Our Mission and History
Founded in 1995 by conductor Hisao Watanabe and a group of dedicated professional musicians and supporters, the Lexington Symphony maintains a grass-roots community spirit while producing high-quality performances that attract an ever-growing audience from Lexington and surrounds. The orchestra regularly fills 800-seat Cary Hall and now presents six concerts each year led by conductor Jonathan McPhee.
Passionate about educating the next generation about classical music, the group presents a biennial workshop and concert for children and a yearly educational program for third graders, Orchestrating Kids Through Classics,™ both of which have received accolades from parents, kids and teachers alike. Working to make classical music accessible to all, Lexington Symphony performs outreach programs that serve all ages, offers tickets at affordable prices, and presents exciting concert experiences that audiences love. Orchestra members work with community members in all aspects of the organization, and it is this energetic collaboration between musicians, community and conductor that makes Lexington Symphony a thriving, special group.
Music Director Jonathan McPhee joined the orchestra in 2005 and is one of the leading musical figures in New England. Each Saturday night concert is preceded by a talk by Maestro McPhee that combines musical examples with biographical information to enhance the listening experience, looking behind the pieces to be performed and retracing the composers’ thoughts. This June, Lexington Symphony musicians will host a Q&A forum before the new Summer’s Eve Concert.
Connecting to the community is at the heart of Lexington Symphony’s mission and approach. The orchestra has been recognized for its community connections with the following awards:
2010 Music Advocate Award, presented by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA), a group of 1700 educators in Massachusetts and the federated state unit of the National Association for Music Education (MENC). This prestigious award is given to an individual, organization, or community leader who exemplifies the MMEA mission of demonstrating advocacy for music education in the schools of Massachusetts through a financial commitment to music education and whose actions have led to improvements in curriculum, budget, or enrollment in the music program. Lexington Symphony was specifically recognized for its work with elementary schools in Lawrence.
2009 Lexington Chamber of Commerce Award for “Best New Initiative in Support of Town Businesses” (Holiday Pops).
2006 Nonprofit Net Award for “Forward-Looking Vision and Exemplary and Enduring Contribution to Our Community.”