UK Symphony Orchestra

The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra has been an integral part of the cultural life of UK and its communities since the founding of the School of Music in 1918. Selected by audition, the Orchestra is comprised of the finest string, wind, and percussion instrumentalists from both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky.

The Orchestra presents 10 or more performances each season including symphonic concerts, operas, major works with choirs, and the Concerto Competition concert. It regularly collaborates with distinguished guest artists and the University of Kentucky music faculty. Its repertoire covers a wide range of the master works of orchestral literature from the Baroque to the present.

The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1918 by Carl Lampert, composer of the UK Fight Song and Alma Mater. Over the last century, the orchestra has built a tradition of performing major symphonic masterworks. The orchestra also performs regularly with the UK Opera Theatre, which presents several fully staged productions each season. This concert season, the orchestra will give more than 20 performances for an audience of more than 40,000 people and for thousands more on television in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The orchestra program attracts students from the state of Kentucky, throughout the U.S., and around the world. These highly skilled young performers regularly go on to complete graduate studies at top conservatories, and graduates of the UK School of Music perform in some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

The orchestra has recorded two CD’s, Music of the Horse (2005) in collaboration with Keeneland and the In Times Like These - music of Arlo Guthrie (2007). The Music of the Horse CD is available from the Gift Shop at Keeneland or at UKSO concerts. The Arlo Guthrie CD is available at UKSO concerts and usual music outlets.

University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Studio Faculty

John Nardolillo, Director of UK Orchestras

2013 - 2014 Season Concerts

  • Sept. 27, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Opening Night: Living Landscapes Festivals
  • Oct. 25, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Verdi Requiem, celebrating the Verdi Bicentennial
  • Dec. 5, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Mozart and Brahms
  • Feb. 9, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Lang Lang with UKSO (ticketed)
  • Feb. 28, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Pink Martini with UKSO (ticketed)
  • March 28, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Concerto Competition Winners and Pasatieri Premiere
  • April 25, 7:30pm, Singletary Center - Season Finale: Brahms and Mahler