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Rockford Symphony Orchestra

Rockford Symphony Orchestra
Rockford Symphony Orchestra

Rockford Symphony Orchestra










, Rockford, IL

(815) 965-0049

The RSO was incorporated in 1943 after performing for the community for nine seasons under its first Music Director and Manager, Arthur Zack. Zack led the orchestra for twenty-seven years. In 1970, the Board of Directors appointed Crawford Gates its next music director, bringing renowned guest artists to perform with the orchestra including Van Cliburn (1972), Victor Borge (1973), Phyllis Diller (1974), and Benny Goodman (1975). In 1991, the Board named Steven Larsen as the RSO’s fourth music director. Described as a “Renaissance musician,” Larsen went to work and over the last seventeen years has expanded the orchestra’s repertoire, attracting musicians of the highest caliber. Youth education and community outreach programs have expanded, increasing the RSO’s presence in the lives of Rockford area residents. During his tenure, Larsen added a pops series, an outdoor summer performance series and a fully-staged opera to the Symphony’s concert rosters. He has endeavored to bring the RSO’s performances to wider audiences by performing in new and non-traditional venues. His accomplishments have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ 2006 Conductor of the Year and a 1999 Mayor’s Arts Award for individual achievement. Under Larsen’s artistic leadership, the orchestra continues to develop the audiences of tomorrow through the RSO’s Youth Concerts and KinderKonzert programs, and through a wide variety of other educational programs involving the entire Rockford community. Overall, the Rockford Symphony’s mission is to enlighten, educate and entertain the people of Northern Illinois through symphonic music performance of the highest artistic excellence.

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