The Long Island Philharmonic, based in Melville, New York was founded in 1979 by folk singer Harry Chapin, Maestro Christopher Keene, and a group of Long Island’s community and business leaders. The LIP’s premiere concert occurred on the weekend of November 16, 17, and 18th, 1979. From its foundings, the orchestra recruited some of the finest musicians in the New York metropolitan area, and also supported a full chorus of dedicated amateur singers.
Why is it called Philarmonic?
The first use of ‘philharmonic‘ was in London in 1813. An organisation was founded called the Philharmonic Society. The word ‘philharmonic‘ translates to ‘music lover’. The sources I’ve found say this was taken from the French ‘philharmonoque’, but I think it is more likely that the word was taken right from the Greek.
Long Island Philarmonic Chorus
The chorus consisted of 100 – 150 amateur singers drawn from all walks of life. Many were musical professionals: music teachers, voice teachers and others, while many others are strictly amateurs. Despite this mix, the chorus regularly received critical acclaim.
The orchestra generally scheduled at least one choral piece each year in its repertory.
After 36 years, the Long Island Philharmonic, one of the Island’s longest continuously operated performing arts institutions, announced Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, that it will close effective immediately.
“This is a tragedy for all of Long Island,” Larry Austin, Philharmonic chairman, said in a statement announcing the board’s decision to cease operations after 36 years. “We did everything we could to keep the music playing, but these are tough times for arts organizations everywhere.”