Olin Conductorless Orchestra

Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

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Photo by Michael Maloney

The Olin Conductorless Orchestra (OCO), an innovative ensemble that performs collaboratively, minus conductor, will present a free concert of classic and contemporary works.

The program includes Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as works by Shostakovich, Mozart, and Benny Goodman.

Performing without a conductor, OCO features instrumentalists in leadership and collaborative roles. Dedicated to orchestral performance in the concerted spirit of chamber music, the orchestra forges individual participation, active listening, and group-motivation into performances that have established it as the only conductorless orchestra composed of engineers in the world. Based at Olin College near Boston, OCO has an essentially flat hierarchy that incorporates an ever-evolving sense of culture and cooperation as a working ensemble. OCO functions as a team of musicians—regardless of position—comprising students, faculty, and external guests, all dedicated to making good music with intensity, camaraderie, excitement and humor.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.