Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925. This is the largest group of the Voronezh Philharmonic that defines its face. Its founder and first chief conductor was D.V.Akhsharumov. The orchestra is a consistent propagandist of Russian and foreign music classical heritage, and it is often the first performer of the outstanding works of contemporary authors. Among the greatest artistic achievements of the orchestra are the cycles in which all the symphonies of L. Beethoven, J. Brahms, P. Tchaikovsky, S. Rachmaninov, D. Shostakovich, S. Prokofiev were performed.
Over the years of performing, the Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra has undoubtedly become one of the best in our country, gaining fame and recognition throughout the former Soviet Union and far beyond its borders. All the best domestic conductors and soloists performed repeatedly with the orchestra, unanimously noting the purity of the pitch, perfect group coordination and a subtle sense of the performed works style.
An important role in the formation of the individual artistic image of the collective was played by the conductors who stood behind its music stand: A.Gauk, K.Ivanov, V.Dubrovsky, N.Golovanov, J.Feyer, E.Svetlanov, V.Ferrero (Italy), M.Maréchal ( France), B. Heinze (Austria), A. Katz, R. Martynov, K. Khachaturian, F. Mansurov, Mac Ka Lok (Austria), Hugo Reiner (France). Such musicians as E.Gilels, S.Richter, D.Oistrakh, L.Oborin, L.Kogan, M.Rostropovich, V.Tretyakov, V.Spivakov, D.Bashkirov, N.Gutman, O.Kagan, L. Isakadze, E.Virsaladze, N.Petrov, V.Klimov, M.Pletnev, L.Vlasenko, E.Mogilevsky, J.Bashmet and others also played with the orchestra.
Since 1972 the People's Artist of Russia Vladimir Verbitsky became the chief conductor and artistic director of the orchestra. In 1995, under his leadership the orchestra was awarded the title "Academic" for great achievements in the development of national musical culture.
The orchestra repeatedly took part in the All-Russian and international competitions and festivals, it won the first prize of the radio competition "Orpheus" (2002). The role and importance of the orchestra in the history of musical culture of the city and the region is great. Creative work of the group allowed to get tens of thousands of new listeners from different social strata acquainted with serious music, enabled the most gifted young performers to self-actualize in the very complicated form of performing art.
In 2005, the orchestra celebrated its 80th anniversary. The artistic director and chief conductor of the collective, Vladimir Verbitsky, was awarded the Order “ For Merit for the Fatherland” of the Second degree, many musicians of the orchestra received the title "Honored Artist of Russia".
The orchestra is also known for its tours to various countries . It was applauded in numerous cities of Russia, Europe and Asia: Czechoslovakia, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and others.
Since 2003, for three years, the Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra took part in the international project "Humanism Against Terror": concert and rally in commemoration of the victims of the terrorist attack at the Atocha station in Madrid (Palencia, Spain, 2004), memorial concert in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz, Poland, 2005), concert-commemoration (Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, 2006), "Beslan ... two years later" (Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania, 2006). For organizing and carrying out the concerts for the international project "Humanism Against Terror" the orchestra was awarded the Grant of the President of the Russian Federation.