The City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra (CRSO) was formed in 1969 and is one of the main amateur orchestras in north Kent, England. The orchestra’s Music Director is the distinguished conductor and former trombonist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Peter Bassano. The CRSO has 60 playing members, both amateur and professional musicians, who perform concerts at The Central Theatre, Chatham, and other venues in Kent.
The CRSO was formed to nurture excellence through music in the community, and places the local community at the heart of all that it does. The orchestra has given three World Premiere performances of music by composers from the University of Kent recently, and the CRSO outreach programme includes a Young Composers’ evening which allows student composers from the local area to hear their works played by the orchestra. Other elements include ticket concessions for young audience members, schools, and community groups. Every year a chamber orchestra consisting of CRSO musicians gives a number of informal outreach performances at events such as the Rochester Literature Festival, the Dickens Festival, the Lenham Family Festival and the Chatham River Festival. These performances aim to widen the appeal of the orchestra and bring classical music to new audiences.
The CRSO is registered charity No. 264844.