The mission of the Palm Beach Symphony Society is to engage, educate and entertain the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiring orchestral music.
The Palm Beach Symphony was founded in 1974 in recognition of the need for a professional orchestra in Palm Beach. The orchestra had a humble beginning, with only a few concerts a year, a part-time conductor and a volunteer staff. It was not until Mrs. Ethel S. Stone became Chair of the Symphony’s Board of Directors, a position that she held for twenty-three years, that the orchestra became a cultural force in the community. Mrs. Stone was a visionary leader with a love of music that she inherited from her family and a love of the Palm Beach Community with which she shared her musical interests. She died on August 6, 1996, leaving an undeniable legacy as one who played a key role in nurturing an interest in classical music in this community. During her tenure, a number of well-known musical figures served in leadership roles with the orchestra, including Karl Karapetian, John Iuele, Kenneth Schermerhorn, Stewart Kershaw, David Gray, Ulf Bjorlin and John Covelli.
Under the leadership of John and Joan Tighe, the Symphony continued to flourish. Musicians who led the orchestra during their tenure were Alan Kogosowski, Vladimir Ponkin, Sergiu Schwartz, Ray Robinson and Donald Oglesby. In the space of ten years, the growth had been miraculous. Thanks to the Tighes’ leadership, there is now a stable board of directors; a dedicated administrative staff; a small endowment fund; and, perhaps, best of all, an orchestra that is capable of performing the best symphonic music at the highest level.
The Palm Beach Symphony performs in a variety of historically important venues, including St. Edwards Church, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Mar-a-Lago, Kravis Center and The Society of the Four Arts.
As the Symphony celebrates its history, we look ahead to the future. Our newly created positions of Director of Communications and Director of Development continue to expand the Symphony’s reach as our Music Director, Ramon Tebar delivers spirited and exacting performances of inspiring orchestral works.