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.


Next Concert – Spring Classics

Sunday 26th March – Charterhouse School, 7 pm

Schubert’s Great C Major Symphony is conceived on a far grander scale than almost anything else he managed in his brief but prolific life. Though undoubtedly drawing on the innovations of his beloved contemporary, Beethoven (whose overture, the Consecration of the House, opens the concert), Schubert nonetheless achieved something altogether individual. That the greatest of the writers of song-cycles wrote more memorable tunes in one work than many managed in a lifetime is perhaps not so surprising, but he also coloured them with brilliant orchestration, particularly for the woodwind, from the noble, hymn-like horn solo that opens the work, to the almost manic finale.

Sibelius’s Violin Concerto is a work from a utterly different soundscape. Amazingly his only such work for any instrument, arguably the finest 20th Century concerto (whatever Rachmaninov’s prehensile hands might say) nevertheless did the genre proud. Opening with a subdued but mesmerising solo, the strings shiver uneasily in the background as the composer paints a vast and icy nordic landscape. A hushed and intimate slow movement then gives way to an exuberant romp; a dance – famously dubbed “a polonaise for polar bears”! – that crams several Paganini Caprices’ worth of ferocious technical fireworks into a few short minutes. Who better to cope with its notorious demands, then, than Korean-born soloist Joo Yeon Sir: a recent winner of the GSO’s Young Artists’ Competition, she has since enjoyed a meteoric rise to her career, making her Albert Hall debut last year with Sir Karl Jenkins, no less.


Five Stars for From Russia With Love!

From Russia With Love

The Surrey Advertiser awarded the GSO its full five stars for our November concert, From Russia With Love. An audience of over five hundred piled into G Live for an evening of unashamed romanticism, with some of the biggest, lushest tunes in the business, not to mention a performance of Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla that was so rapid that any latecomers were in grave danger of missing it in its entirety.

Reviewer Simon Ames praised the orchestra and Darrell’s ‘endearing’ conducting style, for capturing the richness of the symphony, and in particular of its famous slow movement. He also had generous words for the performance of the second Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, and of the performance of Masa Tayama:

The composition … is not as well known as the composer’s first piano concerto and for this reason, it is seldom included in concept programming. Bravo to the GSO for giving it a powerful hearing and to Masayuki for a majestic performance at the keyboard, which also brought exciting sequences for solo violin and cello.

2016-2017 Season

FAMILY CONCERT – TOY STORIES!Sunday 2nd October at 3.30 pm, St Catherine’s School, Bramley
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
 In the Steppes of Central AsiaBorodin
Piano Concerto No 2Tchaikovsky
Symphony No 2Rachmaninov
Masa Tayama – Solo Piano BOX OFFICE
YOUNG ARTISTS’ CONCERTSunday 19th February at 3.30pm, St Catherine’s SchoolUCYAC Flyer
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 SchoolCharterhouse Flyer
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
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 BOX OFFICE

Mailing List

How to Register

  • Select 'Click here to Register' and give us your details
  • Select 'Please check this box if you wish to receive news, special offers or other information' and Submit
  • will send you an email confirming your online userid
Thank you.