The mission of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra is to promote and foster musical culture and education in the community.
The roots of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (GSO) extend back to the 1920's when a group of musicians at Woman's College (now UNCG) banded together under the direction of Henry Fuchs. In 1939, the Dean of Music at the Woman's College, H. Hugh Altvater, formally organized the group as the Greensboro Orchestra, which was financially sustained by the college. In 1951, when Concertmaster George Dickieson, head of the Woman's College Violin Department became the conductor, the orchestra began to gain considerable community support and became a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League. An advisory committee was formed to further the development of the orchestra which later became independent of the University. The Greensboro Symphony Society became an independent organization and eventually assumed total financial responsibility for the Orchestra.
In 1959, the Greensboro Symphony Society was created with the goals of promoting and fostering musical culture and education in the community. Under the leadership of Miles Wolff, the first president of the Symphony Society and editor of the Greensboro Daily News & Record, the Society was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1959. In 1963, Thomas Cousins was appointed conductor. The steady growth in size, coupled with the orchestra's image in the community, prompted the Society's decision to assume responsibility for the conductor's salary. In 1964, Miles Wolff led the development of the Greensboro Symphony Guild to aid the Greensboro Symphony Society in the promotion of an orchestra in the community.
The Junior League was enlisted to help organize this community-based guild comprised of dedicated women. In 1967, Sheldon Morgenstern became the first conductor to be supported by the Society. In 1975, Dr. Peter Paul Fuchs became Music Director/Conductor. At the conclusion of the 1986/87 season, Maestro Fuchs was honored with the title of Conductor Laureate. Paul Anthony McRae joined the orchestra as its Music Director in June of 1987 and led the Orchestra for more than eight seasons. Stuart Malina, a graduate of Harvard University, Yale School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, became the Symphony's sixth Music Director in May of 1996. Upon his departure in 2003, the Greensboro Symphony world-renowned violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky as the seventh Music Director in its history.
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