What is a Chamber Orchestra?

Many great composers of the past, especially during the Baroque and Classical periods, wrote for orchestra with a chamber orchestra in mind. This included composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and their contemporaries.

These smaller-sized orchestras generally numbered from 12 to 30 musicians, depending upon the court, church or municipal budgets which supported them. It was only in the course of the 19th century that the term "orchestra" began to take on the meaning of the full-sized symphony which we know today.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia continues to perform orchestral works on a more intimate scale, as originally intended by the earlier composers, in the chamber-sized hall of the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo: Music Director Dirk Brossé leads the Chamber Orchestra at The Baptist Temple at Temple University.

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