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Biography

The mission of the Erie Philharmonic is to strengthen our community and region by providing high-quality live orchestra concerts and programs that enrich, entertain and educate people of all ages.  

In existence since 1913, the Philharmonic is one of the oldest professional ensembles in the country and is consistently recognized on a national level as one of the top orchestras in its budget size.  With a season that features five symphonic concerts, seven pops concerts, numerous summer programs, three Youth Concerts and various outreach events, the orchestra reaches upwards of 40,000 people across the region annually. 

Beginning with the leadership of Music Director Daniel Meyer and Executive Director Steve Weiser, the orchestra made a conscious decision to focus on the three central facets of this mission statement: enrich, educate and entertain.  As a musician with the Philharmonic for the three previous seasons, Weiser had firsthand knowledge of the issues facing the orchestra and implemented a new, aggressive strategy to integrate the ensemble back into the community.

Over the following three seasons, the orchestra became an unrivaled presence in the community, presenting life-changing musical experiences for audiences of all ages, including: 

  • Outreach events presented by all visiting guest artists, including Emanuel Ax, Sharon Isbin, Marc-André Hamelin and more
  • Pianos donated to 34 individuals in need
  • Three 60-day long-term residencies for local underserved preschools, supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Free Youth Concerts presented for thousands of students accompanied by a detailed 51-page curriculum with Pennsylvania, Common Core and National Arts Standards  
  • Instrumental petting zoos
  • Free community concerts

By keeping an eye on the future, we ensure that musical talent of the highest caliber is engaged, presenting the community with unforgettable, affordable experiences that rival orchestras ten times our size.     Over the past two season, the orchestra has presented 10 sold-out concerts, something that has not happened in the 104-year history of the orchestra.     Highlights from our upcoming 2018-19 season include:

  • National recognition from Good Morning America, the NEA, Forbes and Huffington Post
  • Creation of blog and podcast channel, featured on Apple News app
  • Free pops concert for the community in Perry Square on August 25 as part of our Beethoven Street Fair, 5K and 1M Walk
  • Creation of an innovative virtual reality orchestra project featuring a 360-degree video recording of a Philharmonic concert, setting a new industry standard for integrating music and technology  
  • Two performances of The Wizard of Oz film with live orchestra in February 2019
  • Continuation of free runout concert for the Meadville community at Allegheny College on March 10, 2019
  • Continuation of our nationally recognized free Youth Concerts, which last year sold out three concerts at the Warner Theatre, reaching more than 6,000 students in just two days
  • Expansion of our season to include the newly-formed Bruce Morton Wright Chamber series, a collection of 8 to 10 free concerts and recitals in performance venues that the full orchestra would not be able to visit, i.e. churches, Blasco Library, etc.
  • Expansion and reorganization of the Erie Junior Philharmonic, under the new leadership of director Jonathan Moser

As a non -profit arts organization, the Philharmonic maintains an enviable position in the country in regards to its usage of social and local media.     On any given day, we are able to reach tens of thousands of people via multiple innovative avenues.

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