Milwaukee Philharmonic

Newly formed in the metro Milwaukee area, the Milwaukee Philharmonic is an organization dedicated to making high quality orchestral music accessible to the average person, free of charge.  We seek to create an approachable concert experience by presenting shorter programs, at no cost, to encourage families, students, and newcomers to classical music to attend.

Since the orchestra’s formation in 2017, the Milwaukee Philharmonic has given 12 concerts free of charge to the public.  Though the bulk of the performances include music that exists in the public domain, the orchestra has performed the music of local living composers, including giving the world premiere of Penny Corris’ Symphony No. 1 to a 350-person audience at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield, WI.  The orchestra has also performed with highly acclaimed soloists, and have world renowned artists asking to perform with the orchestra.

The Milwaukee Philharmonic first gained national recognition when Founding Music Director and Conductor, Matthew Makeever, took second place in the Community Orchestra Division of the American Prize in Conducting, for their performance of Brahms’ Second Symphony.  The orchestra also gained acclaim in March of 2020, when the orchestra gave a live-streamed performance of Brahms’ Third Symphony, just as the pandemic hit the nation.  This performance had shares and viewership over 5000 times, including prominent professional orchestras around the country.

The Milwaukee Philharmonic is partnering with Arts Wisconsin to act on our behalf as Fiscal Receiver.  The orchestra is a growing organization, and is looking for assistance in key areas to help achieve our goals. 

  • Above all else, we believe that the devoted musicians who are generously sharing their talent and time to deliver high-quality performances as members of the Milwaukee Philharmonic deserve to be compensated, and financial assistance wo
  • uld help us achieve this goal.
  • We are grateful for the generosity of the venues in which we currently perform.  The growth in our membership is causing us to rapidly outgrow their capacity quickly. Financial or in-kind support towards a larger performance space would provide the ensemble the opportunity to expand the repertoire we are performing and reach new audiences.
  • To support our mission of reaching diverse audiences through diverse repertoire, we need financial assistance to secure music rentals and performance rights to contemporary works that are not in the public domain.

You can support the Milwaukee Philharmonic in three ways:

  • Check:  Payable and send to Arts Wisconsin, Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701-1054 (please note:  we can only cash checks made payable to Arts Wisconsin, so don’t make the check payable to Milwaukee Philharmonic).
  • Credit card (Visa/MC)
  • PayPal

 If you contribute via check or credit card, please indicate that your donation is for the Milwaukee Philharmonic.

Please direct inquiries to Music Director, Matthew Makeever at  Please visit or the orchestra’s Facebook page for more information on upcoming projects and performances, and to join our mailing list.  Thanks for your support!