The mission of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.
From 1946 – Present
The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1946 by Norwegian immigrant, Victor Norman. The group was then known as the New London Civic Orchestra. Following frequent collaborations and a shared conductor and musicians with the Willimantic Community Orchestra, the two groups merged to form the Eastern Connecticut Symphony in 1954.
Emeritus Music Director, Victor Norman, led the orchestra for the next 35 years, a period which saw tremendous growth of the group in all facets. During this period, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus was established as well as the Youth Orchestra, both in 1967. The budget multiplied many times over as more concerts were added and eventually all musicians in the orchestra were paid professionals.
Throughout its history, the ECSO has been buoyed by a dedicated group of volunteers which has had several names in the past: the Auxiliary, the Guild, and is now known as the Friends of the Symphony. This group conducts fundraisers to support the ECSO’s mission and has its own Board and elected officers.
For more history about the ECSO, inquire by email to check out archival books such as those written by Helen Cooper and Victor Norman.
1946 – 1981: Victor Norman, Emeritus Music Director1981 – 1986: George Baziotopoulos1987 – 1998: Paul C. Phillips1999 – 2008: Xiao-Lu Li2009 – current: Toshiyuki Shimada