Sex, drugs--and classical music--what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. Created by Paul Weitz (About A Boy), Roman Coppola (The Darjeeling Limited), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom) and Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher).
Sex, drugs and classical music illustrate what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what occurs on stage. Brash new maestro Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) is stirring things up, and young oboist Hailey (Lola Kirke) hopes for her big chance.
Inspired by Hailey's passion, Rodrigo insists that she play with the orchestra, over the objections of Gloria (Bernadette Peters). Veteran maestro Thomas (Malcolm McDowell) tries to rise above his resentment of Rodrigo, only to face more humiliations. Hailey pays a late night visit to Alex, on the eve of her big day -- the moment she's been waiting for.
Alex helps Hailey figure out an easy way to make money, while back at the symphony hall, an older musician collapses when Rodrigo pushes him too hard. After being humiliated by Rodrigo's assistant, Hailey lets off a lifetime of steam, and is caught off guard when Rodrigo makes her an offer.
Gloria hosts a fundraiser to introduce Rodrigo. Hailey is sent to retrieve him and Thomas steps in to perform. When Rodrigo finally arrives to wow the crowd, Thomas can no longer contain himself. But the new maestro isn't enjoying himself -- he's haunted by a message: someone important is coming.
Rodrigo seeks guidance to rid himself of his "dreadful passion." With Thomas gone on a sabbatical, Cynthia bonds with Betty. In the middle of Alex's showcase -- an intimate dance with his roommate -- Hailey is summoned by Rodrigo to keep him from seeing Ana Maria. When she heads to Alex's apartment later, Hailey doesn't like what she finds.
As pressure mounts before the launch of the new season, Rodrigo erupts. His behavior alarms the symphony's business advisor, Edward, who warns Gloria to rein him in - just as her star conductor takes the orchestra on a surprise field trip. In the wake of all the drama, Hailey arrives home to find Alex, wondering why she hasn't returned his calls.
At a fundraising gala at an estate, Edward offers a large sum if Rodrigo will play the violin. Rodrigo ups the ante and turns the tables. Hailey runs into Lizzie, and discovers her roommate has been hiding her upper crust roots -- before spending the rest of the night impressing a man with aristocratic credentials of his own.
When Rodrigo decides he doesn't want Windsor Elliot for his opening night, the legendary pianist confronts him, and ends up helping him realize who he does want. Cynthia is sent to track down Thomas, but isn't quite prepared for what greets her. Hailey gives an intimate oboe lesson to her wealthy new friend, but the session is interrupted by Lizzie, who has some surprising news about her pupil.
Rodrigo summons Hailey to drive him upstate to find Ana Maria, explaining that she "makes him alive," exactly what the symphony needs opening night. Back in the city, Cynthia takes some pills for her wrist, and ends up seeing a co-worker in a whole new light. Hailey finds Alex, ready to feel alive.
After a harsh verdict from Betty, Hailey is ready to give up on her dream. But as the crowd fills the hall for opening night, Betty has gone missing. No one in the orchestra is prepared for what happens next. As their tempestuous new soloist, Ana Maria, goes off the rails, Rodrigo is forced to make a choice.
The New York Symphony Orchestra is midway through their season and on the surface things are going well: audiences are happy and the musicians are playing better than ever. But offstage, things are beginning to unravel.
A near disaster during a live performance forces Rodrigo to make some changes in how he conducts not only himself, but his orchestra. Gloria extends an unusual invitation to Hailey. But, as the young oboist will soon find out, there is no such thing as free dinner.
After one drum circle too many, Rodrigo is evicted from his apartment -- though it doesn't take him long to find a new roommate. Hailey and Lizzie help Bradford record his podcast about a famed building for artists. Hailey thinks about her future as one of the tenants recounts some famous performances. The threat of a strike causes some musicians to feel the heat.
Guest cellist, Andrew Walsh (Dermot Mulroney) invites Hailey out to see Lang Lang play, and gives her, her first real glimpse inside the world of classical music's elite crew. Thomas and Rodrigo enjoy a rare guys night in and end up in a tent in a living room, exploring the farthest corners of their minds. Gloria proves she is more than she appears.
Hailey has more work than she planned on during the orchestra's Latin American tour. When a stolen violin threatens the tour's final concert in front of Rodrigo's former maestro and a potential major donor, Rodrigo has to call in an old friend. An adventure through Mexico City's underworld ensues.
Rodrigo shows Hailey HIS Mexico and takes her to a performance of his childhood youth orchestra. Thomas and Gloria meet with Juan Luis Delgado, the richest man in Mexico. Cynthia gets a surprise visitor and ends up in an unexpected position. Maestro Rivera, Rodrigo's mentor, asks him to fulfill a promise.
The gang celebrates Betty's 35 years in the orchestra with some tequila and a special guest. Hailey breaks the cardinal rule of touring: what happens on the road, stays on the road. Negotiations hit a wall and the idea of a work stoppage begins to sink in. Rodrigo develops a mysterious ailment, and must adjust his senses while filming for a new Virtual Reality video game.
