A letter from Bernhard Gueller

I stepped up to the podium to conduct Nova Scotia’s orchestra for the first time on October 16, 2001. We played Schubert‘s Symphony No. 3.

I knew that this orchestra was a good fit for me. It felt good from the first rehearsal and that was my main reason for accepting the Music Director position. I immediately got the feeling that the musicians likedmore than liked – loved what they were doing. They were flexible then as now, and ready to follow. It was a really satisfying experience.

The first paragraph in my Annual Report that year began, “Having really settled into Halifax and my first full year as Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia, I can justify the pride I felt earlier in the musicians and what they can achieve.

Sixteen years later, it continues to be an honour to work with these talented and dedicated musicians.

When I agreed to become Music Director, I was aware that, in this part of the world, donations were an important component of the Symphony’s financial stability. In Germany, of course, the orchestra was fully funded by Government. Do you know that Symphony Nova Scotia depends on donations for one-third of the operating funds every year?

Please consider making a gift this year. Perhaps you have never thought about the impact you could make by supporting your orchestra. Over the years, donors have brought about many memorable moments for the audiences, the musicians, and for me. I want you to know that donors are absolutely vital to what the musicians and a Music Director are able to create together.

Let me explain why your donation, whatever its size, is important to our orchestra.

I am convinced that music is the first of all arts. Music is the medium which comes from the most inner parts of your soul. Music can grab you and you can be absolutely blown away. Do you believe this too?

I hope that people who are future donors will have some of these experiences. I want to tell them that it is all wonderful but it needs money.

One note or a short phrase would not move you to joy, but many, many notes together can create something truly inspiring. In this same way many donations combined can, and do, make entire concerts.

You know, as I do, the time and dedication it takes to perform to high professional standards. Together we hear the musicians’ artistry evolving and reaching new heights. We feel how the music enhances our lives. We must come forward to support the organization that brings the musicians together as an ensemble.

Step up if you want to be a part of making all this possible.

I feel a great appreciation to the CEO, Chris Wilkinson, and the Board for giving me the immense opportunity to program the selections for this special year – my last as Music Director. Think about ABBA with Rajaton, Giora Schmidt plays Brahms, and the Beethoven Festival finale coming up. Wonderful music! Large works like these require large symphonic forces, large budgets, and you! Donors like you make it possible.

As we come to the end of my farewell season, please step up to the podium with me once again. Please come back as a philanthropic leader of the orchestra. You will enable us to continue to challenge these talented musicians and create exciting new programmes for your community. In return for your generosity, you will enjoy beautiful music and the uplifting experiences of watching the orchestra live up to their boundless potential. You too will feel the pride of supporting this wonderful family called Symphony Nova Scotia.


Bernhard Gueller
Music Director