Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka

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Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL)
official logo
Former name Symphony Orchestra of Ceylon
Founded 1958

The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is one of the oldest orchestras in South Asia.[1]

Its first concert was on 13 September 1958 under the baton of Hussain S. Mohamed, and the repertoire was Geminiani's Second Concerto Grosso, Haydn's Symphony no. 92 "Oxford" and Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with Malinee Jayasinghe-Peris as soloist.[2] Kalakeerthi Prof. Earle de Fonseka was the next principal conductor, a position he held from 1960 to 2000. Lalanath de Silva, who was for many years deputy conductor, took over the position of principal conductor from 2000 to 2002.[3]

The present principal conductors are Ajit Abeysekera, Ananda Dabare, Manilal Weerakoon and Eshantha J. Peiris.[4]

Soloists who have performed with the orchestra include Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), Barry Tuckwell (horn), Richard Adeney (flute), Thomas Brandis and Leon Spierer (violin, then concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra[5][6]), Paul Olefsky and Rohan de Saram (cello), Rodney Slatford (double bass), Druvi de Saram, Peter Cooper, Ian Lake, Robin Zebaida, Anthony Peebles and Rohan de Silva (piano). In addition to subscription concerts (the number varies annually),[7] there are other performances on special occasions.[8] It regularly performs at the Ladies College Hall. Sri Lankan, as well as soloists and conductors of other nationalities, including James Ross and Gregory Rose, have performed regularly with the orchestra on invitation.[9][10][11][12][13][14] In 2013, SOSL gave its first performance at Colombo's new Nelum Pokuna Theatre conducted by James Ross, joined by 35 musicians from the UK and India to form The Commonwealth Festival Orchestra.


The Governors and the Players' Committees are elected by the players at the Annual General Meeting. The Board of Governors establishes overall policy, raises sponsorship and controls the finances. The Panel of Regents serves in a senior advisory capacity. The Players' Committee makes decisions concerning the music, soloists and the conductors.[15]

Young Soloists[edit]

The SOSL takes special interest in fostering young Sri Lankan talent, and dedicates one of its annual subscription concerts to feature Young Soloists.[16]

SOSL Outreach[edit]

The SOSL Outreach Programme takes the form of a series of lecture concerts. Children who have never seen a symphony orchestra before are introduced to the instruments that make up the sections of an orchestra. The range, tone, and method of sound production of each instrument is demonstrated. Students, Teachers and Parents are invited, free of charge, to attend these concerts. The first of these concerts took place in Galle,Sri Lanka on 24 April 2010.[17] The Second was in Kilinochchi in the north of Sri Lanka, in November 2011. [18] The Third was at the Veerasingham Hall, Jaffna, on 17 November 2012.[19]


The SOSL is a not for profit organisation which depends on public support as well as corporate sector and occasionally diplomatic sponsorship for its activities.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ "Asia Orchestra Week in English". 17 August 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Making music along with big names. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  3. ^ From the ceremonial to the profound. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  4. ^ The Maestro page. SOSL. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  5. ^ Thomas BRANDIS – Vice-Chairperson, Violin Section – : SENDAI INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Subscriptions. SOSL. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  8. ^ Concerts. SOSL (17 October 2011). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  9. ^ Plus. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  10. ^ SOSL begins season with 2 great romantics. (2 March 2008). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  11. ^ A resonating success. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  12. ^ Schumann, Strauss and Mendelssohn at SOSL Premieres concert. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  13. ^ Soloists. SOSL. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  14. ^ Home. James Ross. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  15. ^ Management and Contacts. SOSL. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  16. ^ SOSL to feature four gifted young soloists and composer. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  17. ^ Features | Online edition of Daily News – Lakehouse Newspapers. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Features | Online edition of Sunday Times – Wijeya Newspapers]. Retrieved on 8 December 2012.
  20. ^ The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka. SOSL (13 September 1958). Retrieved on 8 December 2012.
  21. ^ <>
  22. ^ Spectrum | – Sri Lanka. (25 March 2007). Retrieved on 8 December 2012.

External links[edit]