Our History

The new century had just begun. Warren Cohen was leading a youth ensemble in Scottsdale, and parent Bill Stanley suggested he start a new orchestra. Bill had created non-profits before and would handle the legalities if Warren would find the players. “I’m an agreeable sort,” Warren says. But he had one condition:


The new group needed an identity different from the Scottsdale Symphony or any other orchestra in the Valley. Let’s play new, neglected and suppressed music, he suggested, knowing that no one else would touch that genre.


For two decades, this has been our calling card, making MusicaNova concerts special events. You don’t go to hear pieces you’ve heard dozens of times already. You’re in the audience to be let in on a secret, or to hear music that someone wanted to ban, or to experience an amazing piece played for the first time anywhere. You come to widen your horizons and bask in music that for some unfathomable reason has fallen out of favor.

Maestro Warren Cohen describes the finale of MusicaNova's very first concert!​

Play Video about Warren Cohen MusicaNova

The Debut of MusicaNova - May 18, 2003

The video above was made possible because Bill Stanley suggested starting a new orchestra, and 18 visionaries agreed it was a good idea. 

We thank MusicaNova’s founders: 

Bill and Wendy Stanley

Warren Cohen and Carolyn Whitaker

Edward and Cynthia DuBrow

Jill M. Forsyth-Koritala

Thomas Gasbarre

Jack and Elaine Jasperson

John and Elizabeth McKinnon

Merrill and Barbara Moss

Ann B. Ritt

Hannah Selznick

Loren Anderson and Patricia Stacy

James and Rita Whitaker.