The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, celebrating its 75th season in 2012-2013, is Central Iowa’s largest and most active professional performing arts producing organization.
The mission of the Des Moines Symphony Association is to enrich, educate and entertain our community by performing great orchestral music.
Led by Music Director Joseph Giunta for the past 24 years, the Orchestra has established an outstanding national reputation as one of the country’s leading regional orchestras, performing a regular series of Masterworks, Pops, Family, and Education Concerts, as well as performing for special events. With the establishment in 2003 of the Des Moines Symphony Academy, the organization is one of only a handful of American orchestras to sponsor an Academy of Music as an integral part of its core mission and the Symphony & Academy together are now the largest employer of professional artists in Iowa.
The Symphony is the principal resident company of the 34 year old, acoustically acclaimed 2,662 seat Civic Center. Performances there on its regular season of seven pairs of Masterworks concerts have included the major works of the orchestral repertoire and collaborations with some of the music world’s most prominent soloists including John Browning, Van Cliburn, Alicia De Larrocha, Simon Estes, Sherrill Milnes, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma among many others. Under the leadership of Joseph Giunta, the Orchestra has offered a well-received, highly creative and diverse mix of programming and has commissioned and given the world premieres of 18 new works over the last 20 years. The Symphony and Joseph Giunta together received the League of American Orchestras prestigious ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in recognition of their commitment to contemporary music.
In addition, the Orchestra regularly performs Pops concert specials including its annual New Year’s Eve Pops at the Civic Center and also produces and performs the Des Moines Symphony’s much anticipated annual, free Yankee Doodle Pops concert in July on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol; attracting some years more than 100,000 listeners, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.
All of the Orchestra’s Masterworks programs are broadcast statewide on IPR/WOI 90.1 FM, the radio home of the Des Moines Symphony.