The Louisville Orchestra performs unique and adventurous programs to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences through music. Offering exciting new commissions, large-scale repertoire in creative formats, beloved traditional masterpieces, and a diversity of popular music, the LO entertains, inspires, and celebrates the exceptional talents of the community while building on a distinctive historic legacy.
Founded in 1937, the Louisville Orchestra set a bold path in its early years by commissioning, performing, and recording works by living composers. Innovation and creativity have been hallmarks of the Louisville Orchestra in building an international reputation. In 1948, the Louisville Orchestra was the first orchestra in the U.S. to create its own record label – First Edition Records; and with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Louisville annually commissioned up to 52 new compositions from established and student composers worldwide, ultimately creating nearly 150 vinyl recordings (LPs) of more than 450 works by living 20th-century composers that were released worldwide by subscription in more than 48 countries. At the same time, the Louisville Orchestra, now under music director Teddy Abrams, has been dedicated to serving its community through partnerships and collaborations with organizations including the Jefferson County Public Schools, the Kentucky Center, Louisville Ballet, Kentucky Opera, Kentucky College of Art and Design, University of Louisville, Louisville Chamber Choir and many others.
Through educational partnerships and programs with public and private schools in the community, the Louisville Orchestra reaches nearly 25,000 students of all ages annually. Symphonic and ensemble performances are available to the community with programs ranging from classical to popular.