Composer and pianist Frank Peleg, and violin teacher Zvi Rotenberg founded Haifa Symphony Orchestra in 1950. Frank Peleg served as Music Director of the Orchestra for ten years, during which time the permanent conductor was Georg singer. He was succeeded by musical directors and/or permanent conductors Sergiu Comissiona, Avi Ostrowsky, Mendi Rodan, Samuel Freedman, Yuval Zaliouk, Dan Fogel, Uri Tepliz, Urs Schneider, Stanley Sperber and Christian Mandeal.
Over the years, other famous maestros conducted the orchestra, among them Erich Bergel, Yoel Levi, Paul Capolongo, Gabriel Chmura, Sidney Hart, John Nelson, Gilbert Varga, Uriel Segal and Ronald Zollman. In addition, some top of the line soloists played with the Haifa Symphony, including Henryk Szeryng, Ida Haendel, Ivry Gitlis, Boris Belkin, Daniel Barenboim, Shira Rabin, Mischa Maisky, Claude Frank, Jeremy Menuhin, Gerhard Oppitz, Arie Vardi, Nikolai Petrov, Gary Carr, Israel Prize Laureate Prof. Noam Sheriff and many others.
In April 2004, the Orchestra reorganized. This initiative of Mayor Yona Yahav resulted in the transformation of the Symphony Orchestra from a private body to one belonging to a subsidiary municipal company, Ethos - The Haifa Municipality Art, Culture and Sports Association Company.