The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra (GGFSO) is a community orchestra based in Grand Forks, North Dakota that began operation in 1908. One of only a handful of American orchestras to have surpassed their centennial year, the symphony employs local and regional musicians in performances of classical and modern symphonic music. It’s mission to put excellence on stage.
Famed composers brought their batons to Grand Forks: Ernst von Dohnanyi conducted in 1955 and Gunther Schuller in 1978. Yehudi Menuhin, the most notable soloist to appear in the symphony’s history, performed in 1962.
Recent events with the symphony have included a two year residency from 2003-2005 by the Chiara String Quartet; participation in 2009 with a consortium of American orchestras presenting the premier of Joseph Schwantner’s “Chasing Light” made possible through a grant from Ford Motor Company; Celebrating the 100th anniversary season (one of only 18 American orchestras to achieve that milepost) with a season opening Beethoven 9 under the baton of Music Director, James Hannon; presenting the North American premiere of the “Temporal Variations for Oboe and Strings” by Benjamin Britten, featuring Philip McKenzie as soloist, conducted by Music Director Alexander Platt; and another North American premiere of Britten, “Movements of a Clarinet Concerto” written for Benny Goodman but not completed by the composer. That performance on October 1, 2011 was performed by the orchestra’s then principal clarinetist, Douglas Monroe, conducted by Alexander Platt.