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Australian Chamber Orchestra

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The ACO presents a range of programs for children and young people that focus on access, excellence and regional engagement.

The inspirations of place

One of the key moments for me in thinking about the relationship between music and place occurred when I was providing performance histories for works to be played by the former ABC orchestras in Australia. I realised that whereas the first performances of earlier repertoire might have taken place in Munich or Mannheim, they could […]

A new home for the Young Performers Awards

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MOST announced to take over the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

2016 Orchestral Summit Speakers

Day 1 – Tuesday 15 November 2016 Malcolm Long AM Malcolm Long is Principal of the broadcasting, communications and digital media consultancy Malcolm Long Associates. He is a director of the communications infrastructure and services provider BAI Group. He is immediate past Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and is a former […]

MSO launches its 2017 season

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has announced a mighty 2017 season filled with extraordinary choral delights, dreamy orchestral nights, superstar music sensations and stories of romantic temptations! The new season will see 38 international guest artists performing in Melbourne with the MSO. Twelve of these artists will be visiting Australia for the first time and 21 […]

Indigenous children visit the SSO

Sixteen high school students from remote communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory travelled to Sydney last month with the Cathy Freeman Foundation, thanks to support from SSO Premier Partner Credit Suisse. Hailing from Palm Island, Woorabinda, Galiwin’ku and Wurrumiyanga, the students visited the Sydney Opera House for a behind-the-scenes tour and window into daily […]

QSO’s 2017 season

QSO’s Music Director, Alondra de la Parra, recently announced the 2017 Season for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Her international influence can be seen in the diverse program and star-studded roster of leading soloists and conductors, featuring many QSO exclusives and Australian debuts, in grand celebration of the Orchestra’s 70th anniversary year. In a significant international […]

TSO composer project

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra partnered with the UTAS Conservatorium of Music and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) to create the Composers’ Project, an exciting new training initiative for composition students in grade 11/12. Nine Tasmanian high school students and six music teachers took part, guided by Dr Maria Grenfell, Co-ordinator of Composition and […]

A milestone recording for WASO

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s first recording in seven years is a significant milestone. Titled Brahms: The Symphonies, the album features WASO and Principal Conductor Asher Fisch performing the complete cycle of all four of Brahms’ symphonies. These four symphonies are regarded as some of the most important works in the classical music canon, and […]

ASO’s Chinese connections

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s China engagement initiatives have been given a major boost with the announcement of a substantial financial gift over the next three years. ASO Managing Director, Vincent Ciccarello, said that thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Dr Sing Ping Ting, the orchestra will be able to undertake a range of activities focusing […]

Occupational noise management for orchestral musicians: changing workplace culture

G Williams, W Williams, K Lidbetter Introduction Occupational noise management is an important Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) priority. Noise exposure is a significant difficulty in many workplaces and not confined to what would normally be considered noisy workplaces, such as factories and construction sites. It is also an important issue for serious consideration by […]

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

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The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is New Zealand’s national touring orchestra.

Annual Report 2015

Download a copy of Symphony Australia’s Annual Report for 2015.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

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The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra showcases many of the world’s finest classical musicians.

Offshore Perspectives

Australia’s orchestras have always had visits from international artists but, since the mid-1990s, the country’s artistic administrators have increasingly come from Europe or America – and gone back. I wanted to talk to people who have worked with Australian orchestras and see if I could gain a sense – from their international perspective – of […]

SSO teaches the teachers

  Fifty-five teachers from across NSW gave up one week of their holidays in January to participate in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s teacher training residency TunED-Up! at the ABC Centre in Sydney. Travelling from as far as South Tweed Heads, the teachers hailed from 41 schools including Cobar Public School, Ross Hill Public School and […]

2015 – a year of success for QSO

  In another record-breaking year, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra has continued to set new standards in orchestral management, financial sustainability and artistic rigour. QSO once again achieved a surplus in 2015. Ticket sales for QSO mainstage concerts grew by 26% in 2015, including an increase of 45% in single ticket sales. Sales of subscription packages […]

TSO Prison Outreach Program

  The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra inaugurated its Prison Outreach Program in 2015 with a series of activities involving inmates at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison in Hobart. Musicians from the TSO conducted workshops in May and June involving prisoners and their families. This was a way of bringing music to the inmates and, at […]

WASO’s Crescendo

  WASO’s Crescendo is an El Sistema-inspired music education program, providing free music lessons on a weekly basis to all Pre-primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students at two schools in Perth’s southern suburb of Kwinana. The El Sistema model, established by Venezuelan José Antonio Abreu in 1975, seeks to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds […]

Nicholas Carter makes his debut as ASO Principal Conductor

The first concert in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Great Classics 2016 series, Carter & Wagner, has been hailed as “beautiful”, “outstanding”, “fantastic” and “incredible”. Nicholas Carter stepped onto the Festival Theatre stage for his first concert as the ASO’s Principal Conductor to officially open the orchestra’s 80th anniversary season on Saturday 13 February. Carter’s inaugural […]

The Pizzicato Effect

  Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up with music in their lives and with The Pizzicato Effect, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s community music program, music is far more than notes on a page. On 9 December, 163 students joined MSO musicians and Pizzicato Effect Teaching Artists in a concert celebrating the achievements of the […]

Christmas Greetings!

