Mission and History

Now in its 55th season, the Eugene Symphony is recognized as a cornerstone of the performing arts in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. Under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Eugene Symphony pursues its mission of enriching lives through the power of music by presenting annual classical, pops and community engagement performances, regularly commissioning and premiering new American works, and disseminating its performances via radio broadcasts and recordings. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eugene Symphony continues to serve its mission through reimagined concert experiences and programs. Learn more about our virtual programs​.

As a guiding principle, the Eugene Symphony is committed to serving, educating and developing the widest possible regional audience through its programs. Each season, both in the concert hall and beyond in classrooms and the community, Eugene Symphony brings world-class artistry and memorable musical moments to more than 40,000 people throughout a five-county region in southwestern Oregon. Founded in 1965 as a community orchestra, Eugene Symphony’s early years included performances in living rooms, schools and churches. The orchestra took up residence in Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts in 1982 and has since performed with the likes of violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, soprano Renee Fleming, Portland’s treasured Pink Martini, and most recently, Broadway superstar Leslie Odom, Jr. No matter the program, the Eugene Symphony invites people of all ages and backgrounds together for the irreplaceable experience of live orchestral music.

Along the way, the Eugene Symphony has also helped launch the international careers of talented conductors, including Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Giancarlo Guerrero, and the most acclaimed woman conductor in history, Marin Alsop.

The Eugene Symphony offers more than a dozen music education and community education programs that serve every age group, from youngsters who are just picking up an instrument for the first time to promising middle- and high-school students as well as college students and adults into their 90s. Learn more about our education and community engagement programs here.

All of Eugene Symphony’s programs are possible because of support from foundations, corporate partners, and especially people like you who love music and want to make sure it’s available in these difficult times and for generations to come. If you already donate to the Eugene Symphony, thank you. If not, please consider giving what you can to sustain this vital source of creative expression and connection for our community. More information can be found here.


Learn more about Eugene Symphony’s history in this video from the 50th Anniversary Season!