Classical Music
Has a New Movement

The All-Star Orchestra gives you a front row seat to the world's greatest music and the map to an unforgettable musical journey. The All-Star Orchestra began with a commitment to classical music education and contemporary American composers. We invited leading musicians from American orchestras to be a part of it. And we created a new format so that more people can enjoy, explore, and experience the life-changing wonder of symphonic music. The All-Star Orchestra's thrilling performances, filmed in high-definition with 19 cameras during a once-a-year "summit" in New York's historic The Grand at Manhattan Center, will inspire audiences for classical music via public television, DVDs, and websites dedicated to music education.

Music from All Ages, for All Ages. Each one-hour episode of the All-Star Orchestra pairs a popular symphonic score with a brilliant new work by a contemporary American composer.

And in addition to experiencing the music itself, you'll learn what goes into composing, conducting, and performing each piece through interviews with the conductor, musicians, composers, and special guests. There is a world of classical music waiting. The All-Star Orchestra makes it easier than ever to discover and enjoy.

Our Mission

Gather together top orchestral players
from across the United States.

Produce and broadcast performances featuring classical masterpieces and exciting new works.

Encourage greater appreciation of
classical music as a living tradition
through online education.

Our People

Gerard Schwarz

Music Director

Gerard Schwarz serves as Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra and the Eastern Music Festival. Schwarz recently completed his 26th and final season as Seattle Symphony Music Director and now serves as its Conductor Laureate. His previous positions as Music Director include New York's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Chamber Symphony.

His discography of over 350 releases showcases his collaborations with some of the world's finest orchestras and opera companies, including the Berlin Radio Company, the Czech Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and L'Orchestre National de France. Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades, including two Emmy Awards, 13 GRAMMY nominations, and six ASCAP Awards, and was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America.

Video Producer

John Forsen is an eight-time Emmy Award winner with PBS symphonic music shows and documentaries. His most recent documentary, Violin Masters, Two Gentlemen of Cremona, about Stradivari and Guarneri Del Gesu, is currently airing nationally on PBS.

Executive Director

Paul Schwendener, a veteran recording industry executive, has collaborated with leading international performers and ensembles in creating audio, video, and interactive products for major companies. Highlights include the Complete Mozart Edition and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music.

Video Director

Habib Azar's Emmy Award–winning career spans opera, film, theater, and television. Most recently, he directed the world premiere of Du Yun's opera Angel's Bone with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and is a staff director at The Young and the Restless on CBS.

Audio Director

Dmitriy Lipay is an audio producer and engineer of over 80 CD releases for major labels, including Sony Classical, Naxos, and Harmonia Mundi. He has led audio production for film, TV, and radio projects; clients include PBS, BBC, FR-3, and Sony Pictures. He is Audio Producer for the Seattle Symphony.

Adam Stern is the Music Director of the Seattle Philharmonic and the Port Angeles Symphony. A prolific recording producer as well as a conductor, Stern was awarded a GRAMMY Award in 1990 as "Classical Producer of the Year."

All-Star Orchestra Board

  • Marlys Palumbo - President
  • Susan Hutchison - Vice President
  • Karen Brenner
  • Tom Firman
  • Michelle Gerber Klein
  • Athena Kennedy
  • Frances Lawrence
  • Lynn Loacker
  • Fred Miller
  • Sharon Mosse
  • Ralph Palumbo
  • Robert Ted Parker
  • Jody Schwarz
  • Charles Staadecker

Partners & Donors

Personal Management

Gemini Music Productions, owned and operated by Neil Balm and Jonathan Haas, provides services that include hiring "first call" musicians and facilitating union contracts for local, national, and international concerts; tours; radio and TV recordings.

Public Relations 

Shuman Associates is a boutique public relations firm with more than 25 years of experience specializing in strategic publicity campaigns, counsel, and support for projects such as recordings, DVDs, and radio and television broadcasts for classical musicians, orchestras, opera companies, and chamber ensembles.

Education Consultant

Nancy Gosen is a musician and educator whose career includes leading education departments for the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera, and an appointment on the League of American Orchestras' Education and Community Engagement Leadership Committee.

Our Label

Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label is known for recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent. The label has one of the largest catalogues of repertoire available anywhere, including classical music CDs and DVDs as well other genres such as jazz, new age, educational and audio books. To order Naxos DVDs of the All-Star Orchestra go here

The All-Star Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the following persons
and institutions for their generous financial support:

Founders ($100,000+)

  • Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences
  • The Gladys Rubinstein Trust
  • The M.J. Murdock Trust
  • The Garrigan Lyman Group
  • Van Ness Feldman LLP
  • David Gannett
  • Bruce and Jeanne McNae

Patrons ($25,000–$99,999)

  • The Hearst Foundation
  • Jerome L. Greene Foundation
  • Agnes Gund
  • Rebecca Benaroya
  • Judi Sorensen-Flom
  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter
  • Ralph and Marlys Palumbo

Sponsors ($1,000–$24,999)

  • Alan Benaroya
  • Betty Lou Treiger
  • Michele and Giuseppe Torroni
  • Dr. Kennan Hollingsworth
  • Jody Schwarz
  • Sally Gerber Phinny
  • The Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation
  • Jerry Farley
  • Benita and Charles Staadecker
  • Bernice and Sanford Grossman
  • Robert and Clodagh Ash
  • David and Jane Davis
  • Robert Wallace
  • Joan S. Watjen
  • Judith and Robert Rubin
  • The Seattle Foundation
  • Nadine Asin
  • Susan Hutchison
  • The Lapkin Foundation
  • David and Nancy Rossmiller
  • Jan and Ronnie Greenberg
  • Nicolas and Jeanne Rohatyn
  • Robert Ted Parker
  • Fred Miller and Sharon Mosse

Contact Us

Become a member of the All-Star team! Contact Executive Director Paul Schwendener:

Media Contact: Shuman Associates 212.315.1300