ASO History

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is proud to acknowledge 2021/22 as our 25th season.

However, we are older than that. With deep roots in the South Shore, this professional regional orchestra has a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest community orchestras in the Boston area.

ASO History at a Glance:
• 1945 Hingham Civic Orchestra is formed & remains sustainable as a community orchestra for 50 years
• 1996 Reorganized by HCO membership as the Hingham Symphony Orchestra, with a regional mission
• 1997 Jin Kim is hired as HSO Music Director & Conductor
• 2006 Renamed Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and fully professional; Annual Concerto Competition is established
• 2012 Main concert hall is permanently located at the Thayer Academy Center for the Arts, in Braintree
• 2016 The ASO celebrates its 20th season, sustained by regional/local funding & support

ASO History Narrative:
In 1945, a quartet of musicians in Hingham, Massachusetts formed the Hingham Civic Orchestra to provide opportunities for amateur musicians to rehearse and perform symphonic repertoire. For over 50 years, the Hingham Civic Orchestra staged performances ranging from regular subscription programs to children’s concerts, operas, choral-orchestral concerts, and ballet productions.

In 1996, acknowledging changes in community expectations and needs as well as its membership, the orchestra made the decision to re-evaluate its mission. As a result, the Hingham Civic Orchestra was reborn as the Hingham Symphony Orchestra, with the vision of becoming a regional orchestra with high performance standards and a renewed sense of service to community.

In 1997, Jin Kim was appointed as the orchestra’s new music director, by unanimous vote of the musicians and the Board of Directors.

In the ensuing years, Jin Kim has earned international recognition as a superb conductor and brought the level of the orchestra up to a standard that distinguishes it as among the highest performing orchestras in New England, with an exceptional “level of play.”

The orchestra’s reputation for excellence attracts Boston’s finest musicians and internationally renowned guest soloists and ensembles. Members of the orchestra consist of both seasoned professionals and gifted young professionals from the world’s leading conservatories. The majority of the members have been fellows at Tanglewood, Aspen, Schleswig-Holstein, and Pacific Music Festivals. Many HSO/ASO musicians have earned positions in major symphony orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Civic Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Israel Philharmonic, Boston Pops, and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During the 2006/2007 season, the orchestra took on the challenge of choosing a new name to reflect its identity as a superb professional orchestra that serves audiences across the Boston’s South Shore and Greater Boston-south region. After a public process that affirmed the orchestra’s vision and mission, the Board of Directors unveiled its new name – Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra’s success can be attributed to two equally important factors: (1) artistic and organizational vision and leadership, and (2) reliable and growing support from an enthusiastic community. Each season, Atlantic Symphony serves residents of the region with high-level symphonic and chamber concerts, special events, and music education, and serves the artistic community with employment and career development for roughly 100 musicians who meet the orchestra’s high standards.

2016/17 marked ASO’s 20th official season. With the support of the entire region, Atlantic Symphony Orchestra continues to mature into a dynamic cultural resource that brings the very best classical music to life.

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra