Misson Vision History

As the area’s premiere community orchestra, the Dearborn Symphony plays a key position in the cultural life of Dearborn and surrounding communities in southeast Michigan. It is highly esteemed by its members, musicians and community.



The Dearborn Symphony inspires, uplifts, and enriches its audiences and musicians by presenting high caliber and engaging orchestral performances and educational programs.

The Dearborn Symphony will be Michigan’s Premier Community Orchestra through music and outreach that unites broader and diverse communities.


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 60th season, the Dearborn Symphony continues to be one of the region’s strongest and most talented community symphony orchestras.

During the 57th season, the Dearborn Symphony embarked on an exhilarating search process for a new music director — three brilliant candidates auditioned for the position. With overwhelming support from our orchestra, board of directors and the audience, Maestro Steven Jarvi emerged as a wonderful fit. The Symphony welcomed Jarvi in 2019 and tasked him to lead the orchestra to new heights and reach a broader and diverse audience.

Behind the scenes, its 23-member Board of Directors and its loyal group of volunteers, corporate supporters, service organizations, community leaders, and donors enable Dearborn and area residents to continue enjoying its outstanding concert series.

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.

Six-times voted “The Outstanding Community Orchestra” (2020, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2008, 2007) by Detroit Music Awards, the Dearborn Symphony has been called the “cultural cornerstone of Dearborn.”  It offers free children’s concerts, annually performs a “side by side” with the Dearborn Youth Symphony and performs at other special events. The DOS annually conducts a music scholarship competition for students in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights as well as a Youth Artists Solo Competition open to young musicians in southeastern Michigan.

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 Music Director Kypros Markou who served until the spring of 2018.

The Friends of the Dearborn Symphony is an all-volunteer, 501c3 organization that provides support through fund raising activities, scholarships and music clinics, and other activities to develop interest in attendance for the Dearborn Symphony.

To view our 60th anniversary video on YouTube, created by City of Dearborn Television, click here