Queens Symphony Orchestra

Queens College Campus, 6530 Kissena Blvd

Founded in 1953 the Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is the borough’s only professional orchestra and the oldest and largest professional arts organization in Queens. QSO is made up of professional, union musicians who also perform on Broadway, with t... more

Founded in 1953 the Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is the borough’s only professional orchestra and the oldest and largest professional arts organization in Queens. QSO is made up of professional, union musicians who also perform on Broadway, with the New York City Ballet, and other freelance orchestras. The orchestra was founded and first conducted by David Katz. Queens Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1953 by David Katz and incorporated a year later as a non-profit organization. However, Maestro Katz had been diligently working with Queens-based instrumentalists for years prior to its incorporation, rehearsing in the basement of his Forest Hills home and performing a series of chamber concerts for the community free of charge. At this time, QSO was affiliated with the American Symphony Orchestra League and Forest Hills Community Center. Katz hoped that his passion would eventually allow Queens residents to experience classical music without crossing a bridge or tunnel into Manhattan. His mission for QSO was to make a lasting contribution to the cultural advancement and prestige of the community, including the youth. By QSO’s second season, children’s concerts were added to t... more

Founded in 1953 the Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is the borough’s only professional orchestra and the oldest and largest professional arts organization in Queens. QSO is made up of professional, union musicians who also perform on Broadway, with the New York City Ballet, and other freelance orchestras. The orchestra was founded and first conducted by David Katz.

Queens Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1953 by David Katz and incorporated a year later as a non-profit organization. However, Maestro Katz had been diligently working with Queens-based instrumentalists for years prior to its incorporation, rehearsing in the basement of his Forest Hills home and performing a series of chamber concerts for the community free of charge. At this time, QSO was affiliated with the American Symphony Orchestra League and Forest Hills Community Center. Katz hoped that his passion would eventually allow Queens residents to experience classical music without crossing a bridge or tunnel into Manhattan. His mission for QSO was to make a lasting contribution to the cultural advancement and prestige of the community, including the youth. By QSO’s second season, children’s concerts were added to the schedule. By the 1970s, the Music BAG Program (Music for Boys and Girls) was reaching over 17,000 school children annually throughout Queens. Also in the 1970s, the QSO musicians joined the union and became a professional orchestra. It remains the only professional orchestra in Queens to this day. QSO Highlights during David Katz’s lifetime included performances featuring Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, and Metropolitan Opera singer Roberta Peters. David Katz died in 1987.

QSO’s vision and mission statements reflect the organization’s priority of service to the culturally diverse members of the Queens community. QSO has continued to provide several programs to the borough of Queens, presenting 10 to 20 concerts throughout the year, serving 30,000 residents, including 8,000 youth. QSO will continue to serve the Queens community and beyond for many years to come.


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Queens College Campus, 6530 Kissena Blvd
Ridgewood, NY 11367
718-570-0909
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