The mission of the Reno Chamber Orchestra is to create intimate, inspirational musical experiences by engaging the community through vibrant music making by the Chamber Orchestra and chamber ensembles.
The Reno Chamber Orchestra (RCO) came into being in 1974 as a collaboration between founding Music Director and Conductor Emeritus Vahe Khochayan and a group of musician colleagues playing in casino showroom orchestras. Their shared desire to perform classical music led to the Orchestra’s formation under its first Board of Directors in 1976. Audiences have grown substantially over the years, leading the annual events to expand to ten performances of chamber orchestra concerts, multiple smaller chamber events, and since 2004, the nationally-known Nevada Chamber Music Festival (NCMF). Some of the world’s most famous performers have appeared with the RCO, including Leonard Nimoy, Itzhak Perlman, and Pepe and Angel Romero. The RCO has been named one of the Best of Reno and Best Performing Arts Group, and five RCO musicians have received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement.
Maestro Theodore Kuchar – the RCO’s second Music Director and founder of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival (NCMF) – departed the organization in the spring of 2018. A Search Committee of longtime musicians, board, and community members was formed to review almost 150 applicants. The first ever dedicated NCMF Artistic Director, Clive Greensmith, was selected and began leading the festival in January 2019. After six finalist conductors appeared with the RCO from 2019-2021, the orchestra announced Kelly Kuo as its third Music Director in almost fifty years. Maestro Kuo takes the baton to lead the orchestra in performances beginning in October 2021.