In 1958, under the vision and direction of Professor John Ritchie, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra was formed. Over the past fifty years, the orchestra has grown to establish itself as a cultural asset to Christchurch and the wider communities of the South Island of New Zealand.

The orchestra actively contributes to the cultural diversity of the Christchurch community through a full and varied concert season, as the orchestra of choice for many touring artists and other arts organisations, through our extensive Community Engagement programme, and at civic events.

Championing New Zealand composers and artists is hugely important to the CSO and we have, for many years, showcased and premiered New Zealand works and performed with the best of New Zealand talent.