The UNC Symphony Orchestra is a 90-member ensemble that rehearses twice weekly throughout the academic year and performs two major concerts each semester. Approximately 50% of the orchestra consists of music majors, but enrollment is open by audition to the entire UNC community—music majors, minors, non-majors, graduate students in all fields, and recent graduates.
The UNCSO was honored to be named the 2012 first-place winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—College/University Division, for the video of their live performance of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Many of the orchestra’s recent concert performances, including the Rachmaninoff, are available for viewing on YouTube by searching for “UNC Symphony Orchestra.”
Led by its Music Director and Conductor, Tonu Kalam, the orchestra often presents faculty and student musicians as concerto soloists and has collaborated regularly with UNC opera and choral ensembles, including recent full productions of Britten’s War Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Brahms’ German Requiem, and the Verdi Requiem in Murry Sidlin’s Defiant Requiem production.
The orchestra’s concerts have consistently offered its musicians and audiences a broad variety of standard and contemporary symphonic repertoire, including significant premieres of works by UNC faculty composers. The UNCSO has appeared on a number of occasions in the Carolina Performing Arts series, including a 2015 collaboration with world-renowned violinist Gil Shaham in a memorable performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and a 2017 performance of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 4 in CPA’s Glass at 80 festival.
Be sure to catch both of their performances this semester!
October 11 ⋅ UNCSO with Marc Callahan, bass-baritone ⋅ Walton Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, John Adams The Wound Dresser, Schubert Symphony No. 7, “Unfinished” ⋅ 7:30 pm in Memorial Hall ⋅ $10 general admission / $5 UNC students, faculty and staff
December 4 ⋅ UNCSO with Billy Stewart, guitar ⋅ Beethoven Symphony No. 1, Billy Stewart Three Pieces for Guitar and Orchestra (premiere performance), Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol ⋅ 7:30 pm in Memorial Hall ⋅ $10 general admission / $5 UNC students, faculty and staff