John Mauceri's orchestral career developed simultaneously with his career in Opera Houses and on Broadway. He made his professional orchestral conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1974 (Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto-- Rudolph Serkin, soloist; Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring). Since then he has appeared with the major orchestras of America and Europe including concerts with the New York Philharmonic, the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, the Israel Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the French National Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (DSO) in Berlin, the MDR (Leipzig), the WDR (Cologne), the NDR (Hannover), the Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester (Berlin), the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra della RAI (Rome), the Orquesta Sinfonica Portuguesa in Lisbon, the National Orchestra of Brazil, the Danish National Orchestra, and the Orchestra della Radio Svizzera Italiana.
He has had a special relationship with Leipzig's legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra, appearing with them for eight consecutive years, which was unprecedented in the orchestra's 300-year history. Together they have performed more than ten hours of music never heard live in concert in Europe, including music by Gershwin, Steiner, Rozsa, Waxman, Korngold, Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, and Danny Elfman.
Mr. Mauceri has conducted concerts in London with the Royal Philharmonic as well as the Philharmonia and has appeared at the Proms. He was music director of the 1986 Leonard Bernstein Festival for the London Symphony with which he has recorded and televised concerts. From 1979 until 1988 he served as music director of the Kennedy Center's orchestras, and in that role was responsible for auditioning and maintaining the quality of the ensembles that regularly accompanied the opera, ballet and music theater presentations at the center. In 1985 he was appointed music director of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York, the first conductor to hold that post since the orchestra's founder Leopold Stokowski. With the American Symphony Mr. Mauceri conducted the world premiere of David Del Tredici's Child Alice in Carnegie Hall in 1986. Mr. Mauceri was the first conductor to perform at the newly renovated Carnegie Hall in December of 1986 in a special concert with members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as well as the Empire Brass. In 1987 he created a sensation on a national tour of summer festivals with the Boston Pops at Ravinia (Chicago), Blossom (Cleveland), and at the Hollywood Bowl, replacing the indisposed John Williams.