Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Since 1900, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has grown from a 40-person ensemble to a world-class orchestra performing in one of the world’s finest concert halls.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s beginnings can be traced to May 22, 1900, when a 40-member ensemble performed under the direction of German-born conductor Hans Kreissig. Kreissig led the Orchestra for five seasons and helped to finance the organization.
In the ensuing years, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra began to grow into a major American orchestra under the leadership of such eminent conductors as Walter J. Fried, Carl Venth, Paul Van Katwiik and Jacques Singer. In 1945, the Dallas Symphony took great strides under the direction of Conductor Antal Dorati. Dorati transformed the ensemble into a fully professional, first-rate orchestra that won national attention through a series of RCA recordings, expanded repertoire, more concerts and several national network radio broadcasts. Dorati had a worthy and vigorous successor in American Walter Hendl, music director from 1949 to 1958. Hendl’s successors included such major musical figures as Paul Kletzki, Sir Georg Solti, Donald Johanos, Anshel Brusilow, Max Rudolf and Louis Lane.
In 1977, Mexican-born Eduardo Mata was appointed music director and conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Under his guidance, the Orchestra enjoyed many successes, including recording contracts with RCA and Dorian, two Carnegie Hall performances, a performance at the Kennedy Center, a 15-concert European tour, three concerts in Mexico City and three concerts in Singapore. When Mata retired in June of 1993, he had the longest tenure as music director in the Orchestra’s history and was named conductor emeritus of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
During Mata’s tenure, in addition to excelling creatively, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra saw the dedication of its permanent home, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. You can read the full history of the Meyerson here.
In December of 1992, the Dallas Symphony Association named a young American, Andrew Litton, to succeed Mata as music director and conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Litton embarked on an ambitious program to significantly raise the Orchestra’s international standing. He launched the Dallas Symphony’s first television venture, the Amazing Music family concert series, made numerous recordings with the DSO including Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award-winning Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos, had several performances at Carnegie Hall, three European tours and a summer residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.
Following Litton’s departure, the DSO named Jaap van Zweden as its new music director in February 2007. The 2010-2011 season marks van Zweden’s fourth with the orchestra. His other titled positions include music director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Kamer Filharmonie (2005-2013).