Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Based in Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra was established as a model for the 21st-century American orchestra. Described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “first-class on every level,” Black Pearl's musicians have been trained at leading music conservatories around the globe including the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Peabody Institute among others. Founded by award-winning Artistic Director Jeri Lynne Johnson, Black Pearl’s mission is to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the musical experience by combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and innovative community engagement. Black Pearl's concert programming connects countries, cultures and communities in exciting ways. In recognition of its world-class performance quality, Black Pearl has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through its groundbreaking engagement programs and collaborative partnerships with the city's most prominent education and cultural institutions, Black Pearl has become a nationally-recognized leader in building audiences for classical music by enchanting newcomers and aficionados alike. Black Pearl is proof that when the arts deeply engage a community, that community will enthusiastically participate in the arts! Black Pearl's education and community engagement activities are unique because they offer audiences unprecedented and direct access to the musicians and conductor. These award-winning programs were created by Maestro Johnson who believes that giving audiences – regardless of their level of knowledge- the opportunity to reach into an art form for a more direct experience, is the best way to engage them. This “Inreach” philosophy informs all of Black Pearl’s concert, educational and community engagement activities. The goal is to transform the perception of artists and institutions from being gatekeepers of a creative product into being facilitators of the creative process. Through groundbreaking educational programs and collaborative partnerships with the city's most prominent education and cultural institutions, Black Pearl has become a nationally-recognized leader in building audiences for classical music by enchanting newcomers and aficionados alike. Black Pearl is proof that when the arts engage the community, the community will enthusiastically participate in the arts. As an acknowledgement of its groundbreaking work, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra is the only organization ever to win three Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grants.