About Us

Currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Judith Yan, the orchestra 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 also a strong supporter of Canadian Artists, and regularly performs works by Canadian composers, including Barbara Croall, Glen Buhr, and Oskar Morawetz. Canadian soloists to perform with the orchestra have included the renowned Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti, violinist Jacques Israelievitch,tenor Mark DuBois, and baritone James Westman.

GSO has developed creative partnerships with Canadian performing arts organizations, including Opera on the Avalon and Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. In 2012/13 season, members of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio performed with the GSO in a sold-out performance of “Die Fledermaus”; this season, vocalists from Opera on the Avalon will be featured in a Gala performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

GSO has also engaged in important partnerships with musical organizations within the community, including the Edward Johnson Foundation, Guelph Youth Music Centre, and the award-winning Guelph Chamber Choir and Guelph Youth Singers. This season the orchestra looks forward to sharing the stage with the University of Guelph Choir and the Kilmarnock Singers.

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 20-minute concerts created especially for audiences aged 5 and under.


2001: The GSO was founded as the Guelph Chamber Orchestra in 2001, through the passion and vision of Artistic Director and Resident Conductor 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.

2002: GSO initiated the Under-23 Concerto Competition to offer talented young musicians the opportunity to perform a full concerto as part of our regular concert series. Each year a different instrumental category is offered – piano, strings and wind. The age was carefully selected to be open to students who are working on or have completed their undergraduate studies.

2003: The name of the orchestra was changed to Guelph Symphony Orchestra in May 2003 to reflect the symphonic repertoire performed.

2011: Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) was established when a partnership was struck by the Guelph Symphony Orchestra and Guelph Youth Music Centre, who teamed up to provide financial backing and ongoing mentorship to 32 Guelph-area youth musicians. A grant from The Guelph Community Foundation’s Musagetes Fund – dedicated to performing, visual and literary arts excellence in Guelph and area – helped to get this thriving partnership off the ground.

2011: Due to the imminent retirement of Simon Irving, a search was established for a new Artistic Director and Conductor. Six conductors each guest-conducted one concert and assessments were gathered from both the players and the audience members.

2012: Judith Yan was appointed GSO Artistic Director and Resident Conductor.

2012: Kinderconcerts introduced in partnership with River Run Centre.

2013: GSOKids Symphony club introduced.

Current Staff

Artistic Director
Judith Yan

General Manager
Catherine Molina

Katharine Lammer (Volunteer)

Production Manager
David Knight (Volunteer)

Stage Manager
Dorothy Fisher (Volunteer)

Personnel Manager
Larry Moser (Volunteer)

Morgan Melbourne

Our Orchestra

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Excerpt from “Dreams of Vienna” New Year’s Concert. Special thanks to Sleeman Breweries for generously sponsoring this GSO toast to the New Year. Featuring Mark DuBois & Corinne Lynch singing “Brindisi” from La traviata by Giuseppi Verdi.

Guelph Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal with Judith Yan, Artistic Director | Oct 23rd, 2011, River Run Centre

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