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Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Jacksonville, Florida) Collection Finding Aid

Collection Number: M12-11
Dates: 1961-2012
Size: 3 linear feet
Repository: Special Collections, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida
Arrangement: Collection arranged by series and sub-arranged alphabetically by title of item.
Language: English
Container List: View Container List


The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (JSO) in Jacksonville, Florida, was founded in September 1949, and its sixty-three year history since reflects its development and current standing as a significant cultural resource. The collection provides historical documentation of the musical concerts and performances, and events and activities of the JSO from 1961 to date. The core of the collection are print ephemera, including event and performance programs, subscribers' cards and invitations, and publicity and news items. Of particular interest are source materials from the Grand Opening of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in 1997, and the Jacksonville Symphony Guild Designer Showhouses from 1977.


Items acquired via the donations of Linda L. Smith and Archives staff. It is anticipated that items will continue to be added.

Access to the Collection

The collection is open for research. For additional information and to make an appointment to view the collection, contact (904) 620-1533 or e-mail

Preferred Citation

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Jacksonville, Florida) Collection, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.

Additional Guides

Related Materials

Jean, Betty B. Fifty years of great music : the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Betty B. Jean, Jean S. Johnson ; edited by Susannah S. Borg. Jacksonville, Fla. : The Jacksonville Symphony Association, c1999.


Mechetti, Fabio. Face to face with Fabio Mechetti, Music Director & Conductor, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. [presented by] the University of North Florida Honors Program and the Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program. 2006. 1 videodisc (53 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. Recorded live at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, March 3, 2006. Fabio Mechetti discusses his early career, his responsibilities as a music director and conductor and how he develops programs that encourage the members of the symphony to grow. Mechetti describes the role of the conductor during rehearsal and performance. In addition to providing a quality music program, Mechetti works with the community to establish an endowment to insure the future financial viability of the symphony.


Sesquicentennial concerts : celebrating the 150th anniversary of Jacksonville, Florida. [Jacksonville, Fla.? : s.n.] 1972. Subtitle continues: Introducing two new works by Duke Ellington and Carlisle Floyd written especially for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Willis Page, conductor. Text consists of the program for the concert and background information on the composers, the performers, the orchestra and the city.


Library collection. Jacksonville Jazz Festival Collection.

Library collection. Northeast Florida Regional Ephemera Collection. Performing Arts, Events, and Entertainment.

Historical / Biographical Note

Founded on September 21, 1949, by charter of the Florida Circuit Court, the first performance of the JSO was held on March 8, 1950, with Music Director Van Lier Lanning conducting. Early performance venues included the Duval Armory, George Washington Hotel Auditorium, and the Prudential Building. Music directors included: Van Lier Lanning, 1950-1952; James Christian Pfohl, 1952-1962; John Canarina, 1962-1969; Daniell Revenaugh, 1969-1970; Willis Page, 1971-1983; Roger Nierenberg, 1984-1998; Fabio Mechetti, 1999- . The following events are significant highlights in the development of the orchestra:

  • Jacksonville Civic Auditorium named JSO's permanent venue (1962)
  • Performances by renowned artists include: Isaac Stern (1955, 1987); Andres Segovia (1956); Beverly Sills (1957, 1977); Arthur Fiedler (1968, 1970-71, 1973, 1975, 1977); Jack Benny (1970); Birgit Nilsson (1971); Duke Ellington (1972); Roberta Peters (1973, 1977, 1980, 1989); Van Cliburn (1973, 1976); Benny Goodman (1976); Robert Merrill (1976); Yehudi Menuhin (1978); Marilyn Horne (1980, 1998); Leontyne Price (1986); Kiri Te Kanawa (1989); Frederica von Stade (1989, 2010); Luciano Pavarotti (1989); Itzhak Perlman (1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2009); Rudolph Nureyev (1990); Joshua Bell (1991, 1994, 1998, 2012); Kathleen Battle (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003); Yo-Yo Ma (1995); Pinchas Zukerman (1997); Mstislav Rostropovich (2002); Midori (2006)
  • Willis Page named new music director (1971)
  • Symphony performs at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall in New York (1972)
  • Roger Nierenberg named new music director (1984)
  • Luciano Pavarotti performs with the Symphony at the Jacksonville Coliseum (1989)
  • Opening of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, new home of the Symphony (1997)
  • Fabio Mechetti named new music director (1999)
  • First grand opera, Puccini's Tosca, performed (2001)
  • JSO produces first commercial recording, Carmina Burana (2005)
  • JSO celebrates 60th anniversary (2009-2010 season)
  • Conductor Fabio Mechetti announces the 2012-2013 season will be his last full season

Scope and Content Note

The primary source materials in this collection provide insights into the musical and cultural lives of residents in Northeast Florida. The earliest item is a program dated 1961; the majority of the materials date from the late twentieth century to the present decade. Printed materials include event and performance programs, subscribers' cards and invitations, and publicity and news items. Of particular interest are source materials from the Grand Opening of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in 1997, and the Jacksonville Symphony Guild Designer Showhouses from 1977.

Index Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:

  • Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Jacksonville, Fla.) -- History.
  • Conductors (Music) -- United States -- Interviews.
  • Music -- Florida -- Jacksonville.
  • Mechetti, Fabio -- Interviews.
  • Printed ephemera.
  • Pamphlets.