About The Orchestra

The Milwaukee Philharmonic is an organization dedicated to making high quality orchestral music accessible to the average person, free of charge.  We seek to create an approachable concert experience by presenting shorter programs, at no cost, to encourage families, students, and newcomers to classical music to attend.

Since the orchestra’s formation in 2017, the Milwaukee Philharmonic has given 12 concerts free of charge to the public.  Though the bulk of the performances include music that exists in the public domain, the orchestra has performed the music of local living composers, including giving the world premiere of Penny Corris’ Symphony No. 1 to a 350-person audience at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield, WI, and the world premiere of her Symphony No. 2 in the orchestras first post-pandemic performance, and the first musical group to perform at the new Village Park Amphitheater in Menomonee Falls, WI, to an audience of over 2000. The orchestra has also performed with highly acclaimed soloists, and have world renowned artists asking to perform with the orchestra.

The Milwaukee Philharmonic first gained national recognition when Founding Music Director and Conductor, Matthew Makeever, took second place in the Community Orchestra Division of the American Prize in Conducting, for their performance of Brahms’ Second Symphony.  The orchestra also gained acclaim in March of 2020, when the orchestra gave a live-streamed performance of Brahms’ Third Symphony, just as the pandemic hit the nation.  This performance had shares and viewership over 5000 times, including prominent professional orchestras around the country.

The Milwaukee Philharmonic was co-founded by the orchestra’s music director, Matthew Makeever, and timpanist Colin O’Day. The orchestra gave its inaugural performance on April 21, 2017, with a sensational performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. All members of the Milwaukee Philharmonic (orchestra musicians and staff) are part of the organization on an entirely volunteer basis.

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