University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1918, the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra is in its 98th season. The UK symphony is a 100-member all-student orchestra that presents as many as 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Ronan Tynan, Pink Martini and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009. In the fall of 2010 the orchestra performed for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech Fei World Equestrian Games, a performance that featured 1500 performers and 200 horses, and was broadcast worldwide for a television audience of 500 million. In the fall of 2011, the UK orchestra played a side-by-side concert with the Boston Pops at Rupp Arena under the direction of Keith Lockhart, and in May of 2013, the orchestra toured China, playing in the leading concert halls of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou, and playing a broadcast concert for China Central Television, which reaches and audience of more than 1 billion people.
The UK symphony also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently been “in the pit” for productions of Don Giovanni, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Porgy and Bess, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Hänsel und Gretel, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Die Fledermaus, Romeo et Juliette, Falstaff, as well as musicals from Broadway, including Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, Pirates of Penzance, Carousel, and Phantom of the Opera.
Over the last three years, the orchestra program has launched an active outreach program, bringing classical music to all corners of the commonwealth, and has already performed for more than 10,000 students as part of this new initiative. In addition to live performances, the UK symphony is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs in the country to record for Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label. Clinicians for masterclasses have included all the principals of the National Symphony, and concertmasters or principal players of the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recently students from the UK Symphony attended a rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic, and met with Gustavo Dudamel.
University of Kentucky Philharmonia
The UK Philharmonia is an all-campus orchestra, which includes music education majors, music minors and non music majors. The group meets once a week, and presents one or two performances each semester.
John Nardolillo, Music Director and Conductor
John Nardolillo has appeared with more than thirty of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, National, Milwaukee, Utah, Columbus, Indianapolis, Oregon, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Alabama, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, Toledo, Vermont and Honolulu symphonies. He also recently conducted concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall in New York. Mr. Nardolillo made his professional conducting debut in 1994 at the Sully Festival in France, and has since made conducting appearances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Philippines and China. He has led major American orchestras in subscription series concerts, summer and pops concerts, education concerts and tours, and for television and radio broadcasts. He has recorded for Naxos and Albany records, and has been featured in articles or reviews in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and Vanity Fair magazine. Mr. Nardolillo is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Prague Summer Nights Festival, which presents more than 18 performances of opera, symphonic repertoire and chamber music each summer in the Czech Republic and Austria. In 2004 John Nardolillo joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky, where he is currently serving as the Director of Orchestras.