HISTORY OF ORCHESTRA LONG ISLAND
Orchestra Long Island, established in 2017, carries forward the musical legacy of the Long Island Philharmonic. Profoundly motivated by the belief that the communities of Long Island deserve to have a professional orchestra and aware of the void created by the Philharmonic’s closure in 2016, then-Philharmonic music director David Stewart Wiley led a group of dedicated musicians and passionate educators to form Orchestra Long Island. The scale and scope of performance and educational initiatives –both those currently in progress as well as those envisioned for the future—place OLI on the fast track to becoming a nationally recognized community innovator among regional orchestras. A leader in music performance and music education on Long Island for nearly two decades, Maestro Wiley possesses the passion and experience that are key to OLI’s success.
The orchestra draws musicians from Long Island and the New York metropolitan area, many of whom perform on Broadway, in chamber ensembles, and are also members of such groups as the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, New York City Ballet, New York Pops, and Orchestra of Saint Luke’s. They also participate in regional, national and international music festivals. In addition to celebrated careers as performing artists, many OLI members are on the faculties of prestigious area music schools and maintain established private studios. They recognize the vital importance of the arts in the region’s life, pursuing their passion for music both on the stage and in the classroom.
OLI’s mission is to engage and inspire people of all ages and to enhance the cultural vitality of Long Island through great music. The orchestra will present an eclectic range of music from all eras, including beloved classics as well as contemporary compositions, in diverse settings: summer music in the parks, performances at professional concert venues, and small-ensemble performances at schools and community venues. OLI aspires to develop a chamber music series, which would include baroque music played on period instruments. In all of these ventures, OLI promises music at the highest level of artistic excellence, performed by professional musicians, with a wide array of guest artists.
Education remains a centerpiece in accomplishing OLI’s mission—both for aspiring musicians and for the audience. The Arts-in-Education program includes Performance Partner Residencies, in-school small ensemble performances, and coaching workshops by members of the orchestra. Future plans include a young artist competition and master classes.
Equally important to OLI’s education mission is nurturing the audience. Maestro Wiley will present lively and informative pre-concert lectures, with guest soloists and composers of new works when included in the program. OLI’s varied programs will demonstrate the vitality and relevance of the music and its influence on other musical genres, such as rock, jazz, Broadway. We envision creating online resources as a way to provide educators and audiences alike with access to the richness and variety of classical music.
To achieve these goals, Maestro Wiley and OLI pledge to work with LI communities to build its audience, serving those who already know and love classical music and those who will encounter it for the first time. Through dynamic leadership, adventuresome programming, and flexible instrumentation, Orchestra Long Island’s goals and mission will leave an indelible cultural mark, engaging and strengthening classical music audiences now while cultivating future musicians and listeners.
We invite Long Island’s musicians and music lovers—of all ages!— to join with OLI in bringing a timeless and transformative experience to our communities. Rest assured of our firm commitment and deep passion to be your orchestra, Long Island.