HAMILTON, ON – The HPO has deep roots in Hamilton. For over a century we have brought world-class orchestral music to the Steel City with a mission of inclusion, education and artistic excellence. With help from some key individuals and institutions, the HPO has proudly contributed to the shaping of Hamilton’s cultural landscape and we think that is something to celebrate. In our 19-20 Season, we reflect on our history while also looking towards the future and how our place in the community continues to evolve.

From our humble beginnings as the Hamilton Orchestral Society with 27 amateur musicians to our official inauguration as the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in 1949 to our emergence as one of Canada’s leading professional orchestras in the 1970s, we’ve got a lot a history to share. While our journey has not been without challenges, with the integral support of the Hamilton community and the talent of countless musicians, we continue to uphold our values of high calibre, inclusive and accessible orchestral music and education for all.

In this year of celebration and reflection, we look forward to highlighting events and individuals that have shaped our organization. Did you know that we once performed on the factory floor of Dofasco under longtime Music Director Boris Brott? Or that in 1955 the orchestra made history by appointing Olive Short, mother of celebrated Hamiltonian Martin Short, as concertmaster – the first woman to hold the position in Canada? Or that famed composer and pianist Don Shirley, who is portrayed in the Oscar winning film Greenbook, performed with the HPO in 1974 premiering his piece Divertimento for Duke by Don? With the help of our community we will tell these and more stories from our vibrant history on our social media channels, in our concert programs and in our e-newsletter.

We are also excited to be working with the Local History and Archives department at the Hamilton Public Library to house our extensive archives of concert programs, photographs and news clippings.

We invite community members and patrons with stories and/or artifacts related to the HPO to contribute to our project. Get in touch at

Twitter: @H_P_O

About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.

Media Contacts:

Christina Volpini
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x226

Megan Nourse
Marketing and Outreach Assistant
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x222