Making Beautiful Music For All Hawaii

By Jonathan Parrish, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra executive director

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (HSO) was founded in 2011 by a group of community leaders to carry on the legacy of Honolulu Symphony, which performed from 1902 to 2009.


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Jonathan Parrish

With 84 professional musicians, HSO is Hawaii’s only fully professional symphony orchestra presenting classical master-works, pops, education and community programs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

In its second season, HSO reached 20,000 people, and audiences are growing with the addition of free community concerts and the new “musicthatPOPS” series.

This holiday season is full of music, as the orchestra makes its Hawaii Theatre debut, performing Handel’s Messiah with Oahu Choral Society this evening (Dec. 17) at 7:30 p.m.

The annual Beethoven’s Ninth performance follows Dec. 28 and 30, at Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall, with JoAnn Falletta conducting.

There also will be a New Year’s Eve Gala for the first time, in the Glass Ballroom at Koolau Ballrooms and Conference Center.

The musicians of HSO provide a critical mass of talent that collaborates with organizations such as Hawaii Opera Theatre, Ballet Hawaii, Chamber Music Hawaii, Oahu Choral Society and Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble to entertain and serve thousands of island residents and visitors beyond our own audience.

HSO musicians also provide private and group instruction to nearly 1,000 students each week from public and private schools around the island, including hundreds of student musicians in Hawaii Youth Symphony and University of Hawaii.

Building and sustaining a professional symphony requires a deep community commitment.

Typically, ticket sales cover only a portion of our budget, so HSO relies on contributed revenue from individuals, businesses and foundations.

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization and donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Donations can be made online at or by calling 380-7784.

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