Aberdeen City Orchestra

Ensemble type
Julian Maunder

Aberdeen Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1982 by a group of friends who had known each other at school and university in the city. The idea was to promote a small-scale concert for the enjoyment of the players, friends and relatives. The concert was such a success that the members decided that they wanted to meet again, and thus the Chamber Orchestra was born.  

In our earlier days, ACO restricted itself to smaller classical orchestral works, with the occasional brave excursion into romantic works. Since then, ACO has established itself at the forefront of non-professional orchestral playing in Aberdeen, attracting some of the finest local talents to its ranks.

In 2000, Gareth John was invited to become the permanent conductor, working with us until 2023. In 2001, ACO became a registered charity, establishing a formal constitution which provided greater stability and allowed us to plan our concerts further in advance. As we continued to grow, we tackled more adventurous repertoire and worked with many renowned soloists.

In 2022, we formed a Youth Ensemble to allow local young musicians to play together in an orchestra. Initially just strings, they gave their debut performance, conducted by Chris Gray, in January 2023. Following the huge success of this, we expanded to a full orchestra for a side-by-side performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 alongside the players of the ACO in May 2023.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, ACO has continued to grow in both player and audience numbers, and we now look forward to performing at the Music Hall once per year. We also perform at our regular home of Fountainhall Church at the Stocket (formally Midstocket Parish Church) at least twice a year, and in our 2023-2024 season, we are fortunate to be joined by guest conductors Chris Gray, Tim Tricker and Tomas Leakey.

Getting involved

Whether you'd like to enquire about joining, ask us a question, or just tell us how much you enjoyed our last performance, we would love to hear from you which you can do via our website.

Rehearsal times
Wednesday 19:00 - 21:30
Membership criteria
Welcomed ability Advanced
Ages Students, Adults
Auditioned Invite only (waiting list)
Fountainhall Church at the Stocket, Harcourt Road
AB15 5NZ
Visit website

Upcoming performances



February 2025

June 2025