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Success in today’s professional music landscape requires both excellence as a performer and musical flexibility across a wide range of performing contexts, musical styles, and ensemble configurations. These two key learning components of the Peabody Institute’s Breakthrough Curriculum in Music Leadership are at the core of the Conservatory’s large ensembles program.

The program is designed to acquaint the entire student body, as well as each participating student, with the rich and varied literature of many musical genres, and to provide students with the means, through rigorous rehearsals and frequent public performances in a variety of ensemble settings, of developing their musical skills and flexibility to a high level of artistic competence.

The acclaimed American conductor Joseph Young serves as Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles. The large ensembles curriculum includes the following instrumental and vocal ensembles.

Peabody Symphony Orchestra

Employing the largest instrumental forces of all Peabody ensembles, and delivering the most performances during the season, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra draws repertoire from the Classical period to the present day, and includes frequent collaborations with prominent guest soloists and conductors.

Peabody Chamber Orchestra

The Peabody Chamber Orchestra performs music ranging from the Baroque and early Classical eras, to works for string orchestra and contemporary works for smaller orchestral forces, and may sometimes perform without a conductor.

Peabody Modern Orchestra

With an emphasis on living composers who continue to score works for traditional orchestral instruments, the Peabody Modern Orchestra showcases a cross section of 21st century and late 20th century works, highlighting important trends of the present and recent past and blurring the stylistic distinctions between a broad range of musical genres.

Peabody Wind Ensemble

Harlan D. Parker, Conductor

A large wind and percussion ensemble, the Peabody Wind Ensemble performs works ranging from classic wind band literature to a wide variety of contemporary works for wind ensemble and wind symphony, sometimes including larger chamber ensemble pieces. Student compositions are occasionally premiered, and guest artists often perform concertos with the ensemble.

Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra

The Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra supports the performance of complete chamber operas, with modest production values and instrumental ensemble accompaniment.

Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra

The Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra is the pit orchestra for select, smaller Peabody Opera productions, with multiple performances over the course of several days. Repertoire is usually by living or recent composers.

Peabody Opera Theatre

The Peabody Opera Theatre is the banner under which we present our largest productions, with full orchestra, scenery, costumes, and lighting, in our own hall.

Peabody Opera Theatre Orchestra

The Peabody Opera Theatre Orchestra is the pit orchestra for all Peabody Opera main stage productions, and participates in one full-scale opera production each semester, with multiple performances over the course of several days. Repertoire varies from traditional grand opera to recent works.

Peabody Studio Orchestra

The Peabody Studio Orchestra performs works ranging from film scores to typical pops-oriented programming, collaborating on occasion with vocalists, big band, and other performing artists across disciplines.


The following ensembles offer additional performance opportunities in a range of musical styles and genres.

Historical Performance Ensembles

Peabody Renaissance Ensemble

Mark Cudek, Director

The Peabody Renaissance Ensemble consists of a vocal ensemble and instrumental consorts of violas da gamba, recorders, lutes and guitars, and percussion. Students and staff of Peabody and Johns Hopkins are joined by guests from the Baltimore-Washington early music community.

Baltimore Baroque Band

John Moran and Risa Browder, Directors

Baltimore Baroque Band is the baroque orchestra of the Peabody Conservatory. Students and faculty members play together in a conductorless large ensemble which combines the commitment and attentiveness of chamber music with the discipline of orchestral playing.

Jazz Ensembles

Peabody Jazz Ensemble

The Peabody Jazz Ensemble performs a wide range of repertoire encompassing all of the jazz idioms in varied and flexible group settings, from septet to big band, and features both traditional and non-traditional jazz instrumentation. The PJE has often collaborated with prominent guest artists, including John Abercrombie, Sam Rivers, Peter Erskine, and Mark Feldman, among others.

Peabody Latin Jazz Ensemble

The Peabody Latin Jazz Ensemble is a select ensemble of members chosen from the Peabody Jazz Ensemble auditions, covering jazz repertoire with Latin American influences.

New Music

Now Hear This

Courtney Orlando, Artistic Director
David Smooke, Faculty Advisor

Now Hear This is an ensemble of varying size delivering exciting and imaginative programs of all different genres of contemporary music – from classical to crossover, from minimalism to modernism.