About Us

History

Founded in 1990 by Dr. Barry Ross as the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra, the group brings together students, faculty, amateur and professional musicians of all ages to perform great music. After a national search, Andrew Koehler was appointed to succeed him as the new music director of the group, which subsequently renamed itself the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. Having grown enormously since its inception, the ensemble is now of full symphonic proportions, and has been recognized as an arts organization of major importance in the greater Kalamazoo area. The orchestra generally plays three concerts per season, the programs of which are introduced by Andrew Koehler and Cara Lieurance on WMUK the week preceding the performance. Its repertoire, which features dynamic, adventurous, and thoughtfully-curated works, won the 2014 American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Orchestral Programming. In 2018, the group was invited to Harris Theater in Chicago to give the North American premiere of Yevhen Stankovych’s Requiem for Those who Died of Famine, written in memory of the victims of the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-33; Chicago Classical Review wrote that “the Kalamazoo Philharmonia gave a most impressive accounting of itself, playing Stankovych‚Äôs music with full commitment.” It has produced several CDs, appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, and collaborated with the Bach Festival Chorus, as well as renowned soloists such as Orli Shaham, Anthony Ross, Orion Weiss, Adam Neimann, Makoto Nakura, Todd Palmer, John Bruce Yeh, Richard Stoltzman, Aaron Dworkin, Danielle Belen, and Amit Peled.