The Waukesha Symphony Orchestra enriches lives through exceptional musical experiences.


A thriving professional orchestra leading regional audiences to great music.

Who is the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra?

The members of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra all earn at least a portion of their living as professional musicians. They rehearse and perform with the Orchestra at Shattuck Auditorium on the historic Carroll College campus during the regular season (September to May), and perform at Shattuck Auditorium, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts and the Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center. In addition, many musicians perform for Waukesha County elementary school students through our Major Classics for Minors programs and teach, coach and adjudicate for the Waukesha Symphony League’s Shining Stars Scholarship awards, Chapman Piano Competition and Masterworks Chamber Music Program. All members of the WSO auditioned for their position and the majority of the players are full-time freelance musicians throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to their commitment to the WSO, you may see WSO musicians performing with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Festival City Symphony, Skylight Opera Theatre, Racine Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.


From 2006- 2009 this was the official website of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra until its name change.
The content is from the site's archived pages.


2010 Press

By Laurel Walker of the Journal Sentinel
Published on: 3/29/2010

Waukesha - The Waukesha Symphony Orchestra will now be known as The Wisconsin Philharmonic, a name that reflects a broader group of musicians, a wider audience and the high level of performance, board president Mary Korkor announced Monday.

Alexander Platt, music director and conductor in his 13th season with the 62-year-old part-time orchestra, said at a Waukesha news conference unveiling the new name, "It was time for a new name that transcended any sense of competition with any other ensemble but rather acknowledged and celebrated our own great traditions of extremely high quality music in this part of Wisconsin."

When the new season's concert schedule and venues are announced next week, there will be performances all over Waukesha County, from Oconomowoc to Brookfield to Delafield and Waukesha, much like this season, Korkor said. No concerts have been scheduled outside the county.

"Waukesha County is our home," Korkor said.

Platt said, "We did not focus-group this" name change with local patrons or donors, but, as one Waukesha Symphony board member told him, "if anything, we feel with great certainty that this will bring luster to Waukesha rather than the opposite."

People were initially surprised by the name change. However, the leaders of the symphony which was founded in 1947, say the new name, brand and logo better reflect the growing stature of the orchestra and the composition of both its audience and performers. Subsequently, the Philharmonic promoted the new name and brand identity through direct mail and at a series of upcoming events, including a May 2010 concert that celebrated the history of the symphony. My parents, who knew that I was a big fan of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra called to tell me of the name change. Upon doing a Google search for the new name I noticed a very weird result. Instead of showing the news of the name change, Google was showing websites related to the history of prostitution, something so completely off base as to be laughable, but I was certain the organizers would not appreciate the association. Doing some research, I found that when these kinds of errors appear, there are really no avenues available to fix problem search results, because Google does not respond to requests to correct their results. But there is a fix, just not via Google. And although this issue only lasted a couple of months, many other examples of even greater harm have occurred with much larger consequences. Stories of people losing their jobs, businesses being destroyed, loss of privacy, etc. abound online, all because of Google's search results. So what I discovered was a minor distraction since the Philharmonic name change is now being handled properly in the search results. I've been back to Waukesha many times to visit my parents and attend concerts by the The Wisconsin Philharmonic. Sound as wonderful as ever, perhaps better every year.


The Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Alexander Platt, performs during a 2007 concert at St. John’s Military Academy chapel in Delafield.

The Waukesha Symphony Orchestra has dedicated over 59 years to bringing exceptional symphonic music and cultural experiences to Waukesha County and surrounding communities. As one of the most seasoned and successful orchestras in southeast Wisconsin, the organization presents six subscription concerts annually at Carroll College, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and an outdoor summer pops concert at the Country Springs Hotel. The Orchestra, along with the Waukesha Symphony League, also facilitates educational opportunities and scholarship programs for students throughout the area.

2007 Season

The Fabulous '50s: 
Hits from the Shows

Friday, June 29, 2007 7:30 pm
County Springs Hotel & Conference Center, Waukesha

Alexander Platt, conductor

Join us pre-Fourth of July as we begin our "tour of the decades" with WSO Maestro Alexander Platt conducting. All you favorite tunes, from all your favorite Broadway shows, all in beautiful orchestrations...and fireworks crowning Richard Rodgers' majestic Victory at Sea...plus, a Waukesha surprise!

