Now in its 17th season, the Colburn Orchestra is the flagship ensemble of the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Under the direction of Music Director Yehuda Gilad, the Colburn Orchestra performs for Southern California audiences at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, Royce Hall, The Broad Stage, Segerstrom Concert Hall, and The Soraya. Dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community, the Colburn Orchestra performs for schools in neighboring communities twice a year, giving five concerts in a one-week period to school children of all ages.
Since the inception of the Orchestra, Gilad and the esteemed Colburn faculty have invited leading guest artists to perform with the Colburn Orchestra to mirror a professional orchestral experience. Previous visiting conductors include James Conlon, Plácido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Nicolas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Guest soloists include violinists Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin, Elmar Oliveira, and Pinchas Zukerman; soprano Elizabeth Hynes; mezzo-sopranos Sasha Cooke and Michelle DeYoung; pianist Vladimir Feltsman; and saxophonist Claude Delangle. Acclaimed artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich and Itzhak Perlman actively worked with the orchestra during its inaugural year.
The ensemble made its United Kingdom debut at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2018, followed by a performance in Dublin. In 2012, the Colburn Orchestra opened the Grammy Foundation’s 14th Annual Music Preservation Project, One Night Only: A Celebration of the Live Music Experience, sharing the stage with Grammy Award winners, nominees, and stars of the future from all musical genres. In 2010, Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Michael Giacchino conducted the Colburn Orchestra at Royce Hall in a special concert, “Lost” Live: The Final Celebration, coinciding with the finale of the worldwide hit television show.
Colburn Orchestra recordings include the music of Menachem Wiesenberg (Live Classics, 2006) with now-retired faculty Ron Leonard playing Wiesenberg’s Cello Concerto; If You Love For Beauty (Yarlung Records, 2012), features works by John Adams, Chausson, Handel, and Mahler; and the critically-acclaimed When Soft Voices Die (Bridge Records, 2013) featured faculty Paul Coletti in Paul Chihara’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. The Colburn Orchestra’s live performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5, led by guest conductor Gerard Schwarz, was released by Yarlung Records in 2014.