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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

OHIO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

OHIO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

The OHIO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, founded in 1972, has been the assisting orchestra for CLEVELAND BALLET and CLEVELAND OPERA. That, together with its subscription concerts, educational programs, and community and summer concerts, made it the 3rd-busiest orchestra in the state by 1984, surpassed only by the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra was established in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of BALDWIN-WALLACE COLLEGE. Its founders were Dwight Oltman, music director, Warren Scharf (head of the B-W Conservatory of Music), Galen Kral, and John Darling. Its principal purposes are to perform the large and often neglected body of music written for small orchestras; to provide live orchestra music in institutions and cities that would be unable to sponsor concerts by major symphony orchestras; to accompany opera, ballet, and oratorio; and to provide a performance outlet for artists and professional performers. The orchestra appeared regularly as part of the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival, was the official orchestra of the 5th Biennial ROBT. CASADESUS INTL. PIANO COMPETITION in 1983, and accompanied the Cleveland Ballet on tours to New York, Florida, and Minnesota. It has also performed in Jamestown, NY, Pittsburgh, and Findlay, OH. In the 1990s the orchestra's annual budget exceeded $1 million. Although it lacked its own concert hall, it had often performed in the Little Theater of PUBLIC AUDITORIUM. David Lockington succeeded cofounder Oltman to become the OCO's second music director in 1993. In 1995 Stephen Boyd served as executive director.