The discovery of more than a thousand broken, unplayable musical instruments owned by the School District of Philadelphia was the catalyst for the premiere in December of a new symphonic work by David Lang—with professional and amateur musicians playing hundreds of those very instruments. Lang’s 40-minute Symphony for a Broken Orchestra at Philadelphia’s vast 23rd Street Armory featured musicians from Philadelphia’s public schools, the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia Orchestra, Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, and elsewhere in the metro area, conducted by Jayce Ogren. Lang said the idea for the piece came after Robert Blackson, who runs the contemporary art gallery at Temple University, “told me that he had somehow—miraculously—gotten access to all the broken instruments in the Philadelphia public school system, and asked if I had any interest in writing something for them. I did! I am only a musician because there were robust music programs in the public schools that I attended as a child.” Symphony for a Broken Orchestra was warmly received, but perhaps the best part is that broken instruments can be “adopted,” using donated funds that will allow Temple Contemporary, in collaboration with instrument repair professionals, to mend fixable instruments and return them to public schools.