The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the biggest performing arts organization in the state of Indiana, is an asset to the citizens of Indianapolis with its year-round concert schedule, wide array of performances, and community outreach programs. The orchestra calls the Hilbert Circle Theater, on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, its home and performs over 200 performances for over 350,000 Indianapolis music lovers annually, making it a favorite Indianapolis attraction.
The 88-member orchestra is one of the few of its kind in the nation to perform a 52-week schedule. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra made its concert debut on November 2 of 1930 in Shortridge High School’s Caleb Mills Hall. The orchestra would go on to receive a great amount of praise for its performances, recordings, and radio broadcasts of American works. The orchestra would later gain international fame under the direction of its third conductor, Izler Solomon. Later performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall would bring the orchestra critical acclaim.
Under the direction of internationally renowned conductor Raymond Leppard, beginning in 1987, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra would implement a plan of musicality, scholarship, and creative marketing to bring the orchestra to a high level of respect among fans and colleagues alike. This would lead this Indianapolis musical organization into its current standing as a respectable, well-regarded group.
In 1937, under the direction of Fabian Sevitzky, the orchestra would begin national broadcasts via the Mutual Broadcasting System, and by 1940 the orchestra had completed over 80 national broadcasts. The following year, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra would make its debut in the recording industry. The orchestra would put out many recordings, and between the years 1941 and 1953, the orchestra released a total of 20 different records under the RCA Victor and Capitol music labels.
The image of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was further enhanced in the 1980’s through contracts with public radio and television stations. A 1985 recording earned the orchestra the prestigious Arturo Toscanini Music Critics Award, and later CD releases would receive high praise from critics.
Throughout the year, a wide variety of musical programs are presented by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the enjoyment of Indianapolis society. The orchestra’s acclaimed 18-week Classical Series is aimed towards performances representing the classical elements of musical composure and showcases the overwhelming talents of the orchestra’s 88 members. Additional seasonal performances include a Christmas “Yuletide Celebration”, an extravagant New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala, and a Mid-Winter Festival.
Summer offerings by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra include the “Symphony Promenades” in June, a 6-week outdoor concert series, “Symphony on the Prairie” held at Conner Prairie, and a variety of free outdoor concerts at various Indianapolis parks and outdoor Indianapolis music venues. The Orchestra also presents a pops series directed by world renowned conductor Erich Kunzel.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra uses many programs to inform audiences about the music being played. These programs include the “Studio Series” musical analysis, the “Words on Music” pre-concert discussions, which feature interviews with guest Indianapolis artists and presentations by authorities in the specific piece being played.
Preschool through high school age Indianapolis kids are introduced to orchestra music and instruments through the “Lollipop”, “Discovery”, and “High School” programs. The “Partners” and “Side by Side” programs allow for Indianapolis music students to gain exposure to professional musicians and gain onstage rehearsal experience with symphony mentors.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra can proudly claim to be one of the two American orchestras operating without any debt. The orchestra has a strong endowment fund managed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation. This, in addition to its strong ticket sales and more than 2,000 volunteers working on the organization’s behalf, ensures the symphony is financially strong and supported by the Indianapolis community.
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
32 E Washington St, Ste 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2919