The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) is one of the oldest orchestras in South Asia. Its first concert was on 13th September 1958 under the baton of Hussain S. Mohamed, and the repertoire was Geminiani's Second Concerto Grosso, Haydn's Symphony no. 92 "Oxford" and Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with Malinee Jayasinghe-Peris as soloist. Kalakeerthi Prof. Earle de Fonseka was the next principal conductor, a position he held with dedication and distinction for the rest of his life, from 1960 to 2000. Lalanath de Silva, who was for many years deputy conductor, was his successor from 2000 to 2002.
Our present principal conductors are Dushyanthi Perera, Eshantha J. Peiris and Ajit Abeysekera.
Soloists who have performed with
the orchestra include
Gervase de Peyer
(flute), Thomas Brandis and Leon Spierer (violin,
then concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic),
Madeleine Mitchell (violin),
Paul Olefsky and
Rohan de Saram
Slatford (double bass), Druvi de Saram, Peter Cooper,
Silva (piano). The SOSL performs four subscription concerts
annually. In addition, there are other performances on special
occasions. It regularly performs at the Ladies' College
in Colombo 07. Sri
Lankan and Foreign
conductors perform regularly with
the orchestra on invitation.
The SOSL takes special interest in fostering young Sri Lankan talent, and dedicates one of its annual subscription concerts to feature Young Musicians. This is part of its commitment to develop young musicians, and provides an opportunity for them to appear as soloists with a full Symphony Orchestra at a public concert
The SOSL is a not for profit organisation which depends on public support as well as corporate sector and occasionally diplomatic sponsorship for its activities.