Iris Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Germantown Performing Arts Center in Germantown, Tennessee (a suburb of Memphis). Named after the state flower of Tennessee, Iris was founded by conductor Michael Stern as an ensemble for the 21st century—flexible, non-hierarchical, and passionate about the highest standards of performance. The mission is to serve the community with exceptional music. The vision is a resident ensemble with international reach.
Iris Orchestra under Stern is widely praised for the virtuosity of its playing; the depth and variety of programming, with a special emphasis on American contemporary music; and its acclaimed recordings on the Naxos and Arabesque labels.
Blossoming as a centerpiece of cultural life in the Mid-South, Iris has earned a reputation as a champion of new American music and a nuanced interpreter of the classical canon. Founded as a bold experiment in September 2000, Iris Orchestra is proudly still bold and still experimenting.