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Symphony Services International wishes all of its Members, Associates and clients a happy festive season and a wonderful 2016.

Orchestra Victoria

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As the proud performance partner of The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera it is one of Australia’s busiest and most respected orchestras.

The Future Lies In Our Orchestras

At a time when the Western media regularly foretell classical music’s imminent demise, the Chinese interest in Western classical music sounds like a good news story. But is this exactly the true situation? To most English-speaking communities, China remains a mysterious country. Its population is 66 times that of Australia. The dominant Han people plus […]

Letter from LA

Things I have discovered since the last edition of The Podium: In the same period that I began reading Kevin Starr’s series of Californian histories and continued my usual round of musical and other activities, I also finally visited Yosemite and the gold country and other Californian sights. As some friends and I travelled down […]

2015 YPA Finals – Winner announced!

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Lloyd Van’t Hoff wins the 2015 YPA awards with a spectacular performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto.

Your hearing is precious. Protect it with Goodear

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Used by orchestras, bands and educational institutions, Goodear Acoustic Shield provides an 84% reduction in noise.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra – truly an orchestra for the people!

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra has dazzled music lovers with a month of outstanding concerts presented in collaboration with the Brisbane Festival. The series of diverse performances throughout the month of September was enthusiastically received by concert-goers and reviewers alike, with every concert finishing to multiple standing ovations. Symphony for Me, a free concert which invited […]

Maximus Musicus visits the TSO

Hordes of excited children, along with their parents and grandparents, descended on Federation Concert Hall on 10 September for Maximus Musicus visits the Orchestra, the TSO’s second Family Classics concert for the year. The fun began with colouring-in and other activities in the foyer before the concert. Once the concert got underway, the capacity audience […]

WASO on the Road tour to Geraldton: ‘The Sound of Picture Books’

West Australian Symphony Orchestra in partnership with The Literature Centre Each year, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra tours chamber ensembles to regional centres as part of its week-long WASO on the Road touring program. In September this year, WASO on the Road saw a  string quintet head to Geraldton and it was a huge success! […]

The virtual reality of the ASO

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has formed a world-leading partnership with Adelaide-based company Jumpgate Virtual Reality to present their first project – The Classics Unwrapped Virtual Reality Concert Series. Thanks to pioneering technology and using state-of-the-art Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Headsets, audiences had the chance to experience 360-degree views of the orchestra and immersive sound at […]

MSO connects with deaf students

Earlier in the year, students from the Victorian College for the Deaf (VCD) joined music educator Karen Kyriakou and British-born practising and profoundly deaf musician Danny Lane for a day of musical exploration with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The aim was to open up the world of music to deaf children and inspire them to […]

Sydney Symphony Orchestra outreach at Seoul National University

With the support of the Australia-Korea Foundation and DFAT, the SSO is set to undertake a full day of activities with students at the prestigious Seoul National University as part of its upcoming tour to South Korea. SSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson and 16 SSO musicians will visit the University for a […]

Orchestral Summit 2015

Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November International philanthropy expert Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies (2001-14) and Executive Director of the English National Opera (1997-2001) will present two keynote addresses (development and governance). Antonia Ruffell, CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services, will also be featured. See the program schedule. Russell Willis Taylor […]

West Australian Symphony Orchestra

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WASO is Western Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts organisation.

Beyond French Fries and Gravy: A Librarian’s Trip to the MOLA Conference in Montreal

  Vi King Lim Just as migratory birds return every year to warmer climes in search of sustenance, so too orchestra librarians from all over the world make the yearly pilgrimage to the largest conference of its kind to hone their professional skills and expertise. The Conference of the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA) has […]

Coffee Break at the Coffee Bean – sitting down with Pearl Kaufman

I recently met up with Pearl Kaufman at a Coffee Bean on the corner of Santa Monica and Beverly Glen Blvds in West Los Angeles. Pearl Kaufman is a pianist who has worked with many of the great names of 20th century music, premiering works by Berio, Ginastera, and Shapero, and appearing on the legendary […]

Annual Report 2014

Download a copy of Symphony Australia’s Annual Report for 2014.

