Bendigo Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was founded in 1981 as a result of the Music 81 Project of the Victorian Government and was the successor of the Bendigo Concert Orchestra. Led by John Hopkins AM OBE, the orchestras founding principal conductor.
The BSO celebrated 40 years in 2021 as Bendigo’s premier musical organization. Since its beginnings, The BSO has provided orchestral music for the Bendigo community and an opportunity for talented orchestral musicians to play together. Each year the orchestra works with visiting and local conductors to perform symphonic works by composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, and Mozart, as well as concertos performed by visiting international and local musicians. Young musicians have joined the orchestra and gone on to orchestral and solo careers.
During this time much has changed. The population of the City of Greater Bendigo has doubled. Bendigo is now seen as a great regional city servicing communities within a radius of 200km and a center for high-quality arts in all its forms from performing arts to literature, and an art gallery of National stature.