The UNC Symphony Orchestra (= UNCSO) is a 100-member ensemble which rehearses Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm throughout the academic year and performs two major concerts each semester. Enrollment is open by audition to anyone - music majors, minors, non-majors, graduate students, and community members.
The UNCSO was honored to be named the 2012 first-place winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance - College/University Division, for their performance of the Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.
Led by its Music Director and Conductor, Tõnu Kalam, the orchestra often presents faculty and student musicians as concerto soloists and has regularly collaborated with UNC opera and choral ensembles, including recent full productions of Mozart's Così fan tutte, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Johannes Brahms' German Requiem.
Major standard orchestral works performed in past years have included Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka, S. Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, L.v. Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 9, all four J. Brahms Symphonies, Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 5, Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, Mussorgsky-Ravel's Pictures at an Exhibition, Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations, Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade, suites from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, Dvořák's Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 and 9, Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 and 9, Sibelius' Symphony No. 1, Camille Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony, Gershwin's An American in Paris, and Strauss' Death and Transfiguration.
The UNCSO has also performed numerous works by significant 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Samuel Barber, Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Hanson, Schuman, Hovhaness, Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Bloch, Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Khachaturian, Christopher Rouse, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, Christopher Theofanidis, Michael Torke, Arvo Pärt, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Peter Lieberson, Michael Gandolfi, Robert Moran, Tomas Svoboda, Hilary Tann, Lowell Liebermann, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and John Corigliano, as well as UNC faculty composers Roger Hannay, Ingrid Arauco, Lynn Glassock, and Stephen Anderson.
Many of the orchestra's recent concert performances are available for viewing on YouTube.