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Chrysalis Rock Orchestra

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Chrysalis Rock Orchestra
Chrysalis Orchestra Logo
Background information
OriginNew York, New York
Years active2016 (2016)–present

Chrysalis Rock Orchestra is an American rock orchestra founded in 2016 by the English record producer, manager, and co-founder of Chrysalis Records Terry Ellis. Terry Ellis brought together the English Grammy winning guitarist, singer, manager, and record producer Peter Asher and Grammy and Emmy nominated composer, arranger, songwriter, and orchestrator David Wolfert[1] to form a core team of musical and creative directors. The orchestra is comprised of approximately forty young classically trained musicians with the traditional instrumentation of a symphony orchestra.[2] Chrysalis Rock Orchestra plays orchestral reinterpretations of iconic rock compositions such as Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, and Smells Like Team Spirit.[3]


Origins and Formation[edit]

Terry Ellis gained a successful reputation and track record in modern music for discovering, developing, and exploiting the commercial potential of young British recording artists. Ellis has a rich history in the music industry dating back to 1969 when he first began producing albums. His productions include all of the early Jethro Tull albums and based on their success, he and his partner, Chris Wright, formed Chrysalis Records. The label established itself with artists such as Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Procol Harum, Robin Trower, Leo Sayer, Spandau Ballet, and numerous others who achieved success through Chrysalis and its licensees around the world. Ellis later went on to discover and help establish the international music careers of Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, and Huey Lewis and the News.

By the end of 1974, Chrysalis was firmly established as one of the leading independent record labels music publishers in the world. Ellis moved to Los Angeles to build the American arm of the group and to give it a more focused identity. Ellis operated with the philosophy of maintaining a close personal involvement with all aspects of his signed artists' careers.

In 2016, Ellis recognized that in the United States since the year 2000, the revenues from recorded music had fallen by approximately 30%, whilst revenues from concert tickets in the year were almost five times what they had been in 2000.[4]

He also observed that there was a significant demand amongst popular music lovers between eight and eighty to attend concerts by orchestras playing music that they could relate to, so he conceived the idea of Chrysalis Rock Orchestra, a forty-piece orchestra playing reimagined versions of the great compositions of the rock era that they had grown up listening to as the soundtrack to their lives.


  1. "David Wolfert | NYU Steinhardt". Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  2. Fagan, Ellen (2022-04-02). "Pat Benatar: From Opera to Rock". CultureSonar. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  3. "Terry Ellis of Chrysalis Orchestra - Family Office Insights". 2020-10-06. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  4. "U.S. Sales Database". RIAA. Retrieved 2023-06-27.

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