The Orchestra

Patron: The Anglican Bishop of Leeds

President: Craig Ogden

Conductor: John Lyon

Leader: Alison Major

Leeds Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1890, and we gave our first concert on 30th November 1891. We have had a continuous existence since then, making us one of the oldest established amateur orchestras in the United Kingdom.

For the first eighty years of the orchestra’s life, we had ten conductors, though four of these served only a year each during the First World War. Of these conductors, Harold Mason was in post for the longest, from 1920 – 1948.  Martin Binks, by far the longest-serving conductor in our history, held that role from 1970 until his death in December 2019. John Lyon was appointed conductor in 2020.

We now give regular performances in Headingley, Horsforth, Wetherby and Knaresborough.

Vacancies for playing members of LSO arise in all sections from time to time so we are always keen to hear from musicians interested in joining us. A basic standard of grade eight is required. If you would like to find out more or ask about auditions please contact the secretary at