About us


The Airedale Symphony Orchestra is widely recognised as one of the leading community orchestras in the UK. Dating back to 1898 and originally known as the Keighley and District Orchestral Society, its name was changed to the Airedale Symphony Orchestra in 1982. Among the many celebrities who have performed with the orchestra over its long history are Isobel Baillie, Percy Grainger, Leon Goossens, Lady Barbirolli, Dennis Brain and Sir Henry Wood.

Since 1982, the ASO has built up a high reputation for its performances, largely playing to near capacity audiences. In 1988, to mark its Ninetieth Anniversary, the orchestra toured to Norway giving concerts in Stavanger and Sandnes. To celebrate its Centenary year in 1998, the orchestra performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Bradford Festival Choral Society, toured to southern Ireland to appear in Galway and commissioned a new work, Airedale Variations, from local composer William Kinghorn. Also in 1998, the ASO gave the northern première of Elgar’s Third Symphony, which was reconstructed by Anthony Payne. In July 2005 the ASO was invited to perform with the Chorus of Opera North at the Grassington Festival.

The orchestra has collaborated with Leeds Philharmonic Chorus on several occasions – most notably on Armistice Day in 2008, when they performed The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins to a capacity audience in Leeds Town Hall.

The Airedale Symphony Orchestra has made a significant contribution to the cultural life of the region and performs an annual series of subscription concerts in the King’s Hall, Ilkley and Victoria Hall, Saltaire. They regularly receive excellent reviews in the local and national press.

Rehearsals are on Monday evenings at Guiseley School. If you are interested in becoming a member of the orchestra, please contact John Anderson on 01943 850526 Mob: 07590 683949 email: johnanderson50@btinternet.com. We currently have vacancies for good 1st Violin, 2nd Violin and Viola players.