Founded in 1855 by Mendelssohn's student, Herman S. Saroni, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra became the second orchestra formed in the United States. The symphony disbanded during the Civil War and both World Wars, but always reorganized during times of peace. In 1949, the organization as we know it today, was formed. The CSO has been a professional orchestra since the late 1970's and employs as many as 90 musicians for any given concert. Long recognized as one of the southeast's finest musical ensembles, the CSO currently performs at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.
The mission of the CSO is "to perpetuate the orchestral tradition through the presentation of creative programs performed at the highest possible level of artistic quality, to develop audience enthusiasm, to educate future generations of concert goers and to contribute to the enjoyment and evolution of the art of symphonic music."
The CSO performs an array of concerts each season including classical, pops and family concerts in Bill Heard Theatre at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.
We also provide music education complimentary to area schools through The Orchestra Up Close thanks to donations from individuals, foundations and corporate partners.