“Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

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MSO goes from strength to strength, with over 80 regular playing members. We've superb late-romantic symphonies by Rachmaninov, Vaughan Williams and Shostakovich as well as classics from Mozart and Beethoven. Top of our soloist bill is the acclaimed current BBC Young Musician, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing Elgar, and we've a welcome return for his immediate predecessor, pianist Martin James Bartlett, in Prokofiev's spectacular 3rd Concerto.  There are two particularly fine violinists, up-and-coming Savitr Grier with Mendelssohn, and making his third appearance with us, Bartosz Woroch, this time playing Brahms.  We've also a wonderful French oboist, Olivier Stankiewicz, the young co-principal of the London Symphony Orchestra, playing Richard Strauss's haunting and much loved Oboe Concerto.  Click here to download our brochure

19 May 2018

Martin James Bartlett



Tchaikovsky - Romeo & Juliet

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No.3

Shostakovich - Symphony No.1

The finale to our season brings a richly entertaining Russian programme. First we’re stirring up exciting emotions with Tchaikovsky’s well-loved musical retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. We’re then joined by the superb young pianist Martin James Bartlett for the brilliance of Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto. Lastly, we’ve Shostakovich’s 1st Symphony. He wrote it, aged just 19, as his graduation piece. With its witty playfulness yet dark intensity, it was an instant success, and is still considered one of his very finest works.

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14 October 2017

Savitri Grier



Shostakovich - Festive Overture

Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto

Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2

Here’s a breathtaking prospect. Shostakovich’s brilliant overture, written to celebrate the perceived glories of the Russian Revolution, is followed by Mendelssohn’s delightful and ever-popular Violin Concerto. Our young soloist, Savitri Grier, has recently played it to great acclaim with both the Bournemouth Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. Finally, we’ve Rachmaninov’s powerful and emotion-laden 2nd Symphony. It’s music that immediately hits the heartstrings and, quite simply, once you’ve heard it, you can’t fail to love it.

Click here to read a review for this concert

2 December 2017

Olivier Stankiewicz



Wagner - Overture, The Flying Dutchman

Richard Strauss - Oboe Concerto

Vaughan Williams - A London Symphony

An evening of strong dramatic contrasts - the first half brings the powerful overture to Wagner’s early opera, The Flying Dutchman and Richard Strauss’s hauntingly beautiful Oboe Concerto. Our soloist is the magnificent young French oboist, Olivier Stankiewicz. Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony then conjurs up all the vitality and mystery of our great metropolis at the start of the last century. There are jingles from horse-drawn taxis, mists and fogs, and an overriding musical motif of the chimes of Big Ben.

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3 February 2018

Sheku Kanneh-Mason



Berlioz - Overture, King Lear

Elgar - Cello Concerto

Dvořák- Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"

Much has been written and broadcast about the phenomenon of the 2016 BBC Young Musician, already master-cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and his extraordinary family of musical siblings. Sheku brings us one of his first performances of Elgar’s great Cello Concerto. Either side are a wonderfully sympathetic musical portrait of Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear, courtesy of his passionate 19th century French devotee Hector Berlioz, and Dvořák’s evergreen - and again ever popular - New World Symphony. Truly, there’s something for everyone in this concert - definitely one not to be missed!

Click here to read a review for this concert

24 March 2018

Bartosz Woroch



Mozart - Symphony No.32, K.318

Brahms - Violin Concerto

Beethoven - Symphony No.6 "Pastoral"

The young Mozart was thrilled to visit Paris in 1778 and to find an unusually large orchestra with 24 violins - MSO often has 26! He celebrated by writing his short Symphony No.32 for them in the style of a French overture. We’re then delighted to welcome back the very fine Polish violinist, Bartosz Woroch, to play Brahms’s magnificent concerto. Finally, we’ve Beethoven’s paean of praise to the joys of living in the countryside, his Pastoral Symphony. It comes complete with a thunderstorm

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Pre-concert talks

Steve Migden presents Free Pre-concert talks before each concert from 6.40-7.10pm


Steve has been a professional musician and educator since arriving from the USA in 1965 to study horn at the Royal Academy of Music. He presents informative informal and 'fun' talks throughout Kent. He has served MSO as Principal Horn, MOS Chairman, and currently as an MOS Vice President.


All our concerts are held in Mote Hall Mote Leisure Centre, Maidstone, ME15 7RN.


