History

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Photo Album of Past Music Directors on Jacksonville.com

Jacksonville Symphony Timeline

  • Sept. 21, 1949 – Charter for Jacksonville Symphony Association is approved by the Florida Circuit Court.
  • March 8, 1950 – First performance of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is held at the George Washington Auditorium, led by founding Music Director Van Lier Lanning. Ticket Price: $1.
  • Sept. 3, 1952 – Dr. James Christian Pfohl is appointed music director.
  • Jan. 5, 1959 – Symphony launches “The Magic of Music,” a 13-week educational television series on WJCT Channel 7 for Duval County Schools.
  • Jan. 28, 1962 – John Canarina conducts first concert as music director.
  • Sept. 16, 1962 – Jacksonville Civic Auditorium is dedicated. First permanent home for the Symphony. 
  • 1969 ­– Daniell Revenaugh is named music director of the Jacksonville Symphony. A cancelled season unfortunately followed and Revenaugh was replaced thereafter.
  • Nov. 10, 1970 – Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops Orchestra conducts the Symphony’s opening concert, marking the Symphony’s rebirth following a cancelled season. Later that season, comedian Jack Benny hams it up with the Jacksonville Symphony in a benefit concert.
  • April 21, 1971 – Willis Page is announced as the Symphony’s new music director.
  • May 18-19, 1972 – The Symphony performs at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall in New York, premiering new works by Carlisle Floyd and Duke Ellington in celebration of Jacksonville’s sesquicentennial.
  • Oct. 2, 1973 – WJCT Public Broadcasting begins to offer simultaneous broadcasts of the Symphony’s concerts on TV and radio.
  • Sept. 15, 1984 – Roger Nierenberg is welcomed as the new music director. During his tenure, the Orchestra achieved dramatic growth and the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus was founded.
  • Jan 4, 1989 – Luciano Pavarotti performs with the Symphony in front of a sell-out audience at the Jacksonville Coliseum.
  • Feb. 13, 1991 – The first Starry Nights series is announced, featuring the Symphony performing with popular guest artists at Metropolitan Park.
  • May 10, 1993 – The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra (JSYO) is formed to provide continuing music education, training and performance opportunities for Jacksonville youth.
  • April 26, 1997 – Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall inaugural concert features Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, conducted by Roger Nierenberg.
  • Jan 22, 1998 – The Symphony performs at Carnegie Hall in New York with soprano Frederica von Stade and baritone Thomas Hampson, premiering a new work by Richard Danielpour.
  • May 11, 1999 – Fabio Mechetti is introduced as the Jacksonville Symphony’s new music director.
  • February 26, 2000 – Symphony celebrates its Golden Anniversary with a week of special concerts, including the first-ever Fresh Ink Florida Composers’ Competition, which became a biennial event.
  • February 3, 2001– Led by Fabio Mechetti, the Jacksonville Symphony produces its first grand opera with a performance of Puccini’s Tosca.
  • March 16, 2001 – The Symphony performs the inaugural concert featuring the rebuilt Casavant pipe organ in Jacoby Symphony Hall. The Jacksonville Symphony becomes the country’s first orchestra to install a historic pipe organ in a new concert hall.
  • November 10-12, 2005 – The Symphony produces its first-ever commercial recording, featuring the Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus, and the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus performing Carmina Burana.
  • January, 2010 - The Jacksonville Symphony celebrates its 60th anniversary with a special performance by Itzhak Perlman.