About Quinte Symphony
Founded in 1960 as the Eastern Ontario Concert Orchestra by Stephen Choma in conjunction with local businessman Thomas Bata, the Quinte Symphony has become one of Quinte's most significant and highly acclaimed performing arts organizations. For over fifty years the symphony has been performing live orchestral music in the Quinte region with world-class performers such as Mary Lou Fallis, Eduard Minevich and Anton Kuerti. The symphony has also featured home-grown talent such as pianist Greg Butler, the Belleville Choral Society, Donna Bennett, Marilyn Woolven and Steven Belanger to name a few.
Charity Registration Number: 118890797RR001.
A Community Achievement
Quinte's cultural treasure, Quinte Symphony, encourages a sense of ownership in the community. To have a symphony orchestra in a community the size of Belleville is a remarkable achievement. Quinte Symphony's long life is ensured by the dedication of passionate musicians and volunteers who provide leadership on the Board of Directors, by motivated and enthusiastic volunteers who work on committees and by generous corporate sponsorships and private donations.
"Music making in smaller centres is the backbone of our orchestral culture. My earliest experiences of an orchestra were as a boy in the audience of The Quinte Symphony and later as a member of the orchestra (The Eastern Ontario Concert Orchestra). Every piece they played was my favourite and the annual concert at BCI auditorium was always over far too quickly to suit me. I can tell you that I actually dreamed of conducting it in those days and I got my wish. I can only express my inadequate gratitude and affection to those wonderful musicians of my youth."
Kerry Stratton, Internationally renowned Canadian conductor
In the early years, the orchestra travelled to different communities in the surrounding area but for the last two decades the concerts have been mostly in Belleville. The symphony has performed at venues that include the Robert Horwood Auditorium at Centennial Secondary School, Belleville Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Eastminster United Church and the historic Bridge Street Church. With the start of the 2003-2004 season, the symphony moved to Front Street at the newly-opened Empire Theatre. After three seasons, Quinte Symphony returned to their former home at the acoustically renowned Bridge Street Church in Belleville.
Throughout its history former conductors, including internationally renowned conductors Kerry Stratton and Clifford Crawley, have influenced the development and growth of the orchestra to its present tradition of a 4-concert MasterWorks Series of standard orchestral repertoire with an outstanding soloist. For many years a Pops concert, showcasing music that can entertain an entirely new audience, was also incorporated into the season.