The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) is one of the oldest orchestras in South Asia, performing four subscription concerts annually, along with additional performances on special occasions. Concerts are regularly performed at the Ladies’ College Hall, featuring Sri Lankan and foreign soloists, as well as foreign conductors on invitation. The SOSL is a non profit organization and therefore depends on the support from the public and corporate sectors, with occasional diplomatic sponsorship for its events.

The SOSL has had a remarkable history:

1930 – Three Danish brothers named ‘Wagn’ started a small orchestra in Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known), consisting of players of various nationalities.

1958 – The Symphony Orchestra of Ceylon was formed with the support of the Arts Council.  The Players’ Committee elected annually from the playing membership managed the orchestra and concerts were held thrice a year on average.

1971 – The orchestra retained its logo (SOC) but changed its name to the Symphony Orchestra of Colombo.   

1991 – A Board of Governors was elected by the players to instill a management structure to the orchestra. Along with this change in management structure, the orchestra changed its name to the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL)

2010 – The Junior Symphony Orchestra (JSO) was formed consisting of stringed instruments only, with a view to training an orchestra consisting of young musicians who would one day play in the SOSL.

2011 – Woodwind, brass and percussion instruments were introduced to the JSO, making it a complete orchestra for the younger talented musicians.   Along with this development, the SOSL with sponsorship from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, embarked on a special project to take western classical music to the outskirts of the Sri Lanka.  Since then, the SOSL outreach programs have been on-going and a huge success.

2017 – The SOSL celebrated its 60th year!