The UCR Orchestra, conducted by Ruth Charloff, is a thriving ensemble that prides itself on top-notch programming and high-quality musicianship. Primarily a university student orchestra, we also welcome community members. Our university membership draws students from all over campus, from music majors to biomedical science majors committed to making time for music amid their other demands. We present two major programs per academic year.
The orchestra's varied and lively programming comprises music of three centuries, from Handel, Haydn and Mozart to recent works by American composers. Recent highlights have included Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, Copland's Appalachian Spring, de Falla's Three-Cornered Hat and El Amor Brujo, Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Tragic Overture , Borodin's Symphony No. 2, the Sinfonia India by Mexican composer Carlos Chavez, the “Mysterious Mountain” Symphony by the late Alan Hovhaness, Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue , Copland's Outdoor Overture and Kurt Weill's Symphony No. 2 were featured together in a concert celebrating the flourishing culture of Jewish New York around the time of WWII; a concert for children offered Poulenc's The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant (with narration) along with Bernstein's Candide and Rossini's Barber of Seville , instrument demonstrations, and festive outreach to the community; a recent concert of French music included Offenbach, Bizet, Ravel, Fauré and Massenet. The orchestra is also committed to presenting music by current UCR composers, which has recently included two West Coast premieres by Byron Adams. The UCR orchestra regularly presents concerto performances by sterling soloists, both professional and student: among our recent guest soloists have been pianists Robert Sage and Kimberly Amin, violinist Lyndon Johnson Taylor, clarinetist Donald Foster, baritone Ralph Cato, violinist Lucille Taylor, soprano Catherine Card, and pianist Abraham Fabella.