Loewe/Bennett My Fair Lady suite
Rodgers/Bennett The King and I suite
  Les Paul and Mary Ford
John and Kelly Cramer portray Les and Mary in a reprisal of the television show "Les Paul and Mary Ford at Home" from the early '50s - songs to be announced from the stage.
Rodgers/Bennett Flower Drum Song suite
Bernstein/Mason West Side Story suite
Rodgers/Bennett The Sound of Music suite (1959)
Rodgers/Bennett Victory at Sea suite



War and Remembrance: 
Music in the '40s

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 7:30 pm
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 7:30 pm
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Brookfield

Leon Bates, piano

The Waukesha Symphony's very first concert 60 years ago, in the wake of World War II, aptly paid homage to Beethoven. And so, it is with Beethoven's most heroic of concertos that we open our winter season, featuring one of America's greatest pianists, the incomparable Leon Bates. Two British masterworks from the 1940s, Britten's turbulent and unforgettable "Sea Interludes" from his opera Peter Grimes and the gorgeously pastoral Fifth Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams, serve as bookends to what will be two glorious evenings of celebration.

Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, op. 33a (1945)
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, 
op. 73 "Emperor"
Leon Bates, piano
Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 in D major (1943)


Bach in our Time: Turn of the Century

Sunday, November 4, 2007 2:00 pm - SOLD OUT 
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 7:30 pm
Chapel at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, Delafield

Alex Ayers, violin
Katheen Van De Graaff, soprano
Brad Benoit, tenor
Peter Van De Graaff, bass 
Jubilate Chorale

Hometown phenomenon Alex Ayers solos in one of J.S. Bach's masterly violin concertos, following a luminous work for string orchestra by one of the finest contemporary composers. After the area premiere of the recently-unearthed chamber version of Richard Strauss' heart-wrenching elegy on the war-torn Germany of 1945, perhaps Bach's most beloved of all Cantatas - featuring the Jubilate Chorale - will perfectly compliment the Chapel's beautiful Gothic interior for the Advent season.

Godfrey Romanza for string orchestra (2001)
J.S. Bach Violin concerto No. 2 in E major, 
BWV 1042
Alex Ayers, violin
R. Strauss Metamorphosen
J.S. Bach Cantata No. 140 
"Sleepers Awake! The Watchman calls"
Jubilate Chorale
Choir of St. John's Northwestern Academy


A Contemporary Christmas: 
Music in the '70s

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 7:30 pm
Shattuck Auditorium, Carroll College

Choirs of Arrowhead High School

This year the WSO makes a sea-change in its Holiday programming - call it moving from Vienna to Las Vegas - as we celebrate some of the classiest popular composers and arrangers in the 1970s. From smooth West Coast studio-orchestra Christmas medleys, to Duke Ellington's masterly take on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, to the deliciously charming English Christmas music of John Rutter - it will all make for a delightful, heartwarming trip down memory lane.

arr. Custer It's Christmas Time
Torme/arr. Chase The Christmas Song
Tchaikovsky/arr. Ellington, Strayhorn, Tyzik The Nutcracker Suite
arr. Deane Kincaide

Winter Fantasy

Anderson Sleigh Ride
arr. Finnegan Christmas Sing-along
Handel "And the Glory of the Lord" from Messiah
Rutter Christmas Suite
Handel "Hallelujah" chorus from Messiah


Beethoven, American Style:
Music in the '90s

Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:00 pm
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 7:30 pm
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

Maria Bachmann, violin

Two iconic Beethoven masterpieces frame two masterworks of a more recent vintage. Beethoven's ode to freedom is followed by a short, hauntingly beautiful ode to the "Comrades" for the underground resistance in the Baltic lands during the Cold War; and Beethoven's ecstatic Seventh Symphony follows an equally ecstatic suite from John Corigliano's music for the movie The Red Violin, made so popular in the 1990s by Joshua Bell. The WSO will be joined by the glittering and gifted your American virtuoso Maria Bachmann - one of Corigliano's own favorite exponents of his work.

Beethoven Overture from Fidelio
Corigliano The Red Violin, Chaccone for Violin & Orchestra (1999)
Maria Bachmann, violin
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92


Back by Popular Demand: 
Dufour and the '80s

Sunday, April 6, 2008 2:00 pm
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 7:30 pm
Chapel at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, Delafield

Mathieu Dufour, flute

The amazing principal flute of the Chicago Symphony, Mathieu Dufour, returns by popular demand to the beautiful, historic ambience of St. John's Chapel. He brings his artistry to yet another flute concerto of hte divine Mozart, plus a gorgeous interlude by John Corigliano, whose 70th birthday we celebrate. Two masterly Haydn symphonies - one buoyantly elegant, the other dark and dramatic - frame the program.

Haydn Symphony No. 81 in G major
Mozart Flute Concerto No.2 in D major
K. 314 (285d)
Mathieu Dufour, flute
Corigliano Voyage for flute and strings (1983) 
Mathieu Dufour, flute
Haydn Symphony No.80 in D minor, "The Bell"