The Great Learning Orchestra is a network with more than one hundred musicians from different genres, cities and countries. The idea is to come together to explore music where listening is the main focus. The orchestra is based in Stockholm but work with composers and musicians from around the world. They have played a variety of pieces from the experimental music scene and has collaborated with a number of well-known composers such as Gavin Bryars, Terry Riley and Arnold Dreyblatt.
The Great Learning Orchestra was initiated in 1999 by Leif Jordansson and Pelle Halvarsson and should be read with emphasis on each word:
Great (many) – Learning – Orchestra (playing)
The name is taken from one of the British composer Cornelius Cardew’s most important work, The Great Learning, which was written in the late 60’s for the orchestra The Scratch Orchestra – a group of about 50 musicians, composers, artists, and philosophy student. Other influences are John Cage, The Fluxus Movement and the No Wave scene in New York City.