About the GSO
The Guelph Symphony Orchestra was founded as the Guelph Chamber Orchestra in 2001, through the passion and vision of Simon Irving, and the commitment of dedicated Guelph Community arts supporters. The GSO gave its first concert in March 2001 under the baton of Simon Irving.
Judith Yan served as GSO’s Artistic Director from the 2011-12 season until 2018-19. During her tenure as Artistic Director , Maestro Yan expanded the orchestra’s symphonic and operatic repertoire with works by composers Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, Francis Poulenc, Leonard Bernstein, added operatic repertoire by composers Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, and Strauss, Humperdinck, and created the unique Triple- Feature “Ballet, Opera, and Symphony” Gala.
GSO provides performances of major symphonic repertoire to audiences in the City of Guelph and surrounding area. Comprised of musicians from the city and region, the orchestra performs regularly in the superb Mainstage Concert Hall of Guelph’s River Run Centre.
The orchestra is a strong supporter of Canadian Artists and has developed creative partnerships with Canadian performing arts organizations as well the GSO has also engaged in important partnerships with musical organizations within the community and regularly engages in Community Outreach events.
Since the inception of the orchestra, GSO has always placed a significant focus on youth. The annual GSO Under-23 Concerto Competition was initiated in 2002, and in 2011 a partnership with GYMC established the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra. Other youth initiatives include:
*the popular GSOKIds “symphony club” for children between the ages of 6 and 13
*our participation in River Run Centre’s Kinderconcert Series, three 30-minute, interactive concerts, created especially for audiences aged 5 and under.
*our new School Music program at Sacred Heart Elementary School
*participation in the Linamar School Series
*Free, family-friendly Outreach Concerts, through both our Pop Up Orchestra and Sounds of Summer Festivals.
We are committed to serving the community of Guelph by taking a leading role in the vibrant artistic life of this progressive city. We intend to accomplish this by expanding our reach into the diverse and varied sectors of the community, and by doing so, continue to build the next generation of audiences.
OUR VISION is to create an environment of INCLUSIVENESS, EQUALITY, and DIVERSITY with through symphonic music.
One of our organization’s most important mandate is to make outreach services available to all, at no cost or subsidized, offering equal access for all to this great art form. As we believe that music has the ability to unite people, with the potential to reduce or even eliminate socio-economic differences, we feel it is important to keep the presence of music ever available in our community.
The Musicians of the GSO
The finalists in the search for our next Artistic Director
The Season Ahead