The Spokane Symphony is a 70-piece professional orchestra based in Spokane, WA that performs more than 60 concerts per year for more than 150,000 listeners. It was originally incorporated in 1945 as the Spokane Philharmonic before being renamed the Spokane Symphony in 1962.
The first concert was held on December 18, 1945 at the Masonic Temple at 8:30 pm, and was conducted by Harold Paul Whelan.
The regular season includes a ten-concert Classics series (Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons), seven SuperPops performances (including two Holiday Pops performances in December) and a fully staged Nutcracker Ballet each holiday season.
The Spokane Symphony outreach efforts provide musical experiences for more than 30,000 students and include affordable pricing for families and active duty military. Many concerts are also broadcast on 91.1 KPBX-FM. The Spokane Symphony offers Labor Day Weekend concerts at Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake (Saturday) and Comstock Park on Spokane’s South Hill (Monday), with a program of classics, patriotic tunes and favorites from the worlds of pop, Hollywood and Broadway.
The musical directors of the Spokane Symphony have been:
- Harold Paul Whelan (1945-1961)
- Donald Thulean (1962-1984)
- Gunther Schuller (1984-1985)
- Bruce Ferden (1985-1991)
- Vakhtang Jordania (1991-1993)
- Fabio Mechetti (1993-2004, Conductor Laureate)
- Eckart Preu (2004–Present)
The Spokane Symphony in conjunction with the Welty Family Learning Center at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox offers Master Classes with Guest Artists which are free and open to the public. The Fox is equipped with an Internet2 capacity of 1 gigabyte per second speed through Pacific Northwest Gigapop, allowing the unique opportunity for selected classes to be conducted interactively over the Internet2 with educational institutions in other locations, and local audiences and participants viewing from the beautiful venue at the theater.
The University of Washington has sponsored membership into the Internet2 community.