our time.
Currently in its 28th season, in addition to our concerts in Philadelphia and at Swarthmore College, the orchestra has brought new American music to countless new audiences through tours abroad and through our recordings for CRI, Bridge, Albany, Innova, and Centaur.
The orchestra has had great influence on the lives of composers, young and old, in particular, in the relationship it has with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Media, Pennsylvania resident George Crumb. Orchestra 2001 is the pre-eminent interpreter of Mr. Crumb’s music and has brought his music worldwide: performances in Denmark, England, and Slovenia, at the Soundwaves Festival in Russia, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music in Cuba, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar, and at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Tianjin Grand Theater and Nanning China-ASEAN Music Days in China. O2001 has also performed Crumb’s music at Carnegie’s Zankel Theater and Miller Theater in New York, the Library of Congress, and at the Kimmel Center. All of Mr. Crumb’s “American Songbooks” – his unique settings of American folksongs – were written for and premiered by James Freeman and O2001. The “Songbooks” have been recorded by O2001 for Bridge Records.
O2001’s dedication to the performance of American contemporary music speaks for itself: 85 world premieres, over 100 Philadelphia premieres, over 200 works by 135 American composers, of which more than 140 works were by 80 Philadelphia-area composers.
In The News
- Review: Orchestra 2001 rocks hard, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 23, 2015.