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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will continue its fruitful relationship with the Lafayette cultural program by returning for a concert Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Marking the 15th anniversary of Orpheus’ debut at Lafayette, the program features Mozart’s Overture to Cosi fan tutti, followed by Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 in C and Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Orpheus favorite Melissa Meell will perform as soloist.

Tickets cost $23 and are in very limited supply. Inquire about availability by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

Tickets are available for Orpheus’ return engagements this season: Tuesday, Dec. 4, with great German countertenor Andreas Scholl as guest, and Friday, Feb. 1, with soloist Liang Ping How.

The Orpheus series is Lafayette’s proudest accomplishment in cultural programming, with memorable performances highlighted by such celebrated guest artists as Gil Shaham, Jeffrey Kahane, Branford Marsalis, Mischa Maisky, and James Galway. When Orpheus comes to town, Williams Center audiences enjoy the orchestra’s final polishing of its award-winning recording projects, major international tours, and numerous Carnegie Hall programs.

Meell, a cellist, performs throughout the world as both soloist and chamber musician. The New York Times has called her “a cellist with a singing quality and poetic sensibility that proves memorable.” She has the rare distinction of twice receiving the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1977, she received the prize as a founding member of the Primavera Quartet, and in 1986, with the Mannes Trio. As a result, Meell has played in every major concert hall in the world and has commissioned, premiered, and recorded many chamber works.

Meelll has been a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for 10 years, appearing as a member and a soloist, and has recorded frequently with Deutsche Grammophon and Nonesuch Records. She has also collaborated with the country’s finest ensembles, including Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the New York area, Meell performs regularly with the New York Philomusica, with whom she has made several recordings, including the chamber music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. She is also a frequent performer at Bridgehampton Chamber Music and Bargemusic in Brooklyn.

Recognized internationally as one of the world’s great chamber orchestras, Orpheus celebrates its 29th season of concert activity spanning four continents, including appearances in the major cities of North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The centerpiece of each Orpheus season is its five-concert series at Carnegie Hall.

Accompanying the critical acclaim for the orchestra’s live appearances are numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for “Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures,” three 1999 Grammy Awards for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, a 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer and a group of fellow musicians who aspired to perform chamber orchestral repertory as chamber music through their own close collaborative efforts, and without a conductor. Orpheus developed its approach to the study and performance of this repertory by bringing to the orchestral setting the chamber music principles of personal involvement and mutual respect. Orpheus is a self-governing organization, making the repertory and interpretive decisions ordinarily assumed by a conductor. Next month, Holt/NY Times Books will publish a book about Orpheus and its management model, Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductorless Orchestra, written by Orpheus executive director Harvey Seifter and business writer Peter Economy.

Members of Orpheus have received recognition for solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances. Of the 17 string and ten wind players who comprise the core membership of Orpheus, many also hold teaching positions at prominent conservatories and universities in the New York and New England areas, including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, and Yale University.

Orpheus has recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon. Included in the catalogue of over 50 recordings are several Haydn symphonies and Mozart serenades, the complete Mozart wind concertos with Orpheus members as soloists, Romantic works by Dvorák, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, and a number of 20th-century classics by Bartók, Prokofiev, Copland and Stravinsky. Recent collaborations include a recording with countertenor Andreas Scholl to be released in December (Decca); “Creation,” a jazz-inspired CD of classics from 1920s Paris with saxophonist Branford Marsalis (SONY Classical); a series of recordings of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode (Nonesuch); a recording with cellist Mischa Maisky (DG); and a recording of Piazzolla works with tango pianist Pablo Ziegler (BMG).

The 2001-2002 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from members of Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts, and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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