With the mission “to enrich people’s lives through the exhilarating experience of live orchestral music,” the Omaha Symphony offers six distinct concert series and a wide array of education and community engagement programs, run-out concerts, tours, and special events for thousands of people of all ages throughout the region. The Orchestra’s Masterworks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, and Family series concerts are performed in the 1,965-seat concert hall of the Holland Performing Arts Center, an architectural and acoustic marvel that opened in the heart of downtown in 2005. A chamber orchestra series is presented at the Joslyn Art Museum.
Each season, the Omaha Symphony reaches more than 30,000 students throughout the state and region with an innovative and nationally recognized music education curriculum designed for pre-school through high school. The Orchestra’s community engagement is broadened through active partnerships with social service agencies, arts groups, and academic organizations, including Boys Town, El Museo Latino, Completely Kids, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, Omaha Area Youth Orchestras, Omaha Conservatory of Music, Crei...ghton University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Temple Israel, the Joslyn Art Museum, Opera Omaha, and more.
Founded in 1921, the Omaha Symphony employs Nebraska’s largest complement of professional performing artists, with a core of 42 full-time musicians and 28 part-time musicians, all of whom work under a collective bargaining agreement that covers a 38-week season.
Ankush Kumar Bahl became Music Director in July 2021 and is implementing a bold vision for the Omaha Symphony focused on re-imagining the concert experience, championing American artists, and serving as an adaptable and relevant resource to the Omaha community. Ernest Richardson serves as Principal Pops Conductor and Resident Conductor, overseeing the Orchestra’s popular programming, and was the architect for our current education and community engagement programs.
The Omaha Symphony has a 20-member Board of Directors that includes top corporate and community leaders. Fifty Governing Members serve as advocates for the Orchestra throughout the community. For many decades, the Omaha Symphony has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the Omaha Symphony Guild and the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony. The annual operating budget of the Omaha Symphony is $9 million. The Orchestra’s endowment currently exceeds $50 million.
A staff of 28 full- and part-time employees manages the Orchestra’s activities. The Omaha Symphony partners with Omaha Performing Arts for certain financial, administrative, and box office functions. Jennifer Boomgaarden was appointed President & CEO in July 2018.
With gratitude to an Omaha community that is strongly supportive of its artistic and cultural landscape, the Omaha Symphony looks forward to launching its second century from a position of stability, and with an invigorated appetite for innovation.