CYPRESS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: ABOUT US
The Cypress Chamber Orchestra was founded by Kirk Wilke, a celebrated conductor, and Michael Drapkin, a prominent clarinetist, entrepreneur, and prolific composer and arranger. Wilke and Drapkin, who were classmates at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, have put their minds together to create something new. Their goal: shake up the classical music industry with a chamber orchestra that caters to audiences today. The Cypress Chamber Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit corporation.
Michael Drapkin served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Phil, where he helped influence their Brooklyn Model of programming. In short, the Brooklyn Model focuses on collaboration with musicians from the community the organization serves to create a deeper connection between the audience members and classical music. In the summer of 2023, the CCO will perform a concert featuring a Houston-based artist alongside our professional musicians.
In addition to focusing on collaborating with local musicians, the Brooklyn Model features the use of rescored versions of some of the most famous classical music works, taking what normally would require a large orchestra of 100 members or more and shrinking it to the size of a chamber orchestra, which uses less than 24 musicians. Rescoring major symphony orchestra works for chamber orchestra allows the ensemble to reach more people from more places, spreading the joy and beauty of the classical music canon to those who may not otherwise experience it. We are so thrilled to have Michael Drapkin, our co-founder, rescore the works that the CCO will perform.