orchestra picSymphony Orchestra

The University Symphony Orchestra presents a rich diversity of orchestral, operatic, and orchestral-choral repertoire.  Music directors in the 2015-16 season include Barbara Day Turner, Yair Samet, and Fred Cohen.  The Symphony Orchestra is comprised of student instrumentalists, a majority of whom are music majors, and is open for membership by audition for students across the University as well as community volunteers.

Music majors focusing on string performance must participate in Symphony Orchestra as their major ensemble.  Auditions take place the two days before classes begin each semester. Students must play a prepared piece and sight read. Sign up here.

The core repertoire of the Orchestra spans a broad range of eras and styles.  In the 2015-16 season the Orchestra will present works including Johannes Brahms' Ein deutches Requiem, Joan Tower's Made in America, Franz Haydn's Symphony No. 104 ("London"), and other works.

The mission of the orchestra is to deliver an outstanding music education for our students, and to perform at the highest level with passion, energy, and commitment.

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Fall 2015 repertoire and concert dates:


CONCERT ONE:  OCTOBER 28, 2015 7:30   Concert Hall      

Conductor:  Barbara Day Turner

L. Boccherini Fandango                                 str—harpsichord (2)—1 perc

Craig Russell  Ecos armónicos                       tba

Vaughn Williams Tuba Concerto          ——timp.2perc—str

                        Johnathan C. Hsu, solo tuba

Arturo Marquez Danzón #2                           3*.3*.2——timp-4 perc—str 


Barbara Day Turner is founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra, now in its 19th season. An ardent advocate for new music, Maestra Day Turner has premiered more than 80 new works just with the SJCO.

Her resume also includes almost 100 operas and musical theater pieces. Most recently she has conducted the Redwood Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Così fan tutte for West Bay Opera, John Adams’ Nixon In China for Portland Opera, The King and I for American Musical Theatre of San José and The Marriage of Figaro and Porgy and Bess for Utah Festival Opera, where she also serves as Music Administrator. Her background also includes many years as conductor and artistic administrator with Opera San José where she conducted the world premieres of Henry Mollicone’s Hotel Eden, Alva Henderson’s West of Washington Square, Craig Bohmler and Daniel Helfgot’s The Tale of the Nutcracker and George Roumanis’ Phaedra, as well as repertoire pieces by Handel, Cavalli, Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, Britten, Stravinsky, and many others.

Miss Day Turner holds a masters degree in harpsichord performance from San José State University, with advanced studies with the legendary Fernando Valenti defining an alter-ego musical life as a harpsichordist.


CONCERT TWO:  DECEMBER 6, 2015  4:00 PM  Concert Hall  

Conductor:  Fred Cohen

Joan Tower Made in America                    2(2pic).2.2.2——timp.2perc—str

J. Haydn Symphony No. 104 “London”—2.2.00-timp-str

Fred Cohen is the Director of the School of Music and Dance at SJSU.  He served as Music Director and Conductor of the University of Richmond Orchestra from 1986-2002, the Montclair State University Orchestra 2004-5, and the Schwob School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008-2010. He served as the founder and director of CURRENTS, a professional new-music ensemble in Richmond (1986-2002) and the Cornell Contemporary Ensemble (1982-1986), commissioning and premiering over 60 works by composers from around the world. Guest conducting appearances include the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Williamsburg Sinfonietta, American Opera Projects, Greenwich House Players, Relache, and many other orchestras and ensembles.


CONCERT THREE:  MARCH 23, 2016  7:30PM  Concert Hall

Conductor: Yair SametSchubert Overture to Rosamunde        ——timp—str
Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme——str   
                       Paul Hyun   solo cello
Beethoven Symphony No. 5                          3*.2.2.3*——timp—str


Yair Samet has conducted the famed Sinfonia Varsovia on tour in Germany, the Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia, the Saarländisches Staatsorchester in Saarbrücken, Germany, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in China, and the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia. In Israel he conducted the Haifa Symphony, the Rishon Le-Zion Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Sinfonietta. He has conducted performances in the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague, the Mozarteum Hall in Salzburg, the National Symphony Hall in Dublin, Teatro el Círculo in Rosario, Argentina, the Granada International Music Festival in Spain, among many other performances world-wide.  In addition, he conducted the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Glinka Capella at Finland’s Tampere International Music Festival. 

Maestro Samet was appointed first associate conductor of the San Jose Symphony Orchestra in 1994. In addition, he was nominated Music Director and Conductor of the San Jose Youth Symphony, with whom he has toured Europe, South America and the Far East. Mr. Samet completed his graduate studies in Orchestral and Operatic conducting and composition in the United States at Indiana University.

CONCERT FOUR:  School of Music & Dance  Contemporary Music Festival April 6, 2016

Conductor:  Fred Cohen

Joan Tower Made in America                    2(2pic).2.2.2——timp.2perc—str

                       Guest composer:  Joan Tower

CONCERT FIVE:  SJSU Orchestra and Choral Ensembles May 7, 2016

Conductors:  Fred Cohen, Jeffrey Benson

Johannes Brahms  Ein deutsches Requiem      3*.2.2.3*——timp, harp—str