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. The name of the orchestra was changed to Guelph Symphony Orchestra in May 2003 to reflect the symphonic repertoire performed.
In 2012 Judith Yan was appointed GSO Artistic Director and Conductor.
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 and our participation in River Run Centre’s Kinderconcert Series, three 30-minute, interactive concerts, created especially for audiences aged 5 and under.