Greenville Symphony Orchestra

About The GSO

About the GSO

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing educational and cultural opportunities for the citizens of Greenville and surrounding communities through the presentation of live orchestral music. Offering excellence in live musical performance, the orchestra enriches lives, educates minds and encourages community support of the arts.

What began in 1948 as a group of volunteer musicians, practicing and performing in the Women’s College auditorium on the old Furman campus, has now become one of the finest symphony orchestras in the Southeast.

World-class concert facilities, musicians at the height of their profession, an internationally known music director and conductor, and a community that embraces symphonic music – each has made the Greenville Symphony Orchestra what it is today.

During its first 50 years the Greenville Symphony Orchestra performed mostly in Furman’s McAlister Auditorium. A Furman professor, Robert Cantrick, conducted the orchestra for its first three seasons. Pedro Sanjuan directed for the next five years, until Peter Rickett, a bass instructor at the university, became the orchestra’s first resident conductor in 1956. Rickett remained for 34 years, establishing a proud musical heritage.

The 1990 opening of The Peace Center for the Performing Arts coincided with the appointment of David Pollitt as the orchestra’s fourth music director. Pollitt continued to build the orchestra with attention to musical quality and audience cultivation.

In 1999, after an exhaustive, wide-ranging search that attracted worldwide response, Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel was named music director and conductor for the orchestra. Since assuming the podium, many concerts have been sold out. As one reviewer for The Greenville News wrote, “Tchivzhel… proves to be a conductor who digs deeply, carefully observing the score’s dynamic and expressive markings, and inspiring the orchestra to excellence with his detailed commands.”

Tchivzhel’s ability and energy, together with continued support from donors and corporate sponsors, the on-going volunteer efforts of The Guild of the GSO, and the enthusiasm of the community gives the Greenville Symphony Orchestra the support it needs for the 21st Century.