The Quad City Symphony Orchestra: A Cultural Gem of the Quad Cities

Symphony Orchestra

Located in the heart of the Quad Cities region, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) has been a fixture of the local arts scene for over 100 years. Founded in 1916, the QCSO is a professional symphony orchestra that serves the communities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois.

A Brief History of the QCSO

The QCSO has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. In 1916, a group of local musicians came together to form the Davenport Symphony Orchestra, which was later renamed the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, the QCSO has grown and evolved, becoming one of the premier cultural institutions in the Quad Cities region.

The QCSO has gone through several iterations, starting as a small community orchestra and eventually becoming a fully professional ensemble. In the early years, the QCSO was made up of volunteer musicians who rehearsed and performed in various venues around the Quad Cities.

In the 1940s, the QCSO began to hire professional musicians and started to perform at the Central High School Auditorium in Davenport. In the 1950s, the QCSO moved to the Adler Theatre, where it has been performing ever since.

Symphony Orchestra

Today, the QCSO is made up of over 70 professional musicians who come from all over the world to perform with the orchestra. The QCSO is led by Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith, who has been with the orchestra since 2010. Under his leadership, the QCSO has continued to grow and thrive, offering a wide range of classical, pop, and educational concerts to the Quad Cities community.

The QCSO’s Impact on the Quad Cities Community

The QCSO plays a vital role in the cultural life of the Quad Cities. Each year, the orchestra presents a diverse range of concerts, including classical, pops, and educational concerts. The QCSO also collaborates with local organizations and schools to bring music education to students of all ages.

One of the QCSO’s most popular programs is the “Symphony Kids” series, which introduces young children to classical music through interactive and engaging concerts. The QCSO also partners with local schools to bring classical music to students through the “Symphony in the Schools” program. In addition to these educational initiatives, the QCSO also performs free outdoor concerts in the summer, bringing classical music to a wider audience.

The QCSO’s impact extends beyond the Quad Cities as well. The orchestra has a strong reputation nationally and internationally, having performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. The QCSO has also toured internationally, performing in countries such as Italy, Austria, and Germany.


The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is a cultural gem of the Quad Cities, offering a wide range of classical, pop, and educational concerts to the community. With a rich history dating back over 100 years, the QCSO has established itself as a vital part of the local arts scene.

Through its educational initiatives and collaborations with local organizations, the QCSO is dedicated to bringing the joy of classical music to people of all ages in the Quad Cities and beyond.


The Quad City Symphony Orchestra: A Cultural Gem of the Quad Cities

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top