The SUBURBAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is made up of people from all walks of life who have blended their common hobby of music into a viable community experience. Its membership ranges from music professionals in nonperforming areas such as music therapy and teaching, to architects, doctors, businessmen, and others sharing a common avocation for classical music.
The symphony was founded in 1955 with Robt. C. Weiskopf, a salesman for a cotton firm, as conductor. Started with the blessings of the CLEVELAND HTS. Joint Recreation Board, the ensemble performs its traditional season of 5 free concerts in BEACHWOOD High School Auditorium. Costs are met by members, friends, and sponsors. In 1959 the Suburban Symphony gave Leonard Bernstein's Jeremiah Symphony its Cleveland premiere.
The symphony has, through the years, given Cleveland composers a chance to hear their music played, such as HERBERT ELWELL's The Forever Young for solo voice and orchestra, which was performed in 1971. Soloists and guest conductors appearing with the Suburban Symphony have included Rafael Drurian, Jose Greco, Grant Johannesen, Yoel Levi, John Mack, Eunice Podis, and Michael Stern. Northern Ohio's most gifted student musicians are showcased in the orchestra's Young Soloists Concerto Concert. One of its most popular events is the annual "Winter Lights" program which features a "pops" repertoire.
Since Weiskopf's death in May 1979, the Suburban Symphony has been under the musical direction of Martin Kessler, a local composer and head of the music department of UNIV. SCHOOL. In 1995 the orchestra had approx. 80 members.