The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) is a Canadian orchestra based in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario. Its home venue is Centre In The Square in Kitchener, Ontario. The orchestra comprises 52 professional musicians under full-time contract. KWS performs close to 90 performances during a 38-week season for a combined concert audience of over 90,000. The orchestra is regularly heard across Canada on CBC Radio Two. Its current music director is Edwin Outwater, since 2007. The current executive director of the KWS is Andrew Bennett.
Glenn Kruspe founded the orchestra in 1945 to accompany the Grand Philharmonic Choir in a concert, and served as its first music director from 1945 to 1960. Frederick Pohl succeeded Kruspe and held the post from 1960 to 1970. During Pohl's tenure, the KWS Youth Orchestra was established in 1966. Raffi Armenian then became music director in 1971, and served until 1993, the longest-serving KWS music director. During Armenian's tenure, a sister ensemble to the KUW, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble (CCE), was founded, formed mainly from the principal musicians of the KWS and included flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, percussion, two violins, viola, cello and bass. The ensemble was affiliated with the Stratford Festival from 1974 to 1980, and toured throughout Canada as well as the United States Europe, and South America. The CCE was founded by conductor and was the first major Canadian ensemble to perform in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall. The KWS' current home hall, Centre In The Square, was built during Armenian's tenure. Armenian now has title of music director laureate with the KWS.
Chosei Komatsu followed Armenian as music director from 1993 to 1999. Martin Fischer-Dieskau held the post from 2001 to 2003. His initial KWS contract had been for three years. However, on 27 November 2003, the KWS board dismissed Fischer-Dieskau from his post, ahead of the expiration of his initial contract. Fischer-Dieskau appealed for reinstatement, but the earlier dismissal was affirmed both in December 2003 and in April 2004.
In early October 2006, the KWS board announced that the orchestra would be forced to declare bankruptcy on October 31 unless it was able to raise another C$2.5 million to deal with an ongoing financial crisis, due to declining audiences and reduced funding. It launched a "Save our Symphony" campaign in order to raise the funds. Having raised $2.3 million as of October 30, the symphony announced it would be able to continue operations.
Edwin Outwater began his term as Music Director in 2007. New programming initiatives during his tenure have included the 'Intersections' series, and collaborations with composers Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Nicole Lizeé and Nico Muhly, authors Daniel Handler and Daniel Levitin, and rock musicians Dan Deacon and Richard Reed Parry. In February 2014, the KWS announced the extension of Outwater's contract to 2017. Outwater is scheduled to conclude his tenure at the end of the 2016-2017 season. In March 2017, the KWS announced the appointment of Andrei Feher as its next music director, effective with the 2018-2019 season.
- Glenn Kruspe (1945-1960)
- Frederick Pohl (1960-1970)
- Raffi Armenian (1971–1993)
- Chosei Komatsu (1993–1999)
- Martin Fischer-Dieskau (2001–2003)
- Edwin Outwater (2007–present)
CBC Records has produced fourteen recordings of the KWS and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble (CCE) with acclaimed soloists. The 2002 CCE release, Chants d’Auvergne, includes soprano Karin Gauvin and was nominated for a Juno Award.
- Oktoberfest Operetta: Strauss - Lehár - Kálmán. M Boucher soprano, Dubois tenor, Armenian conductor. 1984. CBC SM-5045
- 'Viens, Gentille Dame' Romantic Arias for Lyric Tenor. DuBois tenor, Pedrotti bar, Armenian conductor. 1987. CBC SM-5077
- Mahler Kindertotenlieder; Rückert Lieder; Songs of a Wayfarer. Robbin mezzo, Armenian conductor. 1989. CBC SMCD-5098
- A Night in Venice, Joanne Kolomyjec and Mark DuBois. 1994. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5126
- Canadian Trumpet Concerti, works by Hetu, Forsyth, Nimmons, Guy Few, James Thompson, Dan Warren trumpet, Armenian conductor. 1994. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5130
- Brahms: Serenades, Armenian conductor. 1995. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5145
- Memories of Poland, Fialkowska, Armenian conductor, et al. 1995. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5140
- Russian Serenade, Beaver, Komatsu conductor. 2001. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5159
- "Kitchener conductor loses bid to keep job". Globe and Mail. 2003-12-20. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- James Adams (2004-04-29). "Kitchener symphony refuses to rehire ex-maestro". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- Robert Everett-Green (2006-10-06). "K-W Symphony facing bankruptcy, chair warns". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- "Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in race to survive". CBC. 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- "Symphony tests business survival skills". Brampton Guardian. 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- Paul Wells (2009-10-27). "Stethoscopes at the Symphony". Macleans. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
- Valerie Hill (2014-02-19). "Outwater renews contract to 2017". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
- Luisa D'Amato (2017-03-31). "'He may be young, but he's an old soul': Andrei Feher will lead K-W Symphony". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2017-04-02.