The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary during the 2023-2024 season, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras.
HSO captivates in inspires audiences by presenting annual concert series and events, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, and the Talcott Mountain Music Festival at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra named Carolyn Kuan as it tenth music director in January 2011; she is the first woman and youngest person to hold this title. Since beginning her tenure in 2011, she has led the HSO to new artistic heights with community minded concerts and innovative programming.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1934 and formally established as the Symphony Society of Greater Hartford in 1936. Angelo Coniglione, Jacques Gordon, Leon Barzin, Moshe Paranov and George Heck were the Orchestra’s first music directors. With the appointment of Fritz Mahler in 1953, the HSO began its Young People’s Concerts and made several highly acclaimed recordings for Vanguard. In 1964, Arthur Winograd became music director and the Orchestra grew in artistic stature, performing at Carnegie Hall and other New York locations to highly favorable reviews. Under the leadership of Michael Lankester from 1985-2000, the HSO received national recognition for its programming innovations, including the popular Classical Conversations and Family Matinees, as well as a series of landmark theatrical productions. From 2001-2011, Edward Cumming led the HSO to new levels of artistic excellence and innovative programming.
Each season, the HSO plays to audiences numbering approximately 75,000 statewide, The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s extensive array of Education and Community Activities serves more than 15,000 individuals in Hartford and the surrounding communities annually.