About us

Who we are

The Woking Symphony Orchestra is one of Surrey’s leading orchestras. For over a century the WSO has offered music lovers in Woking and beyond the opportunity to enjoy live performances of great orchestral music right on the doorstep. We have over sixty members who meet weekly to play a rewarding and varied repertoire that combines classical favourites with the works of lesser-known composers and twentieth century pieces.

Encouraging young musicians

The WSO has long supported the musical development of young people. We perform three evening concerts a year and often feature promising young instrumentalists as concerto soloists. Recently Sophie Kauer, Woking Young Musician 2019, who has a leading role in the film TÁR starring Cate Blanchett, delighted a sell-out audience as our soloist for Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. In previous years soloists have included cellist Laura van der Heijden, winner of the BBC Young Musician competition, and trumpeter Matilda Lloyd, winner of the BBC Young Musician Brass Final.

We also stage an afternoon family concert each January. These are always great fun and hopefully some of the children will become future members of the orchestra and help maintain a musical tradition that has now existed in Woking for over one hundred years.

Making music for over one hundred years

The WSO was formed in 1897 and notable composers who have conducted the orchestra include Elgar and Vaughan Williams. In 1984 our current conductor, Roy Stratford, was appointed and in 2013 Robin Ticciati, music director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Roy’s former pupil, became our president.

Roy Stratford

Roy Stratford was very lucky to have had a music teacher at school who had been a student of the great Austrian modernist composer Anton Webern, and who inspired in him a great love of music.

Roy went on to study music at Reading University and the Royal College of Music and has since developed a very varied musical career as a pianist, conductor, composer and lecturer.

As a pianist, Roy has worked with many fine musicians, including Jack Brymer, Gervase de Peyer, John Harle, Susan Milan and Tony Lamb. He also has a regular duo partnership with violinist Oliver Nelson.

Roy has been conductor of the Woking Symphony Orchestra since 1984. His compositions and arrangements have been published by Oxford University Press and Faber Music. He also lectures regularly at Wigmore Hall and West Dean College and teaches piano and chamber music at St Paul’s School.

Roy Stratford

Roy Stratford

Robin Ticciati

Robin Ticciati OBE is a former pupil of our conductor Roy Stratford. Robin began conducting aged fifteen and, while still at school and learning his craft, he conducted several repertoire sessions with the Woking Symphony Orchestra to the great enjoyment of us all.

In the intervening years Robin has had a meteoric rise in his profession. He has been Music Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin since 2017 and Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera since 2014. He was Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 2009-18. He is a regular guest conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

A violinist, pianist and percussion player by training, Robin was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain when he turned to conducting under the guidance of Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle. He holds the position of ‘Sir Colin Davis Fellow of Conducting’ at the Royal Academy of Music. Robin was awarded an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2019).

Robin Ticciati OBE

Robin Ticciati OBE

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