Performing Arts

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

About Us

HISTORY: In 1950 a group of nine musicians established the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Society. By 1957 the Society was engaging professional musicians and became incorporated as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

WHAT DO WE DO? The CSO is a professional symphony orchestra attracting many of Australia's leading musicians, both to its ranks and as soloists. As well as a symphonic subscription series annually, the CSO presents outdoor and opera concerts which are a highlight of Canberra's cultural life.

HIGHLIGHTS: In 1995 the orchestra was invited to accompany the Australian Ballet season in Canberra, and has often played for them since. The Australian Opera also employs the talents of the CSO when touring to the national capital.

OUR TALENT: The Orchestra draws on the ANU School of Music for many of its players, generating a unique blend of lecturers, tutors, and students presenting both freshness and excellence in performance. Well-known private teachers of music in Canberra and a small number of talented private players also join the ranks from time to time. Several of the principal players have recordings to their credit either as soloists or as members of smaller performing groups.

OUR FUNDING: The Canberra Symphony Orchestra is funded by the ACT Government for one fifth of its operating revenue, the balance being covered by box office, corporate partnership and private donors. The CSO is overseen by our Board and run by our Management Team.


A full and fascinating history of the CSO is found in Play On, by Max Booth. It is available for sale through the CSO Office.

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Performing Arts

02 6247 9191

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GPO Box 1919
Australian Capital Territory 2601