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.

Artistic Director

Jere Lantz

Looking back on 40 years at the helm of the Rochester Symphony, Jere Lantz wonders both that it has been so long and that it has been so much fun. Throughout the hundreds of concerts he has led in Rochester, Lantz has shown his acumen for imaginative programming and his ability to deliver dynamic and stirring performances.

about-artistic-director-back jere-mobile



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