Blowing our own trumpet since 1931
Harrogate Symphony Orchestra

Harrogate Symphony Orchestra can trace our roots back to 1931 when the Harrogate String Orchestra replaced the Municipal Orchestra. From this grew the Harrogate Chamber Orchestra, and then as numbers grew and demand for larger scale works developed, we became the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra in 1991. The aims have always been the same: to give players a chance to explore a wide range of orchestral music on a regular basis and to present concerts to as wide an audience as possible. For nearly 30 years we have tried to encourage a younger audience too through workshops, free tickets for under 11s and concerts specifically designed for children. In June 2013 we held the first of what we hope will be a number of such concerts. This one, featuring Wayne the Wolf from the Muppet Show, attracted over 760 happy and enthusiastic young people.

Although our performing ‘home’ is Harrogate, we actually rehearse in Knaresborough. Details can be found on the Rehearsals link. Players come from outside the area too: from Knaresborough, Leeds, Bingley, Ripon, York, Otley, Keighley, Pontefract, Garforth, Wakefield and even as far as Hull and Nottingham! The age range is very wide, with the youngest at 15 and the oldest at 85: and still playing amazingly well.

Many of our soloists come from YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) and are absolutely inspiring to work with. They are all pleasantly surprised by the standard of the orchestra and comment on their ability to accompany to professional standards. As well as attracting national and international solosists (see the link to Soloists), we also encourage local musicians including younger artists to perform with us. Recent ‘stars’ have included Julian Saphir (pianist from Harrogate), Marika van der Meer (soprano fro Ripon) and Caroline Heard (violinist from Ripon). For a full list see the link to Soloists.

In recent years, the orchestra’s concerts have attracted sponsorship by organisations, local supporters, advertisers and the Yorkshire and Humberside Arts. We are also well supported by our local Harrogate press.

The HSO is a registered charity, No. 515127