The Windsor & Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1972 as a group of amateur musicians who played for local productions of light opera and musicals, as well as giving concerts in its own right. Since then, the orchestra has grown in size and status and expanded its repertoire to cover a broad range of great masterpieces of the classical and contemporary repertoire.
Today, we are composed of around 50 semi-professional and high-standard amateur musicians. Under the guidance of our Music Director, Leon Gee, the orchestra has broadened its horizons to embrace many of the more challenging works written for large symphony orchestra. Each year we present at least three exciting programmes of music at local venues. Recent highlights include performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Strauss's Alpine Symphony, Janácek's Sinfonietta and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
"Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is one of the most difficult works in the orchestral repertoire and caused an uproar at its première. The WMSO not only mastered the notes but captured the raw excitement of Stravinsky's masterpiece in a thrilling performance." Audience feedback
During the past 50 years we have been invited to play at royal events in Windsor Castle, given joint concerts in our European Twin Towns, and a firework spectacular at Maidenhead Carnival. We have premièred music written by composers from our own ranks and from our European Twin Towns.
Young Musician Concerto Competition
An important part of our work is to encourage talented young soloists through our annual Young Musician Concerto Competition. A winner in 2012 was Martin James Bartlett who went on to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition of 2014 and has performed with us a number of times since then. All our competition winners are invited to perform a concerto with us, and some perform with us again in later years.
Read Leon’s page to find out about his work with young musicians.
We thank our WMSO President, Rt Hon Lady Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead, for her patronage and support.