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Orchestras in Los Angeles County

Disney Concert Hall

Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Kamots & Pixabay.com.

Orchestra Location Year Established
American Youth Symphony (Youth) Los Angeles 1964
Andromeda Electric Orchestra Los Angeles 2019
Asia America Symphony Rolling Hills Estates 1961
Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra & Master Chorale Lancaster 1953
Beach Cities Symphony Redondo Beach 1949
Bellflower Symphony Orchestra Bellflower 1968
Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra Los Angeles 1953
Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra Burbank 1991
California Philharmonic Orchestra Pasadena 1995
Calif. State University Northridge Youth Orchestra (Youth) Northridge (Los Angeles) 1970
Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay Palos Verdes Peninsula 1987
Claremont Concert Orchestra Claremont 1953
Claremont Symphony Orchestra Claremont 1977
Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra Claremont 1989
Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra (Youth) Claremont 1983
Colburn School Orchestras (Youth) Los Angeles 1956
Crown City Symphony Pasadena 2002
Culver City Chamber Orchestra Culver City 1997
Culver City Symphony Orchestra Culver City 1963
Downey Symphony Orchestra Downey 1948
Elemental Strings & Band (Youth) Santa Monica 2004
Filipino American Symphony Orchestra Glendale 2008
Glendale College Community Orchestra Glendale ---
Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra
See Positive Motions Foundation
Glendale 2010
Glendale Trio
See Positive Motions Foundation
Glendale 2015
Glendale Youth Orchestra (Youth) Glendale 1989
Golden State Pops Orchestra San Pedro (Los Angeles) 2002
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Hollywood (Los Angeles) 1945
Hollywood Chamber Orchestra Hollywood (Los Angeles) 2015
Hollywood Symphony Orchestra Hollywood (Los Angeles) 2006
Junior Philharmonic Orchestra of California (Youth) Mid-Wilshire (Los Angeles) 1937
La Mirada Symphony La Mirada 1963
Lancaster Community Orchestra Lancaster 2002
Long Beach Symphony Orchestra Long Beach 1935
Los Angeles Cello Quartet
See Positive Motions Foundation
Glendale 2010
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Los Angeles 1968

Bellflower Symphony Orchestra

Bellflower Symphoney Orchestra. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

Orchestra (Table Continued) Location Year Established
Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra Los Angeles 1953
Los Angeles Jewish Symphony Los Angeles 1994
Los Angeles Layers Philharmonic Beverly Hills 2009
Los Angeles Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (Youth) Rancho Palos Verdes --
Los Angeles Philharmonic Los Angeles 1919
Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (Youth) Encino (Los Angeles) 1999
Multi Ethnic Star Orchestra (MESTO) West Los Angeles (Los Angeles) 2001
Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra Santa Monica 1993
Olympia Youth Orchestra (Youth) Arcadia 2000
Pacific Vision Youth Symphony (Youth) Rolling Hills Estates 2001
Palisades Symphony Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles) 1966
Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra Rancho Palos Verdes ---
Palos Verdes Symphonic Band Palos Verdes Peninsula 1962
Pasadena Community Orchestra Pasadena 1983
Pasadena Symphony and Pops Pasadena 1928
Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra (Youth) Pasadena 1950
Peninsula Symphony Palos Verdes Peninsula 1967
Pomona College Orchestra Claremont 1937
Rio Hondo Symphony Whittier 1932
San Fernando Valley Symphony Winnetka (Los Angeles) 1983
Santa Cecilia Orchestra Los Angeles 1992
Santa Clarita Philharmonic Santa Clarita 2011
Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (Youth) Valencia 1985
Santa Monica College Symphony Orchestra Santa Monica ---
Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra Santa Monica 1945
Southeast Symphony Los Angeles 1948
Southwest Chamber Music Society Pasadena 1987
Symphony in the Glen Los Angeles 1994
Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Culver City 2002
Topanga Symphony Topanga 1982
USC Thornton School of Music Ensembles Los Angeles ---
Valley Symphony Orchestra Valley Glen (Los Angeles) 1992
Verdugo Young Musicians Association (Youth) La Crescenta 2001
Westside Youth Orchestra (Youth) West Los Angeles (Los Angeles) 2008
Young Musicians Foundation (Youth) Beverly Hills 1952
Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (Youth - Affliated with Los Angeles Philharmonic) Los Angeles 2007

Preceeding the Los Angeles Philharmonic, founded in 1919, the Los Angeles Symphony was founded in 1893 by Professor August J. Stamm and violinist and composer Harley E. Hamilton. It was the fifth professional symphony orchestra established in the United States (after New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago). It was forced to disband by the 1895-1896 season, due to the economic depression of the time, but was revived in 1898. The organization disbanded in 1920.

The Woman's Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles was founded in 1893, as was the Los Angeles Symphony (see above), and was likewise founded and directed by Harley Hamilton. It continued to perform concerts until sometime in the early 1950s. It was during the 1950s that the orchestra ended up either disbanded or reconstituted as part of the California Woman’s Symphony Orchestra. That orchestra disbanded in 1961. See "Striking a Chord: A Woman’s Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles Program, 9 February 1927."

Prior to 1948, the only orchestra in the Los Angeles area (there were more than a half dozen) that was open to African American musicians was the Huntington Park Symphony, founded during the 1930s. However, because it allowed musicians of color in its ensemble, the orchestra was not welcome in many venues, forcing it to perform many of its concerts in public parks. In 1948, however, two things happened to shift opportunities for aspiring African American orchestral musicians. In that year, a 16-year-old African American, Henry Jay Lewis,was invited to join the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a double bassist, becoming the first African American to join a major symphony orchestra in the United States. Incidentally, Lewis went on to become Assistant Conductor of the L.A. Phil in 1961 and, in 1968 become conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the first African American conductor of a major symphony orchestra. Also in 1948, African American music teacher Mabel Massengill Gunn founded the Southeast Symphony, an orchestra established to give musicians of color in Los Angeles the opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra. Southeast Symphony has continued to perform concerts, the longest continuously performing primarily African-American orchestra in the world.

Founded in 1953, the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest community orchestras in the country originating from the health professions and still presenting regular concerts. Although a number of its members are health care professionals, many musicians not in health care play in the orchestra and are invited to be involved. The orchestra holds benefit concerts on behalf of medical and mental health charities.

Founded in 1937 as the "Little Symphony," the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Los Angeles, is one of the oldest youth orchestras in the United States.

The Burbank Chorale, once known as the Burbank Choral Club, is one of the oldest musical organizations in California. It is the longest continuously performing arts organization in the San Fernando Valley. Beginning as a musical group associated with the Woman's Club of Burbank, it presented its first program in 1920. Not long afterwards, the group adopted the name Burbank Choral Club and, separating from the Women's Club, allowed men to join its membership.