The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra (BCSO) is a full symphony ensemble committed to the art of orchestra playing that honors the past, present, and future. In addition to the great compositions of the past, this orchestra's repertoire includes original compositions by Berklee faculty and students, and contemporary music from around the globe and from burgeoning genres such as film and video game scores.
Students perform each semester at regional world-class venues such as New England Conservatory Jordan Hall, Northeastern University Fenway Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kresge Auditorium, or Boston Symphony Orchestra's Symphony Hall.
Previous performances include the Lord of the Rings Symphony at Symphony Hall; Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at Symphony Hall; a collaboration with Grammy-winning artists Danilo Pérez (piano) and John Patitucci (bass) at Jordan Hall; and a commissioned concerto for electric violinist Tracy Silverman by Kenji Bunch.
- Current Students: To audition for the BCSO please visit the BCSO Audition page.
To Boldly Go: Symphony Meets Space
First Church Congregational, Cambridge; November 18, 2016
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra contemplated the Space Race and the ensuing age of dreamers who delivered to us many otherworldly science fiction concepts and vibrant visionaries in the artistic community. Featuring Michael Giacchino's "Star Trek: Into Darkness," student composition contest winner Christian Frederic Bloquert's "Gravity," and "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst’s The Planets, the concert also featured orchestral compositions inspired by the music of David Bowie, including Philip Glass's "Low Symphony" and two new compositions, “Sub-Subterraneans” and “Passages,” composed by Berklee faculty Derek Hurst and Claudio Ragazzi, who were also inspired by Bowie’s work. See the concert poster here.
Signature Series: Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy
Symphony Hall, Boston; April 24, 2015
Grammy Award–winning conductor Arnie Roth led the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra through a captivating and specially conceived program of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy for this triumphant return to Boston's celebrated Symphony Hall. The sold-out concert featured music from all 14 games, including beloved classics, previews from the latest releases, and a stunning high-definition video presentation of exclusive content from game developers Square Enix.
Kresge Auditorium at MIT; November 7, 2014
This concert featured "Inspired by Muse," a piece for horn, orchestra, leap motion controller, keyboard, bass, and drums composed by Richard Boulanger, a Berklee professor of electronic production and design. The performance also included Stravinsky’s suite from The Firebird (1919) and selections from Michael Gandolfi’s The Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
Soundwaves: From the Sea to the Stars
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge; March 7, 2014
This concert featured "Wave," a piece composed by Vuk Kulenovic, a Berklee professor of composition, as well as award-winning works by Jennifer Higdon and DJ/composer Mason Bates, and the music of Russian heavyweight Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky.