It seems extraordinary that KSO has had only two principal conductors: its founder, Leslie Head, and Russell Keable, who has been with the orchestra since 1983. The knowledge, passion and dedication of these musicians has shaped KSO, giving the orchestra a distinctive repertoire that sets it apart from other groups.
Revivals and premières of new works often feature in the orchestra’s concerts, alongside major works of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. World and British premières have included music by Bax, Brian, Bruckner, Nielsen, Schoenberg, Sibelius and Verdi.
Contemporary music continues to be the lifeblood of KSO. Recent programmes have featured works by an impressive roster of composers working today, including Thomas Adès, Charlotte Bray, Brett Dean, Jonny Greenwood, Helen Grime, Magnus Lindberg, Rodion Shchedrin, Joby Talbot, Huw Watkins and John Woolrich.