Orchestra History

Picture of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra

The 1961-62 season of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra was its first. The orchestra was founded by musicians and music educators to provide a community orchestra for Dearborn. Now in its 51st season, the Dearborn Symphony continues to be one of the region’s strongest and most talented community symphony orchestras. Music Director and Conductor Kypros Markou, is a compelling leader who has achieved an excellent rapport with both the talented musicians and growing audiences. Behind the scenes, its 24-member Board of Directors and its loyal group of corporate supporters, service organizations, community leaders, and donors are what enable Dearborn and area residents to continue enjoying its outstanding concert series.

Symphony Poster

A commemorative poster was composed for the orchestra’s 40th anniversary season. It features the three major conductors the orchestra has had over those years: From left: Nathan Gordon, Leslie Dunner and Kypros Markou.

Membership in the orchestra is open and new musicians are welcomed through audition. Originally, many principal positions were held by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, who provided leadership to the various sections. Some of these players are still in the orchestra. In addition to the adult musicians, the orchestra often includes a few very talented scholarship winners.

Nathan Gordon directed the Dearborn Symphony for its first 25 years. When he retired at the end of the 1986-87 season, the Board of Directors appointed Leo Najar, Saginaw Symphony music director, as artistic advisor for the Dearborn Symphony. From 1988 to the spring of 1996, Leslie Dunner led the orchestra, and in 1997 the Board engaged current Music Director/Conductor Kypros Markou.

The Women’s Association, known as WADOS, provides volunteer support that includes fund raising activities, scholarships and music clinics, and other activities to develop interest in attendance for the Dearborn Symphony.