The Stratford Symphony Orchestra

A new decade, with William Rowson, 
our new principal conductor

Board Members

  • Katharine Rajczak
  • Bruce McLaren
      Vice President
  • Davd Murray
      Vice President
  • Ed Lee
      Finance Chair, Treasurer

  • Sherrie Roulston
  • Jan Greenwood
  • Nicole Campbell
  • Kirby Julian
  • Nancy Stotts-Jones
  • Randi Patterson
  • Judy Tye

Administrative Staff

  • David Murray
      Office Manager
  • David Spence
      Stage Manager
  • Kirby Julian
     Acting Personnel Manager
  • Allan Tye

William Rowson

New Principal Conductor

After a year-long search, the SSO’s Principal Conductor Search Committee faced a challenge in choosing only one
conductor from the five gifted finalists for the position. Happily, they unanimously agreed to select Saskatchewan-born conductor William Rowson is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of Canada’s most versatile emerging talents. Known for his intimate knowledge of the standard repertoire as well as his effortless handling of the challenges of new repertoire, William has conducted the world premieres of over 60 new works.
     In addition to his appointment to the SSO, William was also recently appointed Artistic Director of Toronto’s Sneak Peek Orchestra and the Conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘What Next’ Festival.
He has been a frequent guest of many of Canada’s leading ensembles and recently conducted the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, and the Greater Toronto Philharmonic.
     A graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he conducted the Curtis Symphony Orchestra while studying composition with the great American composer Ned Rorem. With his unassuming grace, control and sensitivity, William has the ability to grow with the orchestra and take it to new heights.

Berthold Carriére and Barbara Young

Musical Directors

The SSO is delighted that Berthold Carriére and Barbara Young were the SSO's co-music directors for Season Nine. Bert was the Stratford Festival music director for more than 30 years. The two worked closely at the Festival for 13 years. They collaborated in November 2011 to produce and direct the SSO's highly successful H.M.S. Pinafore concert with an all-star cast that included many well-known Festival performers.

Mr. Carriére composed and arranged music for more than 80 Stratford Festival productions. In 1998 he took productions of Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser to New York City Centre. He wrote music for The Tempest and Twelfth Night for CBC Radio in 1999, and King Lear in 2004. The latter was presented by the Lincoln Center on Broadway. He was commissioned by the Festival in 2003 to write Music for a Midsummer's Night, which has become an annual event.

He has received numerous awards for his work. In 2001 he was named a member of the Order of Canada. In 2003 he was given the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, recognizing people who "have helped create the Canada of today."

Ms. Young has long been a champion of the arts. In the early '80s she started the music and theatre programs at the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto ("I just thought there needed to be a place where artists could be free to be creative without having to prove themselves as other things all the time."). It has grown from a hundred students in the first year to one that auditions thousands.

In 1996 she joined the Festival as a music consultant to Bert. Her role ("another set of ears" for Bert) was to recommend ways to achieve balance in the musicians' sound, as well as to adapt and compose music for plays. She also works with the Festival education department in its Shakespeare School and Shakespeare on Wheels programs, and is a music adjudicator in high demand across Canada.

Bert and Barbara are excited about the potential for the SSO. "We have so many artistic people in this town," says Bert. "It's a very important thing for Stratford to have the orchestra. I'm here to help in any way I can."

Musicians of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra

+ Concertmaster    ++Assistant Concertmaster    *Principal

Otherwise in alphabetical order



Deborah Wunder+

Andrea Barstad ++   

Andrea Weber-Steckley*

Hallie Ashman

Peter Bartley

Christy Benedict

Rick Bond

Elizabeth Fraser

Doug Gordon

Serena Erb

Tina Giannopolous

Rosemary Kropf

Dionne Porter

Barrie Schneider

Maddie Speller

Hans van der Weide

Brennan Van Pelt


Margaret Metcalfe*

Moe Jenner

Kirby Julian

Marion McDougall

John Sanderson


Julie Brierley

Murray Charters

John Krisak

Ron Laurie

Brenda MacLeod



Jack Winn*

Barbara Julian

Graham Kidd


Kathleen Gahagan

Jacqueline Goring

Sharlene Wallace



Laurel Swinden*

Liesel Deppe

Sarah Van Pelt

Kelly Williamson



Ian Franklin*

Katrina Lidell

David Vanbiesbrouck




Kaye Royer*

Christine McLean

Elaine Sweeney



Alexandre von Wartburg*

Jodi Merritt

Brass, Percussion, Keyboard


Andrew MacDonald*

Dylan Pastoor

Randi Patterson

Tony Snyder

Josh Wood




Julia Vaughan*

Dorothy Kidd

Kevin Swinden



Susan Follows*

Lauren Helmer

Susan Lee



Eli Clarke*



Devon Roulston*



Jayden Beaudoin

Kevin Brohman

Michael Carver

Shannon Doyle

Dave Klassen

Chris Hull

Mark Swan



Amy DiNino