THE LOS ANGELES DOCTORS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is one of the oldest medically oriented community orchestras in the United States. Founded in 1953 by Dr. Reuben Strauss with 35 doctors, dentists, veterinarians, nurses, and allied health care professionals, it boasted 70 members at the time of its first concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles in 1954.
Despite our name, it is not necessary to be a member of the medical profession to play in the orchestra. The orchestra has broadened its membership to encompass musicians with diverse backgrounds including the legal profession, science, and education, as well as other dedicated amateur musicians. In this respect we consider ourselves a true community orchestra. In addition, we supplement our volunteer orchestra with emerging professional musicians, giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents, inspire our serious amateurs, and improve the quality of our performances.
The orchestra’s mission is to offer high-quality, affordable concerts to the diverse communities of Southern California, to support important medical causes, to educate young musicians in the discipline and joys of music, and to provide musical growth and fellowship for its performing members.
Over the years, conductors and guest soloists have included Henri Temianka, Mehli Mehta, Felix Slatkin, Jeffrey Kahane, David Weiss, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Prutsman, Tamaki Kawakubo, Elizabeth Pitcairn, Sam Fischer, Mitchell Newman, Rufus Choi, Vijay Gupta, Paul Wianko, and Armen Ksajikian.
The orchestra has supported the performance of new music by local composers and has premiered the work of Adrienne Albert, David Avshalomov, Andrew Feazelle, and Karim Elmahmoudi, our former composer-in-residence whose work Orbit plays daily at the space shuttle “Endeavour” exhibit at the California Science Center.
We maintain close ties to the medical community with performances that raise funds for medical causes such as relief for tsunami victims in Japan, autism research at UCLA, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, and Operation Smile.