Mill Valley Philharmonic (originally known as the Tennessee Valley Orchestra) started in the Fall of 2000 as a string ensemble of 15 players. We quickly became a full orchestra (adding winds, brass and percussion) and have grown to 60 volunteer musicians. Our audiences started out small, but the word is out – we now reach upward of 3,000 people each season. We have performed 140 concerts in almost every community in Marin County, as well as at the SF Zoo, Davies Symphony Hall, and Treasure Island.

MVP prides itself on having commissioned and presented at least one new work by a contemporary composer (a world premiere) almost every year since 2002. And over 25 local professional solo artists have performed with the orchestra during our first 18 years.

Over its history, Mill Valley Philharmonic has presented innovative programming that has introduced its audience to new and rarely heard repertoire. Highlights of creative programming under Founder Laurie Cohen’s direction include: Bird Song in 20th Century Music; A River Trip with the MVP; Man and his Machines; Music and Murals of the Works Progress Administration; Music of the Americas; Music from the Nordic Circle; Celebrating Women Composers; American Vocal Works; and Cathedral and Temple. Many of these programs have been presented in collaboration with community groups such as environmental organizations, local poets, and choral groups.

Mill Valley Philharmonic is at an exciting juncture in its organizational development. Founder/Artistic Director Laurie Cohen announced her intentions to retire at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season to the Board of Directors in 2017. Galvanized by their dedication to the organization’s mission and to the orchestra’s importance to the community, the MVP Board began to plan for the future. Three highly accomplished conductors (Paul Phillips, Dana Sadava, and Alexander Kahn) have been chosen from a large field of candidates to take over the ensemble’s artistic leadership in the coming season. One of the candidates will be chosen to serve as MVP’s Artistic Director beginning with the 2019-2020 Season, our 20th Anniversary.