Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) began as a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields in 1974. Now in its 44th season, the Orchestra performs diverse musical genres at New York’s major concert venues, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. In 2018 internationally celebrated expert in 18th-century music Bernard Labadie became OSL’s Principal Conductor, continuing the Orchestra’s long tradition of working with proponents of historical performance practice.
In 2019 OSL launches two major initiatives: the inaugural Bach Festival in New York City and the opening of the DeGaetano Composition Institute. The three-week Bach Festival at Carnegie Hall, Manhattan School of Music’s Neidorff-Karpati hall, and at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music will feature 15 performances, including orchestral concerts conducted by Bernard Labadie, keyboard recitals, and Paul Taylor Dance Company performing its complete set of works choreographed to Bach scores.
OSL’s signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall, now in its 32nd season; an annual summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and a chamber music series featuring appearances at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center. The Orchestra has participated in 118 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards, has commissioned more than 50 new works, and has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres.
Nearly half of OSL’s performances are presented free of charge through its Education & Community program, which reaches over 11,000 New York City public school students each year with school-time concerts. The Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL) provides free instrumental coaching, while the Chamber Music Mentorship Program provides professional development opportunities and workshops for pre-professional musicians.
OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City’s only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music. The DiMenna Center serves more than 500 ensembles and more than 30,000 musicians each year.