Opening night in Overture Hall
one of the MSO's many historic moments.
Photo by Kirkegaard Assoc.


About the MSO
The Madison Symphony Orchestra is a phenomenon in the industry, drawing ever-growing audiences for triple performances in an acoustically excellent hall. Under the artistic leadership of Music Director John DeMain (hailed as "a gifted orchestra builder" by the New York Times), the Symphony has grown to be one of America's leading regional orchestras. Now in its 92nd Season, the Madison Symphony Orchestra enriches the cultural and educational environment of Madison and the surrounding area with exquisite performances of the great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. In addition, our educational and community engagement programs bring the joy of music to more than 23,000 children and adults annually. These programs are consistently recognized by national funding agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, the League of American Orchestras and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Inc. is to produce high quality concerts of orchestral, instrumental, vocal, and choral music, to educate and entertain audiences of all ages in the Madison area and beyond, and to advocate music as a universal language of expression and understanding.

MSO History, Repertoire, and Historical Recordings
MSO Bass Trombonist and Program Notes Annotator, Michael Allsen, has published a set of historical pages on the history of the orchestra. Included are:
  • A comprehensive history of the orchestra through its 75th anniversary season (2000-2001).
  • A more concise version of the history that brings it up to the present day.
  • A complete chronicle of our orchestral, choral, and opera performances from 1926-2001, with indices by composer and by soloist.
  • Streaming audio for several early performances from the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Articles on MSO and local music history from the Wisconsin State Journal.