Early History...

The Nottingham Symphony Orchestra started life as the Midland Conservatory of Music Orchestra, founded in 1933 by Nottingham composer and teacher Walter Thomas "Gaze" Cooper. Reproduced below is a short section from an article in the Journal of the British Music Society on Cooper's life.

"(Cooper) founded the Midland Conservatory of Music Orchestra in 1933. In 1942 this became the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra well remembered by the early members of the orchestra as rehearsing at Kent & Cooper's music shop in Market Street, Nottingham. For many years they practised at schools on Sunday afternoons and during the Second World War at a public house in Alfreton Road. Cooper conducted the orchestra for 26 years. The orchestra attracted many famous names as guest soloists. John Ogdon, Eric Hope, John Brecknock (tenor), Florence Hooton (cello) and George Hadjinikos, all appeared there."

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