Phoenix Symphony
The Phoenix Symphony is a major United States symphony orchestra based in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...


Founded in 1947 when Phoenix had a population of less than 100,000, the orchestra began as an occasional group of musicians performing a handful of concerts each year. Today, the orchestra appears before 300,000 subscribers, ticketholders, and music enthusiasts each year, offering 275 concerts and presentations in an annual season running from September to May.

Based in Phoenix Symphony Hall (opened in 1972, renovated in 2005, and seating 2,312), the 76-member ensemble is Arizona's only full-time, professional orchestra. The Phoenix Symphony operates on an annual budget of more than $10 million and is supported by ticket sales and private and corporate contributions, as well as by public funding provided through the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

, and the City of Phoenix's Office of Arts and Culture.

The symphony offers classical and pops concerts in downtown Phoenix as well as symphonic and community presentations in Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385...

, Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

, Prescott
Prescott, Arizona
Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, USA. It was designated "Arizona's Christmas City" by Arizona Governor Rose Mofford in the late 1980s....

, and other locations throughout central Arizona. As part of its educational and community engagement activities each season, the symphony performs annually for more than 70,000 students representing 265 schools.

Classical guest artists have included Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

, Shlomo Mintz
Shlomo Mintz
Shlomo Mintz is an Israeli violin virtuoso, violist and conductor. He regularly appears with orchestras and conductors on the international scene and is heard in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world.- Awards :...

, Emanuel Ax
Emanuel Ax
Emanuel Ax is a Grammy-winning American classical pianist. He is currently a teacher on the faculty of the Juilliard School. He is considered one of the best known concert pianists of the 21st century.-Early life:...

, Van Cliburn
Van Cliburn
Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn Jr. is an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at age 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War....

, James Galway
James Galway
- External links : 15 September 2008. 5 August 2008.*...

, Horacio Gutierrez
Horacio Gutiérrez
Horacio Gutiérrez is a Cuban-American virtuoso classical pianist.-Early life and education:Gutiérrez was born in Havana, Cuba, the eldest of four children, to Tomás V. Gutiérrez and Josefina Fernandez Gutiérrez. His mother was his first piano teacher, and was herself, an accomplished pianist. His...

, Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma is an American cellist, virtuoso, and orchestral composer. He has received multiple Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts in 2001 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011...

, Midori
Midori Goto
is a Japanese American violinist. She made her debut at the age of 11 in a last-minute change of programming during a concert highlighting young performers by the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. When she was 21, she formed the philanthropic group Midori and Friends to help bring music to...

, Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-born violinist, conductor, and instructor of master classes. He is regarded as one of the pre-eminent violinists of the 20th and early-21st centuries.-Early life:...

, Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern was a Ukrainian-born violinist. He was renowned for his recordings and for discovering new musical talent.-Biography:Isaac Stern was born into a Jewish family in Kremenets, Ukraine. He was fourteen months old when his family moved to San Francisco...

, André Watts
André Watts
André Watts is a classical pianist and professor at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.-Life and early performances:...

, Sarah Chang
Sarah Chang
Sarah Chang is a Korean American violinist. Her debut came in 1989 with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Shortly thereafter, Chang was recognized as a child prodigy. She enrolled at Juilliard School to study music, graduating in 1999 and continuing university studies...

, Olga Kern
Olga Kern
Olga Kern is a Russian classical pianist. Born as Olga Pushechnikova to a family of musicians with ties to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, she later adopted her mother's maiden name professionally...

, Karen Gomyo, and Pinchas Zukerman
Pinchas Zukerman
Pinchas Zukerman is a world-renowned violinist, violist, and conductor. He is considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and his ongoing 45-year career has seen him perform with the world's best-known orchestras and record over 100 works...

. Doc Severinsen
Doc Severinsen
Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen is an American pop and jazz trumpeter. He is best known for leading the NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.-Early life:...

 was the principal pops conductor of the orchestra from the 1983-84 season through the 2005-06 season, and guest pops artists have included Sandy Duncan
Sandy Duncan
Sandra Kay "Sandy" Duncan is an American singer, dancer and actress of stage and television, recognized through a blonde, pixie cut hairstyle and perky demeanor...

, Michael Feinstein
Michael Feinstein
Michael Jay Feinstein is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award for celebrating American musical theatre songs...

, Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Frederick Hamlisch is an American composer. He is one of only thirteen people to have been awarded Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and a Tony . He is also one of only two people to EGOT and also win a Pulitzer Prize...

, Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
Robert "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a ten-time Grammy Award winner.-Life:...

, Andrea Marcovicci
Andrea Marcovicci
Andrea Louisa Marcovicci is an American actress and singer.- Biography :Marcovicci was born in Manhattan, New York City, the daughter of Helen , a singer, and Eugen Marcovicci, a physician and internist of Romanian descent. In her teens, she decided that she wanted to be a singer, but instead...

, and Peter Nero
Peter Nero
Peter Nero is an American pianist and pops conductor.-Early life:Born in Brooklyn, New York, As Bernard Nierow, Nero started his formal music training at the age of seven. He studied piano under Frederick Bried...


Michael Christie
Michael Christie (conductor)
Michael Christie is an American conductor. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance...

 (born Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, 1974) was named music director of the Phoenix Symphony in 2005.

Music directors

  • John Barnett (1947 - 1948)
  • Robert Lawrence (1949 - 1951)
  • Leslie Hodge (1952 - 1958)
  • Guy Taylor (1959 - 1968)
  • Philip Spurgeon (1969 - 1971)
  • Eduardo Mata
    Eduardo Mata
    Eduardo Mata was a Mexican conductor and composer.Mata was born in Mexico City. He studied guitar privately for three years before enrolling in the National Conservatory of Music. From 1960 to 1963 he studied composition under Carlos Chávez, Héctor Quintanar and Julián Orbón. In 1964 he received a...

     (1972 - 1978)
  • Theo Alcantara (1978 - 1988)
  • James Sedares (1989 - 1995)
  • Hermann Michael (1997 - 2004)
  • Michael Christie
    Michael Christie (conductor)
    Michael Christie is an American conductor. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance...

    (2005 - current)

External links

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