The String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB) is a unique community of musicians who come together in a supportive environment to enrich the life of our communities through music. Embracing an inclusive approach to music-making, the SOB seeks to democratize both the production and reception of concert music. Founded in 2007 by artistic director Eli Spindel, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn is “quickly solidifying its role as a major orchestral figure in the borough” (I Care if You Listen), providing an enriching creative outlet to hundreds of musicians, and accessible, adventurous programming to thousands of concertgoers and community members.
To date, the SOB has given over 90 concerts and presentations of over 400 new and existing works for string orchestra, full orchestra, and chamber ensemble. Praised for its passionate commitment to the music of our time by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, I Care if You Listen, The New Yorker, and more, the SOB places a special emphasis on the work of living composers. Upcoming highlights for 2017 include the organization’s third annual String Theories Festival, a multi-evening festival featuring over 50 artists and composers from around the world. The festival has commissioned and performed over 20 world premieres. Now in its 10th season, the SOB releases its inaugural album, AfterImage, on June 21, 2017.
Other recent highlights include a 6-hour installation piece for the grand opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art in collaboration with the late Tony Conrad and John Cale. The orchestra is featured on Richard Carrick’s album Cycles of Evolution, and has presented world premieres by such composers as Anthony Coleman, Alexandra Gardner, Judd Greenstein, Katherine Young, Alex Mincek, Catherine Lamb, Scott Wollschleger, Christopher Cerrone, and more. Upcoming commissions include the work of the internationally-based W4 New Music Collective.
The orchestra collaborates with vital Brooklyn-based organizations, including Roulette, ISSUE Project Room, American Opera Projects, GHOSTLIGHT Chorus, the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, and the Noel Pointer Foundation. Guest soloists and conductors have included such stars as Tito Muñoz, Charlers Neidich, Steve Beck, Matt Boehler, David Kaplan, Spencer Myer, and MIVOS and Argus String Quartets.
“Incredible displays of artistry, superb programming, and a commitment to commissioning new works make the String Orchestra of Brooklyn a force to be reckoned with.”
– Sam Reising
I Care if You Listen
Critical praise from our October 2011 collaboration with American Opera Projects of Philip Glass’s In the Penal Colony:
“…Mr. Glass originally scored the work for string quintet, a medium associated, he says, with introspection and intimacy. Whatever intimacy may have been sacrificed when the String Orchestra of Brooklyn performed here, conducted by Eli Spindel, was more than compensated for by the vivid intensity of the interpretation.
Mr. Spindel elicited sharply defined, urgent playing that illuminated every mood of this haunting score, from the throbbing ostinatos and angry surges to meditative, eerie sweetness. Most dramatic are the sudden pauses, like the abrupt silence that follows the Officer’s grotesque death.” –VIVIEN SCHWEITZER full article
“…[an] excellent orchestra” – HEIDI WALESON full article
“…a masterful concert presented by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn this past Saturday evening. I was among the many who strained a bit to take in the classical chords of this fine group over the whoops and shouts associated with nearby sports and family gatherings. The sounds of a park at play seemed at times to compliment the music nicely.” – DAN ELHKE full article
The String Orchestra of Brooklyn holds regular auditions at the beginning of each rehearsal cycle. If you are interested in auditioning, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a short paragraph about your playing background. All positions are unpaid.
Composers interested in submitting scores should send a zipped folder containing a score, parts, and a recording (if available) to email@example.com. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot respond to every request.
Eli Spindel, Artistic Director