Garland Symphony Orchestra

Garland Symphony OrchestraSince March 1978, the Garland Symphony Orchestra has been dedicated to providing performances of great orchestral music to Garland and its surrounding communities. Over the years, the GSO has presented over 180 concerts featuring the music of more than 200 composers, including the premieres of new works by Texas composers.
The orchestra attracts an audience from Garland, Dallas, Richardson, Rowlett, Rockwall, and Sachse. The orchestra’s first season was led by violinist James Gambino; for the following two seasons, the late Howard Dunn, former conductor of the much regarded Dallas Wind Symphony, took the podium.
Mischa Semanitzky took up the GSO’s baton for the 1981-82 season, and was succeeded by Daniel Hornstein. In 1986, the artistic reins of the Garland Symphony Orchestra were passed to the current Music Director, Robert Carter Austin. Under Maestro Austin’s leadership, the orchestra made the transition from a group of highly dedicated volunteerGarland Symphony Orchestra musicians to a virtuoso ensemble of the finest professional instrumentalists in the DFW Metroplex. The growth to a prestigious, professional ensemble has created a solid orchestra, with a great deal of members who have been meeting new challenges and successes with the GSO for more than 10 years.
Among the many distinguished guest artists who have appeared with the Garland Symphony Orchestra are pianists James Barbagallo, Katia Skanavi, and Oleksiy Koltakov, violinists Eliot Chapo and John Thomson, guest conductor Volodymir Sirenko, Chet Atkins, the Platters, Crystal Gayle, and the Rich-Tones. The Garland Symphony Orchestra is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance the quality of life in our growing and diverse community by inspiring, entertaining and involving citizens and organizations through music concerts of superior cultural and educational value. The Granville Arts Center provides two elegant proscenium theatres with seating for 720. The Main auditorium features a 55 foot fly loft with a Garland Symphony Orchestracounterweight system. The Arts Complex also includes the Plaza Theatre which is located at 521 W. State Street on the Square in downtown Garland. The Plaza Theatre has seating for 350. The orchestra is comprised of 93 professional musicians. Over 19 different nations are represented in the musician roster and this talent is complemented with internationally renowned featured soloists.
Maestro Robert Carter Austin
A native of Tennessee, Robert Carter Austin is currently in his twenty-nineth season as Music Director of the Garland Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Austin has an unusually diverse educational background for a classical musician, including a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Diploma (with Distinction) in Computer Science from Cambridge University, and a Master of Musical Arts degree from Stanford University.
Maestro Austin’s first professional appointment was as Artistic Director of the Chattanooga Opera in 1974. He added the post of Artistic Director of the Southern Regional Opera in Birmingham, Alabama in 1978. Shifting his focus to symphonic music in 1981, he became Music Director of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra in Wyoming, before coming to Texas in 1985 as Music Director of the East Texas Symphony OrchestraGarland Symphony Orchestra in Tyler. He has served as Music Director of the Garland Symphony Orchestra since 1988, of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra since 1991, and of Symphony Arlington since 2000.
In frequent demand as a guest conductor, Maestro Austin has led performances with opera companies and symphony orchestras in eleven states in the U.S. His international credits include performances with the Chursächische Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and Orchester des Nordharzer Städtebundtheaters in Germany; the Florence Sinfonietta, Orchestra Sinfonica Regionale del Molise, Milano Classico, and L’Offerta Musicale in Italy; the National Orchestras of Ukraine, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and the ShubhpujaPhilippines; and orchestras in France, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and China.
Upcoming engagements for Maestro Austin include the Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Grosseto in Italy and the Amazonas Filarmonica in Brazil. Off the podium, Maestro Austin describes himself as an avid skier, a closet country music fan, and a notorious oenophile. His wife, Dr. Kathryn Gamble, is the Director of Veterinary Medicine at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.

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