Our History

A cornerstone of cultural arts in Southeast Minnesota


The Rochester Symphony was founded in 1919 as a professional performing arts organization called the Rochester Orchestra. Its earliest ensemble — the Lawler-Dodge Orchestra — was founded in 1912 as a volunteer orchestra motivated by their passion to play, driven by Daisy Plummer, wife of world famous Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Henry Plummer and directed by Harold Cooke. In early years, the Orchestra appeared in the former Chateau Theatre where they performed background music for silent movies.

Guest Conductor

Steven Amundson

Renowned conductor and composer Steven Amundson recently retired after serving 41 years on the faculty of St. Olaf College where he was conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra. Under Amundson's direction, the Orchestra has frequently appeared on NPR and PBS and twice won the American Prize among colleges and universities. The founding conductor of the Metropolitan Symphony, Amundson also served as music director of the Bloomington (MN) Symphony for 13 years and has appeared as conductor and clinician in 37 states and 15 countries.


After 42 years at the helm of Rochester Symphony, Maestro Jere Lantz retired in December 2022.





All auditions for orchestra and chorale are now complete for the 2022/23 season.

If you would like to be notified should openings occur, please email and include your name and instrument or voice range to be added to our notification list.

Board of Directors


Brad Krehbiel

Executive Committee

Amy Lindstrom, President & CEO
Matt Roisum, Treasurer
Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran, Secretary
Jodi Melius, Vice Chair
Jay Beck, Immediate Past Chair


Andrew Good
Rafael Jimenez
Mark Neville
Sarah Schaefer Meier, Chorale Representative
Joe Mish, Orchestra Representative