HBO is the premier orchestral ensemble in Hawke’s Bay providing symphonic, operatic, and choral music for the community.

The orchestra has a core of local musicians and are supplemented by a network of professional musicians from around the country. These musicians are invited to bring the orchestra to full strength and allow HBO to play repertoire of significant standard.

The HBO has welcomed many leading New Zealand musicians to perform with the orchestra, including NZSO concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen, NZSQ violinst Helene Pohl, NZSO principal cellist Andrew Joyce, NZSQ cellist Rolf Gjelsten, and NZSM professor Jian Liu.

The orchestra regularly accompanies the Napier Civic Choir and works closely with Festival Opera.

The HBO appointed Jose Aparicio as its Principal Conductor in 2017, and he has maintained this contract to the present day.