Greenwich Symphony History

The Greenwich Symphony is a fully professional orchestra featuring world-class soloists in five concerts per year, performing in a new state-of-the-art concert hall in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Formed in the 1940s, the group became the Greenwich Philharmonia in 1958 under the baton of Kenneth Wendrich, with Catherine Converse as first president. Marian Jeffrey succeeded Mrs. Converse in 1967, when the orchestra began a period of growth and prestige. John Nelson took over as music director in 1967 and the orchestra received grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and local corporations and benefactors, enabling it to expand the season. The Philharmonia Auxiliary, headed by Dorothy Gluckmann, established an annual award to a gifted high school senior, and began to serve, support, and promote the orchestra in a variety of important ways.

The Greenwich Philharmonia was renamed the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra in its 25th anniversary season, 1982 to 1983, and the Auxiliary became the Symphony Guild. That season marked the GSO’s first dual concert with the Greenwich Choral Society, and the establishment of the endowment fund, which was greatly enhanced by gala benefit concerts starring Victor Borge in 1986 and 1999. Following Olwen Jones and Mahlon Perkins, Mary Radcliffe was named president in 1983.

In 1975 David Gilbert was named Music Director and Conductor. Associate Conductor Patricia Handy, who led the highly acclaimed Young People’s Concerts series, joined in 1979 and was succeeded in 2010 by Tara Simoncic. Joshua Bavaro joined the Symphony in 2011 as Assistant Conductor, and holds Pre-Concert Lectures before each performance.

Throughout its history, the GSO has been managed by an experienced and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors.

Over the years, the GSO has featured outstanding soloists, many in the early years of performing, who have gone on to highly successful careers. We thank our audience and friends who, with their dedicated and generous support, help us present a wide variety of great orchestral music in Greenwich.