The Austin Symphony Orchestra

A History


The Austin Symphony was founded in 1911 and is Austin’s oldest performing arts group. The Symphony offers outstanding classical music through a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through April in Bass Concert Hall and the festive Holiday and Promenade Pops Concerts at Palmer Auditorium. Austin’s historic Symphony Square at 11th and Red River is home to the Symphony’s offices as well as the popular restaurant Cafe Serranos and the Women’s Symphony League office. Symphony Square was created during the mid-’70s under the leadership of ASO Board President Jane Sibley and Peggy Brown.

The Symphony also offers a wide array of innovative, nationally-recognized youth programs that touch the lives of more than 75,000 young people each year, including over 28,000 4th, 5th and 6th graders who attend the Young People’s Concerts in the spring at Bass Concert Hall. These concerts, which utilize live video projected on a huge screen above the orchestra, allow the students to see as well as hear the music being performed.

Through the years, the Symphony has developed into an organization able to serve the community in diverse ways. Through the formal season at Bass Concert Hall, the Summer Music Festival at Symphony Square showcasing popular Austin musical groups, the Halloween Children’s Concert at the Paramount Theatre and free family concerts offered throughout the year, the ASO continues to entertain and educate its various audiences and supporters.


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