The Stratford Symphony Orchestra

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

Berthold Carrière and Barbara Young

Music 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."