Clayton A. Eaton and the Nashua Symphony, circa 1923.

Clayton A. Eaton and the Nashua Symphony, circa 1923.

SYMPHONY New Hampshire, EST. 1923

A celebrated source of innovation, inspiration, education and entertainment since 1923, Symphony New Hampshire is the premiere symphony orchestra of the Granite State. From its humble beginnings over 95 years ago as a mainly all-Nashua musician group that performed two concerts each season in the City of Nashua, the orchestra has since grown into a vibrant jewel in the cultural crown of New Hampshire. Today, concerts are offered not only in Nashua, but throughout Southern New Hampshire and in special performances around the region.

As the organization heads towards its centennial milestone on April 29, 2023, and looks to its second century of music making, presenting masterworks, choral extravaganzas, contemporary pieces and rare jewels of the orchestral repertoire, the symphony today comprises top musicians throughout New England. It is acclaimed for its memorable performances, including premieres by composers Kevin Siegfried, and Randall Thompson; wide-ranging repertoire from Bach to Bartok, including New Hampshire native Amy Beach, and from Bernstein to the Beatles and more.

Among the notable guest artists that have graced the orchestra’s stage are pianists Emanuel Ax, Herbert Stessin,  Max Levinson, and Victor Borge; violinists Caroline Goulding, Jennifer Koh, Irina Muresanu, and Mark O’Connor; cellist Sergey Antonov, The Irish Tenors; and conductor Eiji  Oue, as well as collaborations with such local organizations as the Boston Ballet, Nashua Choral Society, Granite State  Chorale, Nashoba Valley Chorale, Lowell State Chorus, Chelmsford Choral Society, Worcester Chorus, Concord Chorus, and Merrimack Lyric Opera Company, to name a few. Symphony NH has also been presented in recent seasons by Music Worcester (MA) and the Jorgensen Center at UConn Storrs.

Founded as the Nashua Symphony Orchestra by Clayton A. Eaton, the organization has gone through several incarnations as the community experienced the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II and other events in its history. At one time also called the Nashua Symphony Association, the organization changed its name June 19, 2012 to Symphony NH to reflect its expanded mission “to inspire and enlighten through exceptional live music” serving the state, not just the city of Nashua.

Symphony NH is committed to its community beyond its popular concert series, Through Its Community Partnership program, it offers music education programs that introduce students to instruments and live performances as well as helping to enrich existing music programs across Southern New Hampshire. Having served Nashua students for years, in 2016 the orchestra’s educational scope expanded to Manchester, Concord and the Upper Valley. That same year Symphony NH also began community concerts in Nashua and Concord. In 2018 Adopt-a-School was introduced in Nashua and Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program was added in 2019.