Wheelchairs can be accommodated in certain areas of the hall. A number of reserved car parking spaces are available for visitors with disabilities. The bar is open before and after the concerts, and during the interval. Interval drinks may be pre-ordered Refreshments are available in the bar foyer

Please note that Maidstone Leisure Centre (Mote Hall) have installed a vehicle number plate recognition system in the car park. However, we have arranged for the system to be TURNED OFF AT 5.30pm prior to each of our concerts. Therefore, please ignore all signage and park as normal, without registering your vehicle’s number plate.

Buy Tickets


Phone number 0333 666 4466

Click here to buy tickets online

Maidstone Symphony Orchestra performs at Mote Hall, in Mote Park, Maidstone, which has a seating capacity of approximately 900. Concerts start at 7.30pm, with Free pre-concert talks presented by Steve Migden from 6.40pm to 7.10pm. Current Season Ticket Holders save up to 20% by buying a season ticket for all concerts.  HALF PRICE FOR NEW SEASON TICKET SUBSCRIBERS!   Students £5 and FREE for under 18s.  You can book tickets for individual concerts online, by phone, or buy tickets at the door.  Click here for more information on buying tickets.

About Us

Under the direction of its acclaimed and popular conductor, Brian Wright, Maidstone Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the UK's finest "community" orchestras. It was formed in 1910 as Maidstone Orchestral Society, still the title of the concert promoting organisation.

Today MSO is a superbly well-balanced mix of local professionals and ex-professionals, music teachers and excellent amateur players who come together regularly on a voluntary basis to produce concerts of a professional standard. This entails great commitment by the players, many of whom travel from all over Kent, and beyond, to attend MSO's weekly Thursday evening rehearsals.

The MOS is a registered charity number 1163384.

Brian Wright


Brian Wright

Brian Wright has been Music Director and Conductor of Maidstone Symphony Orchestra since 1990.

Brian studied as a Gulbenkian scholar in London and Munich. He won major prizes in conducting competitions at La Scala, Milan and with the London Symphony Orchestra. He was Assistant Conductor to the LSO and then Associate Conductor to the BBC, winning acclaim for performances at the Proms. Brian has conducted all the UK orchestras, toured in Europe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in Europe and China with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor in almost 20 countries.

For further information click here to see Brian's website

Andrew Pearson


Andrew Pearson

Andrew Pearson studied at the Universities of Cardiff and Cambridge, and the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, before embarking on a career as a professional violinist. During this time he played for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the State Opera Orchestra in Stuttgart and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn. He was subsequently appointed Head of Strings at Lancing College before moving to Tonbridge School in the same role. Andrew is still active as a recitalist, often rediscovering long lost gems of the violin and chamber repertoire.


Chairman - Peter Colman

Vice Chairman - John Moore,

General Secretary - Lyn Parker,

Treasurer - Harriet Finch,

Ticketing - Nicci Whittaker.

Ben Knowles and Angela Migden

Richard Ashby, Peter Hart, John Horne

Malcolm Withnall, David Montague

John Lill CBE (President),

Janet Ash (Vice-President),

David King (Vice-President),

Steve Migden (Vice-President),

Brian Wright (Conductor & Music Director),

Richard Ashby (Chairman Friends of MOS)

Friends of MOS

The Friends of Maidstone Orchestral Society are our financial lifeline.

The Friends help to bridge the gap between the price of the tickets and the actual cost of the concerts. We would love you to join them and help the orchestra continue to perform its excellent season of concerts. The Friends are chaired by Richard Ashby, and the Secretary is Evelyn Shoults. If you would like to know more about the Friends please contact their Secretary, Evelyn Shoults, by email at [email protected]



The Kent Messenger described MSO's players as "A fantastically loyal group of players with amazing abilities." Coming from all over Kent, they are recognised for all giving of their time unstintingly with more than 23 hours of rehearsal for each concert.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you.

  Maidstone, Kent

  [email protected]

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Small Print
The Society is an Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), governed under a Constitution dated 1 October 1992 and last amended 11 December 2014. Trustees (Committee) are appointed or elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The Maidstone Orchestral Society was first registered as a charity in October 1983 with the aim to advance and promote public education in, and appreciation of, music by the presentation of public concerts and recitals.

Maidstone Orchestral Society (MOS) is retained as the title of the orchestra’s promoting body and, unusually, the Society has two types of members – players and audience. MSO’s core of voluntary players pay an annual subscription to become members both of the orchestra and of the Society. Annual season ticket subscribers also become members of the Society, and both player and audience members have equal voting rights at the MOS Annual General Meeting and equal representation on the Management Committee. This MOS/MSO organisation may not be unique in music promotion, but it has particular strength for a community orchestra in bringing together every possible strand of local expertise.

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