Symphony Nova Scotia
While the present Symphony Nova Scotia was formed in 1983, its roots go back to 1897 when Max Weil founded the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, the first professional symphony orchestra in Canada. It was disbanded in 1908 and Halifax remained without an orchestra until 1949, when Alfred Strombergs organized the Halifax Symphonette to accompany performances by his Nova Scotia Opera Association. This ensemble evolved into the Halifax Symphony Orchestra in 1957, under the music direction of Thomas Mayer. On June 12, 1968, the Halifax Symphony Orchestra merged with the New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra to form the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Canada's first full-time regional orchestra. It prospered under the direction of Music Director Klaro Mizerit, who was succeeded in 1977 by Victor Yampolsky. However, by 1982 the cost of touring the orchestra throughout the Atlantic Provinces proved too much and it was closed. The following year the smaller Symphony Nova Scotia was formed under the direction of Boris BROTT. Today it is the only fully professional symphony orchestra east of Québec City. In 1987 George Tintner assumed the position of resident conductor and musical director, followed by Raffi Armenian as interim music director in 1995. Leslie B. Dunner served as music director and resident conductor from 1996 to 1999. Simon Streatfeild was named principal guest conductor and artistic advisor for the 2000 season, with Gregory Burton as resident conductor, Scott Macmillan as MTT Maritime Pops host conductor and Howard Cable as Traditional Pops Host Conductor. The orchestra currently employs a core of 37 musicians, calling upon extra musicians as needed. Based in Halifax's Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, the orchestra also tours extensively throughout the Maritime provinces, from Glace Bay to Yarmouth. It has won 2 East Coast Music Awards for Classical Music and has produced seven compact discs.