Our mission is to enrich and transform Rhode Island and our region through great music performance and education.
Our vision is to be the national model for the 21st Century symphony orchestra, providing performances and education programs that are of exceptional quality and are relevant and accessible.
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is committed to engaging people of Southern New England as lifelong music listeners, teachers, learners, creators and performers. We are the only professional orchestra in the country to officially designate music education and performance as equal priorities. In addition to the Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classical, Pops, Education concerts and in-school performances, the Philharmonic Music School offers music education programs and performance opportunities to people of all ages, incomes and ability levels. We are currently the only comprehensive, non-profit community music school in Rhode Island and engage approximately 1,500 students statewide on a weekly basis with an additional 13,000 students through periodic partnerships, residencies, education concerts and in-school performances.
In December 2006, the Philharmonic moved into its permanent home on Waterman Avenue in East Providence. This facility, also housing the administrative offices, is now the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance which opened in the fall of 2008, the only facility of its kind in Rhode Island. This Center has dramatically increased our ability to provide high quality, comprehensive and accessible music education to thousands of students through our scholarship and community partnership arrangements. This fall we added a state-of-the art 18-station electronic keyboard lab which opens up new exciting opportunities for our students. Our students come from virtually every community in the state, nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Under the artistic leadership of Music Director Larry Rachleff and Resident Conductor Francisco Noya, the Philharmonic Orchestra comprises professional musicians, a dedicated administrative staff and enormously committed volunteers who serve on the Philharmonic Board of Directors.
Music Director Larry Rachleff began his tenure in the 1996-97 Season. Founding Music Director Francis Madeira retired in 1978, and Alvaro Cassuto led the Orchestra from 1979-1985. Andrew Massey served as Music Director from 1986-1991, followed by Zuohuang Chen who served in that capacity through the 1995-96 season.