To Nurture Excellence in our Local Community through Music

"The CRSO is an inspirational group of musicians..."

- Audience Feedback

CRSO - Who We Are

Who We Are

The City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra (CRSO) was formed in 1969 and is one of the main amateur orchestras in north Kent. The orchestra's Music Director is the well-known conductor and trombonist Peter Bassano, and its President is the distinguished British conductor Sir Roger Norrington. The CRSO has approximately 60 playing members, both amateur and professional musicians, who perform concerts at The Central Theatre, Chatham, and other venues in Kent. Recent concerts include a joint performance with Rochester Choral Society in Rochester Cathedral, with a programme that included Brahms's Schicksalslied and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The CRSO also includes chamber groups - notably the piano quintet City of Rochester Chamber Ensemble - which perform throughout Kent.


CRSO - What We Do

What We Do

The CRSO was formed to nurture excellence through music in the community, and places the local community at the heart of all that it does. The orchestra has given 6 World Premiere performances of music by composers from the University of Kent recently, and the CRSO outreach programme includes a Young Composers' evening which allows young composers from the local area to hear their works played by the orchestra. University of Kent students regularly play within the orchestra's ranks. We offer ticket concessions for young audience members, schools, and community groups. Every year a chamber orchestra consisting of CRSO musicians undertakes a number of informal outreach performances at events such as the Rochester Literature Festival, the Dickens Festival, the Lenham Family Festival and the Chatham River Festival.


"I found the entire process of working with the orchestra exciting and interesting. They were really friendly and helped me immensely with my composition project. I hope that I can work with them again in the future."

Amy Morgan, University of Kent, composer of "Stranger Things Have Happened", given its world premiere by the CRSO in May 2016

"I really enjoyed creating a composition for CRSO who performed my piece in the Central Theatre, Chatham. It was lovely as I gained an insight into how orchestras work collaboratively with composers and I received lots of advice on how to improve my piece. The orchestra was very professional and I enjoyed working alongside them."

Emma Burton, University of Kent, composer of "In the Midst of the Day", given its world premiere by the CRSO in May 2015

The CRSO is registered charity No. 264844