Boston Festival Orchestra, Season Two
Jordan Hall | New England Conservatory
July 17, 2022
The Boston Festival Orchestra is a nonprofit with a focus on the accessibility and impact of classical music. The BFO brings the highest caliber of artistic service to Greater Boston by offering accessible, educational, and relevant music experiences, employing local professional musicians, and engaging with its community through an extensive nonprofit partnership program.
On a breezy Autumn day in 2019, Nicholas Brown and Alyssa Wang met in a local coffee shop to celebrate their recent graduation from the New England Conservatory and to trade ideas about potential collaborations. With many formative years of experience in the Boston music scene between the two of them, they put their heads together and imagined what they could bring to the City that would leave a positive legacy and contribute to the music scene in a unique way. There was one issue that stood out to them right away: the need for more summertime employment opportunities for local professional musicians. It was from this starting point that the Boston Festival Orchestra was born.
In February 2020, BFO was publicly announced with the aim of having its first season in July 2020. Sadly, due to the incoming Covid-19 pandemic, the first season was postponed. In lieu of live performances came the first iteration of the BFO Chamber Series, featuring five free virtual concerts from January - May, 2021, drawing audiences from all around the country. The Chamber Series' unique talk-show format included in-concert interviews with musicians and live chat Q&A with streamers, providing audiences with their first example of the highly interactive nature of BFO concerts.
In July 2021, at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, the BFO performed three sold-out shows, officially marking BFO's inaugural season and the first time an orchestra had performed for a live audience in Boston in over a year. Season 2 comprised an in-person Chamber Series, 3 Summer Stage performances in Jordan Hall, and an opera collaboration with the North End Music & Performance Arts Center. BFO also expanded its community engagement initiatives, including collaboration with many local nonprofits, and looks forward to expanding those partnerships in its 22/23 season. The most rapidly expanding wing of BFO is its community service and education initiatives, which include mentorship programs through Big Brothers, Big Sisters, music education workshops with Horizons for Homeless Children, and many project-based community engagement activities.
Now, in its third season, the BFO comprises a roster of 49 local musicians, is a proud affiliate of the Boston Musicians' Association, and has a growing Board of Directors and Advisors. The Boston Festival Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that strives to serve the Greater Boston community through accessible programming, outreach and education, and collaboration.
A Letter from the Co-Founders
We're excited to welcome you to the BFO! Our grassroots community is growing every day, and we deeply appreciate everyone who has participated in our concerts, helped us spread the word, or just checked us out online. It's hard to believe how far BFO has come in just two and a half seasons, now comprising a full orchestra and chamber series, striving to bring music to every corner of Boston, and collaborating with a rapidly expanding number of local nonprofits to make a difference in our community. It's been a unique experience starting this organization during the pandemic, but we have learned so many important lessons as we go along, even as life sometimes felt so uncertain.
One thing we have always known, however, is that we could not have made it this far without the support, encouragement, and good faith of our friends, family, and neighbors like you. It is an honor to bring music and joy into this city we call home, and we do not take your love and generosity for granted. We promise to continue working hard, delivering on our promises, and most importantly, dreaming big.
We are thankful that you can be a part of the BFO community! Wishing you health, happiness, and harmony.
Our logo is a visual and verbal articulation of our mission, and while we build our organization from the ground up, our identity serves as a tangible reminder of our dedication to classical music and to the Greater Boston community who appreciates it. Our logo is the key identifier of our visual identity and the primary element of our visual system. The logo is composed of two elements: A symbol inspired by the movements of a conductor as well as the movements which connect to form a piece of music. This symbol is captured in a gradient which recalls the warm colors of summer and connects to the visual system.
The Boston Festival Orchestra’s identity was created by a team of global branding, marketing, and advertising specialists from Siegel+Gale and BBDO Worldwide.