GET TO KNOW
THE APO

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

The Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 2008 as the Civic Symphony of Benton County. A group of musicians and music lovers wanted to provide professional opportunities for local musicians, educational concerts for young people, and an after school strings program. In 2010, the name was changed to the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra (APO), and it continues to grow with Northwest Arkansas under the direction of Maestro Steven Byess.

Since the beginning, the APO has performed large masterworks and pops concerts featuring professional musicians primarily from the Northwest Arkansas region. To date, more than 46 concerts have been performed, and many world-class guest soloists have performed with the APO. With each new performance, we're able to cultivate young minds and inspire more audiences.

WHERE WE'RE HEADED

Collaborating with other arts organizations has been a hallmark of the APO for the past 10 years. Our vision is to be more intentional about local collaborations in order to weave classical music throughout the fabric of our community. With this in mind, the APO will focus on doing many more, smaller performances and fostering partnerships with local arts organizations such as the NWA Ballet Theatre, Trike Theatre, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and TheatreSquared. 

The APO will continue its commitment to partnering with regional arts organizations, but a new focus on local, Bentonville-based partnerships will greatly enhance the arts here at home, and will contribute to the rich foundation and presence of places like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, and Amazeum.

UPCOMING

COLLABORATIONS



NWA BALLET THEATRE



Evocative Worlds: Featuring the sublime musical work The Lark Ascending by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, written at the beginning of World War I and representing an alternate, dream-like and peaceful world. This work will present the dynamic APO Concertmaster, Er-Gene Kahng, as soloist. The program also presents the iconic Appalachian Spring by American composer Aaron Copland, commissioned by the great Martha Graham for the historic Library of Congress series.  



THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE



Clara Schumann & Johannes Brahms: Continuing from the strong success of last season's Symphonie Fantastique, this collaboration with the U of A Department of Theatre with present the premiere of a new drama about the relationship of Clara Schumann, wife of Romantic German composer Robert Schumann, and the mighty Johannes Brahms, the appointed successor to Beethoven, who considered Robert Schumann to be a mentor. These performances will be presented at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in February 2021.

Additionally, the APO shift from primarily presenting standard, large symphonic performances to many smaller programs has allowed the ensemble to connect with a greater part of the community. These new intimate performances with progressive content in non-traditional performance spaces have engaged an exciting creativity in programming and partnerships that reflects a new 21st-century model that is usually found only in large metropolitan centers in the U.S.

HOW WE'RE CULTIVATING YOUNG MINDS

The APO was founded with the vision that symphony orchestras have the obligation and ability to empower communities and promote positive change through music. Our commitment to cultivating young minds is evident through the enriching educational programs we offer, such as the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (APYO), school residencies, virtual learning, and Classical Kids Club.

MEET OUR TEAM

JASON MILLER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
STEVEN BYESS

MUSIC/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CONDUCTOR
DR. DANIEL ABRAHAMS

ASST. CONDUCTOR/APYO WINDS CONDUCTOR/LINK UP COORDINATOR
CHRISTY PAXTON

EDUCATION DIRECTOR/APYO CHAMBER CONDUCTOR
ANNE PEQUEÑO


APYO SINFONIA CONDUCTOR
ROBIN SUMPTER

APYO PHILHARMONICA CONDUCTOR
KRISTEN YOUNG

APYO WINDS CONDUCTOR/CHARTER SCHOOL BAND DIRECTOR
PETER HAMBY

ORCHESTRA/PROGRAM MANAGER
RICHARD BOBO

ORCHESTRA LIBRARIAN

BOARD MEMBERS

CHAIR
Kim Strickland
Thaden School
VICE-CHAIR
Karen Casey
Walmart (Retired)
FINANCE CHAIR
Navin Chander
Walmart
SECRETARY
Michael Parks
Retail Reclamation
TREASURER
Terri Osborne
Walmart (Retired)
MEMBER AT LARGE
Thomas Carney
Home Depot
MEMBER AT LARGE
Cynthia Cochran
SMT Grants
MEMBER AT LARGE
Gabriel Camargo
Frontinus Consulting
MEMBER AT LARGE
Jenn Couzens
ClaraLeone

GRATEFUL

FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Through the generosity of our community, we're able to bring the most creative, classical performances and enriching music education to Northwest Arkansas. Thank you for your continued support!

IN THE NEWS

UA Music Partners with Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra for 'Classical Kids Club'
U of A Collegiate Music Group Chapter Wins National Award for Service Excellence
Arkansas musicians delivering meals to healthcare workers
Caterers deliver meals to hospital
The Event Catering delivers meals to SSRH
Arkansas Philharmonic Kicks Off Its Season with John Williams Film Score Music
Making Everyone Welcome - APO plans season, kids' club to appeal to families
Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra Announces 2018-2019 Season
Element Of Surprise: APO wants to 'trick' patrons into loving classical music
Local orchestra celebrating 10 years
The Comforts Of Home: APO plans evening of food, fun
Good Day NWA: APO Presents "An Evening with the Maestro"
Actors bring backstory to APO's 'Symphonie Fantastique'
Ballet rises, evolves in Northwest Arkansas
Tribute to Arkansas Composer Florence Price Part of Black History Month
Welcoming a Black Female Composer Into the Canon. Finally.
In the margins
Music By Florence Price Brought To Life In World Premiere Recording
Good Day NWA: Christmas with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra
Lightning-Like Virtuosity from Filip Pogady
5x5 Five Minutes, Five Questions Violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn
Of Note: Literary Inspirations, Symphonic Style
Faulkner Performing Arts Center Announces Its 2016-17 Series
VIDEO: Rogers students strike up the orchestra
Music Pros Join With Fayetteville Students to Make Beautiful Music
Rogers Public Schools Carnagie Hall Link-Up