NSO logo
now then - where were we?

about 

  NSO

The Niagara Symphony Orchestra (NSO) has been an arts leader and cultural treasure in the Niagara Region for over 70 years. Established in 1948 as the St. Catharines Civic Orchestra, the organization has grown from a small community ensemble into a fully professional orchestra of over 50 musicians. The NSO Is dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Niagara Region through diverse programming and a broad range of educational initiatives.

A commitment to excellence and innovation has marked the tenure of current musical director, Bradley Thachuk, whose leadership since 2010 has increased the orchestra’s regional profile. From their home in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Maestro Thachuk and the NSO feature performers of national and international acclaim and showcase the Canadian composers of today alongside treasured classic repertoire.

Current educational programs like the Youth Club, Summer Music Camp, and Spotlight On! have given opportunities to students of all ages. From young children learning the basics of the orchestra, to university students growing their music careers through performance opportunities and mentorship – there is something for everyone who wants to learn more about orchestral music with the NSO.

As a registered not-for-profit arts organization, the NSO receives support from patrons, donors, sponsors, and all levels of government. Thanks to the generous support of these partners who recognize the importance of the creative arts in thriving communities, the NSO is proud to be able to bring vital art and engaging education to the people of the Niagara Region.

Music Lesson
concert
4 singers
5 children percussion

VISION

The Niagara Symphony Orchestra is widely known as the leading producer and advocate of orchestral music that educates and entertains a diverse community with fiscal accountability and a commitment to enhance the quality of life within the Niagara Region.

MISSION

The Niagara Symphony Orchestra entertains and educates, enriching the quality of life in the Niagara Region, with imaginative and diverse concert programming and a broad range of educational programs.

a brief 

  history

1948

St. Catharines Civic Orchestra founded by conductor Jan Wolanek

1955

Orchestra legally incorporated

Brass Section - 1947
8 leonard pearlman 1960 students at rehearsal

1958

Leonard Pearlman takes over as principal conductor

1961

Orchestra changes name to St. Catharines Symphony Orchestra

1964

Milton Barnes replaces Pearlman as conductor, bringing an increased focus to NSO educational initiatives

1972

Leonard Atherton named conductor, marking an era of growth and a shift from community ensemble to professional orchestra

Just for the fun of it show - orchestra

1978

Orchestra changes name to Niagara Symphony Orchestra to better reflect commitment to the entire Niagara Region

1983

After a three-year period of rotating guest conductors, Ermanno Florio is named music director

uri mayer

1995

Michael Reason takes over as Music Director

1998

NSO officially becomes orchestra-in-residence at Brock University

1999

Daniel Swift named Music Director

2010

Bradley Thachuk appointed Music Director after two-year search

orchestra circa 1997

2015

NSO finds its new home in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

1948

St. Catharines Civic Orchestra founded by conductor Jan Wolanek

Brass Section - 1947

1955

Orchestra legally incorporated

1958

Leonard Pearlman takes over as principal conductor

1961

Orchestra changes name to St. Catharines Symphony Orchestra

8 leonard pearlman 1960 students at rehearsal

1964

Milton Barnes replaces Pearlman as conductor, bringing an increased focus to NSO educational initiatives

1972

Leonard Atherton named conductor, marking an era of growth and a shift from community ensemble to professional orchestra

1978

Orchestra changes name to Niagara Symphony Orchestra to better reflect commitment to the entire Niagara Region

Just for the fun of it show - orchestra

1983

After a three-year period of rotating guest conductors, Ermanno Florio is named music director

1995

Michael Reason takes over as Music Director

1998

NSO officially becomes orchestra-in-residence at Brock University

1999

Daniel Swift named Music Director

2010

Bradley Thachuk appointed Music Director after two-year search

2015

NSO finds its new home in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

orchestra circa 1997