The orchestra, sounding beautifully rehearsed, seemed to revel in everything on the program.
— The Washington Post

New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) is a one-of-a-kind ensemble. As a small chamber orchestra with flexible instrumentation, NOW elevates every member to his or her highest potential as an individual virtuoso and an ensemble player, creating a unique and engaging live performance experience for its audience. NOW’s programming is neither strictly classical nor purely academic. Rather, each program is conceived to be attractive, inspirational and memorable.  

Founded in 2012 by rising stars of the local area’s professional community including husband and wife team Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez (Artistic Director) and Grace Cho (Executive Director), NOW embodies mutual respect and admiration for one another’s artistry and a shared belief in the importance of revitalizing the role of music in our lives. 

"The New Orchestra of Washington has truly stepped out of the musical box."

-Washington Life Magazine

Photo Credit: Michael Patrick Key

NOW’s mission is to make music relevant to new generations of audiences through virtuosic performances that combine a range of genres with fresh interpretations of classic works. Unconstrained by the structure or repertoire of traditional orchestras, NOW is modern and sustainable, proving how orchestral and chamber music can survive and flourish in the 21st century. 

NOW’s programming includes canonic works, commissioned pieces, and genre-bending adaptations; its current focus is on symphonic works adapted for chamber orchestra. This repertoire is of interest as an artistic challenge, as well as a practical solution to budgetary constraints. The chamber orchestra medium is especially suited to the challenges of the current arts economy. NOW expands and contracts to suit the needs of various repertoire and concert halls. NOW also streamlines its administrative overhead by utilizing musicians in administrative roles. Ensemble members serve as executive director, orchestra librarian/personnel manager, development director, and marketing director. NOW seeks out musicians who are first-tier performers with multiple skill-sets, to help the group continue to flourish in a highly competitive field. 

NOW's flexible size enables us to produce concerts at unique venues in and around the DC region, including: AMP by Strathmore (Rockville, MD), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), Gaithersburg Arts Barn (Gaithersburg, MD), Bridgewater College (Bridgewater, VA), Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA), Trinity Church Wall Street (New York, NY), First UCC (Washington, D.C.), Church of the Epiphany (Washington, DC), Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center (Wheaton, MD), and National Presbyterian Church (Washington, DC), among others.  

Committed to the advancement of new music, NOW recently produced their second CD on the ACIS label, “be-spoke,” which included three commissions by composers Joel Friedman, Elena Ruehr and Julian Wachner. This season, NOW co-commissioned and premiered Joseph Turrin’s And Crimson Roses Once Again Be Fair, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.