Performing Great Music • Encouraging Young Talent • Supporting Local Charities

Founded in 1919

The Guildford Symphony Orchestra is the borough’s premier community orchestra, and currently the only local orchestra offering a full, large-scale symphonic repertoire.



We are offering 5 Jellinek Awards** of £200
And an opportunity to perform with the
On Sunday 19th February 2017

Entrants must be aged 23 or under,
Must live within a 40 mile radius of Guildford
Or have been born in Surrey


Application forms and details may be found here

Next Concert – Toy Stories

Sunday 2nd October, 3.30 pm, St Catherine’s School

The GSO kicks off its 2016-17 season with another of its hugely popular Family Concerts. From Mozart’s Toy Symphony (replete with cuckoo and horse rattle) to Bizet’s ferociously chromatic Spinning Top and the gentle Berceuse from Faure’s beloved Dolly Suite, the great composers bring the toyroom to life. David Leonard, famous as the evil Miss Trunchbull from the stage production of Matilda, narrates with his usual relish.

For little ones getting their first taste of classical music, to the grandparents holding hands, a fun afternoon of music for children old and young.




A star rises over the Aegean… and five stars for the GSO!

Jamal Aliyev won thunderous applause and a 5-star review for his performance of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 in our Charterhouse concert on the 20th March. A Sunday evening, the first signs of spring, and an over-crowded week for musical events in Guildford led to a slightly thinner audience than we hoped for, but they nonetheless gave Jamal a rapturous ovation for a performance that held nothing back. Prof Forbes, reviewing for the Surrey Advertiser gave the concert the maximum five stars, commenting:

The young cellist Jamal Aliyev, born in Azerbaijan, is already an international star. His rendering of Shostakovich’s famous First Cello Concerto was a delight, with every detail lovingly attended. Technical demands and expressive communication were never in doubt.

The orchestra has been lucky enough to work with several superstars in the making over recent years, and Jamal is surely another addition to what is becoming a distinguished list of alumni. The orchestra won praise, too, for a performance of Brahms’ First Symphony described as “… memorable and authoritative”, and for the imaginative programming of Nielsen’s Helios Overture.

Wendy Ratcliffe, stalwart GSO cellist and committee member over many years, spoke movingly of her personal experience of the support given by the Fountain Centre, our designated charity for the concert, which inspired the audience to part with a fantastic £640 in the retiring collection.


The New Mighty Five…?

Our all-female UCYAC 2016 line-up, with conductor Darrell and Mary Lloyd-Jones, our fantastic president!

Our all-female UCYAC 2016 line-up, with conductor Darrell and Mary Lloyd-Jones, our fantastic president!

The best audience in several years piled into the wonderful new auditorium in St Catherine’s School in Bramley on February 21st, for what hopefully will be the first of many Una Clark Young Artists’ Concerts held there. Audience feedback about the new venue was overwhelmingly positive, with the excellent raked seats providing what one attendee described as the “…best view of the orchestra we’d ever had”, and the lovely acoustic had listeners, players and conductors alike purring. The soloists were extremely strong, standing out even though the standard has been especially high in recent years, and were given an appreciative review by the ever-generous Shelagh Godwin of the Surrey Advertiser:

… Lithuanian-born Silvja Scerbaviciute is no mean flautist! A conclusion easily reached after a performance of Poulenc’s remarkable Flute Sonata, upgraded by Lennox Berkeley into a concerto. This was a faultless performance and one of much passion in the central slow movement, and technical skill in a piece that coves a wide range. The orchestra accompanied superbly and the single orchestral flautist employed in this piece was especially good.

The full programme was

Brahms – Violin Concerto (Finale)  Laure Chan – violin

Albinoni – Oboe Concerto in D Minor  Nicola Hands – oboe

Poulenc – Sonata for Flute  Silvija Scerbaviciute – flute

Sarasate – Carmen Fantasy  Kamila Bydklowska – violin

Grieg – Piano Concerto (2nd and 3rd Movements)  Sophia Dee – Piano

It’s Magic – Over 600 Bewitched!

Our 2015 Family Concert lived up to its magical billing, attracting its largest audience in a generation. An audience of well over 600 children, parents, wizards and muggles packed out the Guildford Spectrum Arena in a mesmerising show by narrator David Leonard and our own Chief Mugwump, Darrell “Dumbledore” Davison.


David Leonard captivates a young audience in our 2015 Family Concert

David Leonard captivates a young audience in our 2015 Family Concert

2016-2017 Season

FAMILY CONCERT – TOY STORIES!Sunday 2nd October at 3.30 pm, St Catherine’s School, Bramley   magice100
Mazurka –CoppeliaDelibes
Berceuse – Dolly SuiteFaure
Funeral march of a MarionetteGounod
The Top and Hobby HorseBizet
Toy SymphonyMozart
Fantastic Toy ShopRossini
The Magic BoxRichards
Nutcracker – Trepak and WaltzTchaikovsky
David Leonard – Narrator BOX OFFICE
‘FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE’Saturday 19th November at 7.30 pm, GLive   From Russia With Love
Overture – Russlan and LudmillaGlinka
Piano Concerto No 2Tchaikovsky
Symphony No 2Rachmaninov
Masa Tayama – Solo Piano BOX OFFICE


YOUNG ARTISTS’ CONCERTSunday 19th February at 3.30pm, St Catherine’s School
Outstanding young soloists from the Guildford area perform concerto movements with the orchestra and are awarded the prestigious Jellinek prize.
SPRING CLASSICSSunday 26th March at 7.00 pm, Great Hall, Charterhouse School  Northern Lights Concert at Charterhouse
Overture – Consecration of the HouseBeethoven
Violin ConcertoSibelius
Symphony no. 9 – Great C MajorSchubert
Joo Yeon Sir – Solo Violin BOX OFFICE
TANGO FIESTA!Saturday 20th May at 7.30 pm, GLive Viva Espana Concert in GLive 2016
Cuban OvertureGershwin
Grand TangoPiazzolla
Conga del FuegoMarquez
Tango FueroJackson
Samba BrazilianaPandeiros
Five Classic TangosSeiber/Gardel
West Side Story – SuiteBernstein
Liubov Ulybysheva – Solo Cello

Tango Fiesta Dancers

Sambadrome Drummers


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