The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) is a symphony orchestra based in Fort Worth, Texas. The orchestra performs at the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. The FWSO also presents the Concerts In The Garden summer music festival at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
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The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 by Brooks Morris, its first music director and conductor. Sixty-eight musicians performed at the first concert on December 11, 1925, before an audience of approximately 4,000 at the First Baptist Church auditorium. The FWSO disbanded from 1943-57 because of World War II. Morris provided leadership once it became active again and served as music director until 1962. Musical direction was then provided by Rudolf Kruger and Ralph R. Guenther (1963-65), Ezra Rachlin (1965-72) and John Giordano (1972-2000). Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya joined the FWSO in 2000. President Ann Koonsman has provided leadership since 1980.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra moved to its current home, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, in 1998. As the principal resident company, the FWSO performs a broad range of symphonic and pops concerts from August through May. In addition to its own concert series, the Orchestra also collaborates with the Fort Worth Opera, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale. and the Children's Education Program of Bass Performance Hall.
Concerts In The Garden, the orchestra's summer music festival, was launched in 1991 and takes place each June - July at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Its leadership as of 2011 includes:
Amy Adkins, President,
Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Music Director,
Ron Spigelman, Principal Pops Conductor,
Andres Franco, Associate Conductor,
John Giordano, Conductor Emeritus,
The orchestra's most recent recordings, some of which are released on their own label, include:
Sentimiento Latino with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez (Decca),
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E. Minor, Opus 64 (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra),
Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf featuring Michael York as the narrator (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra),
The Composers Voice, Volume I featuring the music of Gabriela Lena Frank and Kevin Puts (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra),
INTI, Three Centuries of Peruvian Music (Filarmonika),
Asleep At The Wheel with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra)