Lourdes Starr-Demers to Lead Astral Artists as New Executive Director

PHILADELPHIA – Astral Artists, a nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of classical musicians, today announced Lourdes Starr-Demers as the organization’s next Executive Director, effective Jan. 19, 2021. Starr-Demers, a trained musician with degrees in performance and composition, joins Astral with more than 23 years of experience in the classical (read more…)


PHILADELPHIA, PA— Astral Artists is accepting applications for its 2021 National Auditions through March 3, 2021 with an early application deadline of February 24, 2020. Due to the ongoing pandemic, including travel restrictions and distancing guidelines, the 2021 Astral National Auditions will be conducted via an entirely digital format. The Astral National Auditions are a (read more…)


PHILADELPHIA, PA – With ongoing restrictions to in-person concerts and gatherings due to COVID-19, Astral and WRTI have reimagined our annual Block Party, which has drawn upwards of 400 guests each of the past two years in Midtown Village. We are thrilled to announce the WRTI & Astral Radio Block Party. On Saturday, October 17 at 11:00am, our annual celebration will move (read more…)


With the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the next generation of classical music stars rises to the occasion – and to new heights of innovation, intimacy, and connection with their audiences with Astral Nova Our 2020/21 season Astral Nova is about empowering the next generation of artists to create in a digital space. All events will be live streamed and (read more…)

A message from Astral’s Board of Directors

Astral stands against racism, oppression, violence and injustice across the arts, our city of Philadelphia, and the world. In the face of the murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others, we say clearly: Black Lives Matter. We know that our solidarity means nothing without meaningful action. To truly (read more…)

2020 Astral National Auditions Live Round Postponed

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Due to the current restrictions concerning public gatherings we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Astral National Auditions Live Rounds originally scheduled for late May. We realize that this is an unprecedented situation, and one that already has resulted in similar cancellations for concerts and events across the world.  Our panelists have completed (read more…)

Remaining concerts of 19/20 Astral In Concert season canceled

PHILADELPHIA, PA—It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of the remainder of our 2019/20 concert season. This includes Timothy Chooi \ violin on Saturday, April 18 and our chamber music concert, Musical Roots on Saturday, May 2. This decision was made in consultation with our Board and with the utmost concern for the (read more…)


PHILADELPHIA, PA—We’re thrilled to preview our upcoming 2020/2021 Astral In Concert season. The season features five exciting Astral artists in recital as well as our first collaboration with Kingston Chamber Music Festival. Our National Auditions Winners Concert returns to Stotesbury Mansion and of course be sure to join us for the third annual, free to attend, (read more…)

2020 Astral National Auditions Application Deadline

PHILADELPHIA, PA— Astral Artists is accepting applications for its 2020 National Auditions through March 4, 2020 with an an early application deadline of February 26, 2020. An independent panel will screen applicants anonymously. Those who pass this preliminary round will be invited to Philadelphia in late May to audition live for an esteemed panel of (read more…)

Astral & WRTI 90.1 Present Their Second Annual Block Party In Midtown Village

PHILADELPHIA, PA— On Saturday, September 14, 2019, 3:00-5:00pm (Rain date: Sunday, September 15, 3:00-5:00pm), Astral and WRTI 90.1 team up for a free block party in Midtown Village in the 1213 Walnut Street corridor to celebrate classical music in Philly in a fun and family-friendly outdoor event. Emceed by WRTI 90.1 host Debra Lew Harder, (read more…)