Founded in 1926 through the inspiration of New York Municipal Court judge, the Honorable Leopold Prince, the New York City Symphony grew from a small neighbourhood ensemble to a 110 member orchestra and in a few short years was presenting concerts throughout the city including performances at Carnegie Hall and the 1939 World's Fair. In 1956 the orchestra became a fully professional ensemble and has since presented numerous concerts throughout the New York metropolitan area as well as concerts in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
In 1973 the NYC Symphony came under the patronage of the International Cultural Foundation and under its new music director, Thomas Ludwig, began an extensive series of concerts at Lincoln Center, The New York Society for Ethical Culture and Columbia University. In 1980 the orchestra presented two complete performances of Handel's ‘Messiah' at the Manhattan Center under the direction of Dr. Brian Saunders.
In 1985 the New York City Symphony began its highly acclaimed concert series at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall under its current music director, David Eaton. The orchestra has also appeared under Mr. Eaton's direction at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, the Apollo Theater, The United Nations, the Hammerstein Ballroom and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1988, the orchestra made its first international tour that included four concerts in Japan and an appearance at the Olympic Arts Festival in Seoul, Korea. The orchestra also has performed at Gala performances for corporate organizations including the New York Stock Exchange, Paul Sorvino's American Asthma Foundation and has appeared with the Metropolitan Repertory Ballet and the Universal Ballet Company at Lincoln Center's State Theater.
The NYC Symphony introduced New York audiences to the music of Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun (‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon') as the David Eaton and the orchestra presented four of Tan's works at Lincoln Center in 1988, including the world premieres of Tan's Violin Concerto and Third Symphony. In its attempt to represent the diversity of its New York base, the orchestra has produced concerts in conjunction with various international embassies, consulates and cultural organizations including those of Venezuela, the People's Republic of China, Ukraine, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea and the Uptown Chamber of Commerce in Harlem.
The orchestra's chamber ensemble and brass choir has presented numerous concerts in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Connecticut as well as a performance at United Nations as part of the U.N.'s 50th Anniversary celebrating the founding of its Non-Governmental Organizations. The ensemble made two subsequent appearances at the U.N. in 1998 and 1999. In 2002 the NYCS Chamber Ensemble performed at the Temple Recital Series in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gifted artists who have appeared with the orchestra include Michala Petri, William War?eld, Shlomo Mintz, Boris Belkin, Aaron Rosand, Kim Kashkashian, Nancy Allen, Robert White, Joseph Flummerfelt, Paul Sorvino, Philip Michael Thomas, Lee Hoiby, Oleh Krysa, Marco Granados, Vera Tsu, Yakov Kreisberg, Jamie Peterson, Mzuri, Laleh, Miyuki Harley, Raoul Joseph and Seiko Lee.
Concerts in 2006-2007 include a return appearance to Harlem's Apollo Theater as part of the annual Harlem Culture and Scholarship Fund Bene?t and a concert with the preeminent Israeli vocalist David D'Or. That concert will feature the United States premiere of the peace cantata ‘Halelu', co-written by Mr. D'Or and David Eaton.
The NYC Symphony Chamber Ensemble will appear with David Eaton at the Dag Hammarskjold Library at the United Nations in New York, in a program featuring soprano Seiko Lee, in March 2008. Miss Lee will have just returned from her unprecedented third concert engagement in North Korea.