The Nutcracker

Orchestra Next – conducted by Brian McWhorter

Available on AmazON, Apple Music, and Spotify

This album is very special to me. As you’ll hear, the musicians are really bringing it. And you should know that, because Orchestra Next is a training orchestra, the enthusiasm and virtuosity that you’re hearing is the result of students and professionals sitting next to each other. That’s our model. That’s what we’ve been doing since we formed in 2012. Being able to witness that mentorship in action from the podium for these last 10 years has fundamentally changed how I’ve thought about music, the performing arts, and teaching. I suppose I could sum it up with an unanswerable question that gets to the heart of mentorship itself: who is inspiring whom? 

The Nutcracker is where it all began for Orchestra Next. In 2012, we had this semi-irresponsible idea of starting an orchestra for the Eugene Ballet. 10 years later, we’re proud to have performed it with them more than 50 times at the Hult Center in Eugene and for more than 5000 people a year. There is no other piece that brings people together more regularly. And personally, I can’t imagine a year going by without it. 

Of course, the world doesn’t need another recording of The Nutcracker. But this recording is more than the piece; it’s about Orchestra Next’s story. It’s a testament to the potential of young musicians, the power of mentorship, and the consequence of cultivating joy in the pit.  

Brian McWhorter – Music Director, Orchestra Next

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