The Stratford Symphony Orchestra

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

William Rowson

Principal Conductor

Conductor William Rowson is proving to be one of the most able and versatile young conductors in Canada. Currently he holds the position of principal conductor with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra as well as being the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In his role with the VSO, Rowson has led over 100 performances ranging from Kids concerts to the VSO’s Annex series as well as the popular Tea and Trumpets series. Through his work with the VSO’s education department he has performed for over 70,000 elementary school students. He has collaborated with such artists as Jann Arden, Chris Botti, Chris Hadfield, Fred Penner and the Hot Sardines.


An active composer as well as conductor, Rowson recently had his Fanfare for Canada’s 150th premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard. In August 2018, his Short Variations on Waves was given its premiere by Ensemble Made in Canada at the Festival of the Sound, and will be performed in every province in Canada this season. In June of 2018 Rowson composed and conducted the music for the upcoming feature length film Brotherhood. A strong advocate for music by Canadian composers, Rowson has conducted the premieres of over 60 new works.


William grew up in a musical family, starting the violin at age 3 in his hometown of Saskatoon. He began conducting while a student at the Curtis Institute of Music.