Penn Orchestras

The University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1878 and is comprised of musicians from throughout the University community, primarily non-music majors. The ensemble rehearses for four hours each week and performs a diverse range of repertoire drawn from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth Centuries. 

The University of Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra focuses on repertoire from the Classical period along with some works by Neo-classical composers.  This includes mainly Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert along with Respghi, Ravel, and Stravinsky.   

The Penn Symphony Orchestra and Penn Chamber Orchestra rehearse and perform in historic Irvine Auditorium on Penn’s Campus.


Vist the Penn Orchestras website here>>>>


Director’s Bio

Thomas Hong

Hailed by Kurt Masur as "one of the most talented young conductors of his generation," THOMAS HONG enjoys the distinction of being one of the most successfully appointed conductors today.  Having won titled positions with the Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras as well as Orchestre National de France, Hong has conducted countless concerts with those orchestras, ranging from classical, community, education and pops concerts.  Presently, he is the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra in Ohio and recently was also principal  conductor for the inaugural season of the Dallas Symphony on the "GO" series with the DSO, traveling to numerous neighboring venues in the North Texas area.  This past summer, he conducted the final concert for the 2014 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition with the Utah Symphony.


Orchestras that Hong has guest conducted include the Utah, Fort Worth, Richmond, Winnepeg, and Spokane symphonies, as well as the Seoul, Buffalo, and Lutoslawski Philharmonics.  Among his operatic and vocal performances are Copland's The Tenderland, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, and Donizetti's L'exisir d'Amore at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Houston.  Awards that Hong has received include the Leopold Stokowski Felowship, the Whitaker Fund for Opera and a fellowship by the Brahms society of Baden-Baden.  His latest recording was on "From the Top" with pianist/host Christopher O'Riley and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Hong was born in Incheon, Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family.  He began his musical training as a pianist and continued his studies with Dr. Samuel Hsu at Cairn University.  Later, he went on to earn a Master's degree in choral conducting at Temple University and an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Alan Harler and Otto Werner Meuller, respectively.  He concluded his artistic training with Larry Rachleff at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.  Thomas currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife Rachel Ku and their daughter Esther. 



Rehearsal Schedule

Penn Symphony Orchestra: Mondays and Thursdays, 6:00-8:00pm; Irvine Auditorium 

Penn Chamber Orchestra: Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30-10:00pm; Irvine Auditorium 

Upcoming Performances

Schedule TBA. Please check back later.