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Louisville Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Photo Courtesy of the Louisville Orchestra

The Louisville Orchestra

323 W. Broadway, Suite 700

Louisville, KY 40202


Written by Julie Greiner
Classical music to pops, and everything in between, the Louisville Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is now in its 65th season. The Orchestra performs 130 concerts each season, reaching over 220,000 patrons, and over 100 in-school performances to more than 25,000 students. The Orchestra was awarded the National Bernstein Award for Excellence in Education and is also the recipient of 17 ASCAP awards. Each year the Orchestra performs 10-15 concerts out in the state, 20 community concerts in venues around the city and performs and interacts with other art organizations.

History of the Louisville Orchestra at a Glance

The Louisville Philharmonic Society first performed in public in
1937 under the direction of Robert Whitney. Outdoors pops concerts began in 1945 at the close of World War II and are still offered today at the Louisville Zoo. In 1949, the Philharmonic Society officially changed its name to The Louisville Orchestra. The Orchestra was invited to Carnegie Hall in 1953 to perform the concerto "Judith", by William Schuman, which lead to the establishment of First Edition Records. The Louisville Orchestra was the first and only orchestra in the United States with its own record label. The
Robert Franz, Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Photographer Quadrant, 1998
Louisville Orchestra has recorded almost 400 works by over 250 composers.

Uriel Segal, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra

Uriel Segal is also Music Director of the Chautauqua Festival and Conductor Laureate of the Century Orchestra Osaka in Japan. In addition to numerous engagements in Europe, Israel and Japan, he has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Dallas, Houston, Rochester, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver and Buffalo.

Robert Franz, Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra

Robert Franz is the Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, Music Director and founder of the Carolina Chamber Symphony and Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Previously he has held the positions of Assistant Conductor and Director
of Education of the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra and the International Music Program Orchestra (NCSA). He has guest conducted the North Carolina, Chattanooga, Charleston, National Repertory and Winston-Salem symphonies; the Cumberland Valley Chamber Players; and the Killington Music Festival String Orchestra.

Robert Bernhardt, Principal Pops Conductor

Robert Bernhardt is celebrating his 20th anniversary with the Louisville Orchestra this season. He began as Assistant Conductor in 1981, served as the LO's Associate Conductor for most of the 80's, and has worked with the orchestra in
Uriel Segal, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Photographer Dan Porges
every season since. He is also Music/Artistic Director of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the only combined company in the United States. He was Artistic Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995 to 1998. Music Director of the Tucson Symphony from 1987 to 1995 and was Principal Guest Conductor of Kentucky Opera.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015