Who We Are

Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s professional orchestra. With a home base in Halifax/K’jipuktuk and performances across the province, Symphony Nova Scotia reaches more than 50,000 Nova Scotians of all ages each year with some of the most innovative concerts and educational offerings in the country. Though Symphony Nova Scotia had its origins with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (1897-1908, 1955-1968), the Halifax Sinfoniette (1947-1955), and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (1968-1983), the orchestra as we know it began in 1983 with only 13 fulltime musicians.

Today, Symphony Nova Scotia is the largest employer in Nova Scotia’s cultural community, employing 37 musicians and 16 administrative staff, along with more than 150 contracted artistic, production, and technical personnel. The Symphony’s performances take place in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people.

The orchestra has repeatedly been praised for its versatility and flexibility, performing everything from baroque to pops to jazz with equal finesse. International music veteran Howard Cable called Symphony Nova Scotia “the most versatile orchestra in Canada,” and the Chronicle Herald says, “They can play it all: Beethoven, Shostakovich, Hatzis and Current, as well as Tommy Dorsey, Scott Macmillan, Rose Cousins, Buck 65 and Natalie MacMaster. We are, in this province, exceedingly fortunate to have them.”

Symphony Nova Scotia also places a high priority on community engagement. The Symphony manages the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, its flagship education program that boasts successful mentorship of young musicians, providing them with increased opportunities for networking, volunteering, and hands-on learning. Other education programs reach over 15,000 elementary, junior, and senior high school students in a typical year – students who may not otherwise have access to symphonic music. The Symphony also conducts many accessible community programs, including pre-concert chats, performances in local public libraries, free community concerts including our popular Family series, and online concerts.

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"Symphony Nova Scotia is the most versatile orchestra in Canada!"

Howard Cable, Canadian music industry legend, conductor, arranger, music director, composer, scriptwriter, and radio and television producer.