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NHSO’S mission is to increase the impact and value of orchestral music for our audiences through high quality, affordable performances and educational programming. Our musicians inspire, delight, challenge, and unite larger and more diverse communities.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra first rehearsed in 1894 and gave its inaugural concert in January 1895. It is the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra to be formed in America. Since its inception, the NHSO has performed regularly in New Haven, most of that time in Yale's historic Woolsey Hall. It has also toured throughout Connecticut and beyond (including performances at Carnegie Hall), has given numerous radio broadcasts, and made the world-premiere recording of the complete five-movement version of Mahler's first symphony. In addition to presenting classical repertoire, the orchestra has a long tradition of performing pops concerts throughout the state. The stellar roster of guest artists includes such distinguished performers as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joshua Bell, Van Cliburn, Renee Fleming, James Galway, Glenn Gould, Kennedy, Yo-Yo Ma, Sherrill Milnes, Birgit Nilsson, Jessye Norman, Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubinstein, Gil Shaham, Andre Watts and Pinchas Zukerman. Pops artists have included Dave Brubeck, Judy Collins, Arthur Fiedler, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Marvin Hamlisch, Skitch Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Dudley Moore, Buddy Rich, Doc Severinson, Artie Shaw, James Taylor, and Sarah Vaughan. In recent years, the orchestra has fulfilled its commitment to serve a wider audience throughout Connecticut. The orchestra of 66 professionals, most of whom live and work in the Greater New Haven area, is conducted by its Music Director, William Boughton, and Principal Pops Conductor, Chelsea Tipton.