Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina’s cultural life. Each year, more than 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement offerings reach adults and schoolchildren in all 100 North Carolina counties—in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. NCS is proud to expand access to audiences around the globe through concerts and educational offerings available through the digital space.
The Symphony performs under the artistic leadership of Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. NCS’s state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, and the Symphony’s service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Wilmington, New Bern, and Southern Pines, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina. NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art and has presented more than 50 U.S. or world premieres in its history.
Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads one of the most extensive education programs of any symphony orchestra in the country—serving over 100,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra in-person and online Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, D. Reid Wilson, Secretary.