Thomas shares his symphony with soon-to-be-ex-wife Claire, who finds the music absolutely breathtaking. A funeral becomes the setting of backstage plotting between the orchestra and the board. Rodrigo attempts to let go of something from his past, but she will have nun of it. Hailey goes on a date with a board member and finds out more than she thought she would.
Lennox, a guest "enfant terrible" conductor, brings some anger and fury to the orchestra. Thomas battles his oldest demons and hears the crash of his legacy. Rodrigo does everything in his power to keep the world around him from going out of tune. Nina and Cythia disagree on negotiation tactics. Through the chaos, priorities become clearer. Changes will be made.
Things are about to erupt between the board and the orchestra, and Rodrigo prepares to do whatever it takes. As the tables turn with each double cross, no one is safe. Not even the greatest composers in history. The future is uncertain.
With orchestra and management still at odds in New York, Rodrigo arrives in Venice, Italy to conduct the grand return concert of a famous, reclusive opera diva. Hailey takes a European adventure of her own, touring with the Andrew Walsh Ensemble and finding it's not exactly what she had hoped.
Rodrigo pushes Alessandra out of her comfort zone by challenging her traditional repertoire with a new piece. Alessandra makes an intriguing proposition to Hailey. Meanwhile in New York, the orchestra is up in arms about the new tenant in residence at Symphony Hall.
In a last ditch attempt to resolve the lock out, the Mayor calls the orchestra and management to City Hall for mediation. Rodrigo tries to keep Alessandra focused as the pressure mounts and old demons resurface. Hailey gets a surprising visit from Erik.
Rodrigo faces an unexpected roadblock to the concert. He leaves a very important task in Hailey's hands as he runs off to find his diva. Gloria and Thomas arrive in Venice for Thomas's debut as a classical-turned-electronic music star.
Rodrigo conducts Alessandra in the concert of a lifetime. When the night is over, both of their lives will be forever changed.
Rodrigo takes extraordinary measures to bring his orchestra family back together. Hailey reunites with Lizzie and finding her friend totally transformed, realizes she must think seriously about what is next for her.
Bradford Sharp turns his lens on the New York Symphony in this documentary film about the transcendental power of music.
Rodrigo loses sleep as he tries to figure out exactly how the orchestra family must evolve for its next chapter. Against better judgment, Gloria introduces Thomas to her parents. Cynthia is finally forced to confront a problem she's been trying her best to ignore.
Rodrigo takes matters into his own hands and tries to get financial assistance for his new musical venture. Preparing for her first time conducting, Hailey faces some unexpected challenges from a difficult composer. Lizzie shines on her big opening night and Thomas shows Gloria how he really feels.
The New York Symphony holds auditions and Hailey gets the shot she's been waiting for. Rodrigo learns exactly what it takes to grow the orchestra. Gloria gives Thomas a special gift and Cynthia takes a step into the unknown. Every end is a new beginning.
As Rodrigo and Hailey navigate the status of their new relationship. She gives her Ensemble a fresh direction. Thomas steals Gloria away from work for some afternoon romance. And a world-renowned choreographer (John Cameron Mitchell) invites Rodrigo to collaborate on a new ballet.
Hailey returns home to North Carolina to teach a master class at her high school and finds her parents have some surprising news. Gloria gloats about a very important guest set to visit the NY Symphony and Thomas gets a visit from a fan with an intriguing offer.
After a disastrous night at the NY Symphony, Gloria finds herself in a PR whirlwind, having to re-secure a major donor. Rodrigo becomes fascinated with the ballet, while Hailey tries to make some professional connections without his help.
On a mission to talk to Mozart, Rodrigo visits an unusual classical music collector (Michael Emerson) who might have what he needs. Hailey gets an exciting conducting opportunity, but has to prove she is up for the challenge. Thomas discovers the missing ingredient for the Queens Phil and invites Cynthia along for the ride.
Rodrigo distracts himself from the Requiem as he dives deeper into coaching Hailey for her big gig. Gloria gets a visit from a famous composer, eager to premiere his latest piece with the NY Symphony, but Thomas thinks his knows of a better fit. Despite doctor's orders, Cynthia returns to playing with renewed vigor.
Hailey faces off against new peers at the Fukusoft Conducting Competition in Japan. Rodrigo meets a new composer who claims to know more about Mozart than he does. Gloria tries to eclipse Betty in her fight for Fukumoto's attention, and Thomas is reluctantly reunited with an old flame.
Rodrigo's calls out for Mozart. The conducting competition heats up for Hailey, despite her early success. In their toughest moments, they reach out for each other. Meanwhile, Gloria and Thomas finally have it out over the secrets they've been keeping.
Before saying goodbye to Japan, Rodrigo and Hailey experience a tea ceremony.
Rodrigo and Hailey return home to find their lives changed. Meanwhile, Gloria and Thomas are back too, but it's business as usual with them as the showdown over Hesby's piece intensifies.