ASO appoints Australian Principal Conductor

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has appointed 29-year-old Nicholas Carter as Principal Conductor – the first time an Australian has been appointed to lead a major Australian orchestra for nearly 30 years. From 2016, Mr Carter will head a new artistic leadership team that includes two outstanding international artists: the renowned British conductor, Jeffrey Tate, as […]

WASO launches cross cultural exchange with China

In March an exciting new partnership was launched between the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and the Australia China Business Council (Western Australia) (ACBC WA). The partnership will see the three organisations work together on an exchange project that will foster cultural awareness and share expertise between both orchestras. The project […]

QSO plays for all Queenslanders

QSO’s commitment to reaching Queenslanders wherever they live saw a three-fold increase in QSO’s regional touring program in 2014. As the second largest state in Australia, this is a significant achievement and highlights QSO’s strong commitment to engage with communities to provide access to great music and champion music education. The use of new technology […]

All singing, all dancing: TSO’s Mini Maestro

Building on the success of last year’s Mini TSO for Kids, the TSO gave five sold-out performances of Mini Maestro in the TSO Studio during the recent school holidays. Conducted by Greg Stephens (TSO Horn player) and hosted by Jane Longhurst, ABC Local Radio announcer and actor, Mini Maestro was aimed at children aged 2 […]

MSO broadcasts to millions in China

In February, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra celebrated Chinese New Year with a concert that brought together great works from the Western and Eastern traditions under the helm of Grammy and Academy Award winning Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun. The concert featured the Melbourne premiere of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Dun’s thirteen-movement work […]

SSO appoints Assistant Conductor

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has appointed 26-year old Australian Toby Thatcher to the highly coveted position of SSO Assistant Conductor.  Toby was one of five hand-picked international and Australian candidates who auditioned for the role before a panel including the SSO’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson. “Toby showed us he is ready to […]

Applications for the 2016/17 Conductor Development Program are now open!

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Exciting changes to the program for 2016 and beyond.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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The MSO is Australia’s oldest orchestra and an essential part of Melbourne’s rich cultural fabric.

A Different Geography: How LA has affected my musical thinking

When I moved to Sydney in 1987 I got to know the city by memorizing its coves and bays. In Los Angeles since 2013, I’ve memorized where the studios are located. After all, locals often think of Los Angeles and Hollywood synonymously. Paramount is only a $10 cab fare away; Warner Bros is in the […]

Soundings across the Tasman – Over Time

David Garrett surveys orchestral activity in New Zealand and Australia, comparing changes in the past 20 years In the mid 1990s I spent several months filling in as artistic manager for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, based in Wellington. I went on tour with the orchestra, to most of the major cities, and came tantalisingly […]

2015 YPA Finalists Announced!

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2015 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards Finalists Announced!

Asia-Pacific Orchestral Librarians’ Summit 2014

Just a couple of weeks after world leaders descended on Brisbane for the G20 Summit, orchestral librarians from around Australia and overseas convened for the Asia-Pacific Orchestral Librarians’ Summit 2014 on the 29th of November. The day-long event was hosted by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the ABC Building in South Bank and was attended […]

A thriving Artist Development program – what really counts?

I have been involved in the Artist Development endeavours of the six professional Australian symphony orchestras (known as ‘the network’) since Symphony Australia was created out of ABC Concerts, the national broadcaster’s concert division, in 1997. During those 17 years I have observed the network’s commitment to furthering the careers of countless Australian conductors, composers […]

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

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The SSO has evolved into one of the world’s finest orchestras as Sydney has become one of the world’s great cities.

The Pop of Vox: the rise of voice

March 2012: I was visiting the Savannah Arts Academy, a specialist high school on Washington Avenue in that small Atlantic Coast city. Artists from Sherrill Milnes’ VOICExperience had just finished a demonstration of operatic arias and duets. ‘Who would like to thank our visitors?’ asked the teacher. Up jumped four teenage boys and launched into….No, […]

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti performs with the MSO’s Pizzicato Effect students

The young musicians in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Pizzicato Effect program were recently given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work and perform alongside one of the UK’s most successful classical artists, violinist Nicola Benedetti. In town in September to perform with the MSO and its Principal Guest Conductor, Diego Matheuz, Benedetti took time out of her […]

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra premieres Our Don

Composed by South Australian Natalie Williams and commissioned by the South Australian Government, the five-movement work chronicles the public and private aspects of Sir Donald’s life, and is interwoven with stunning archival video, photographs and words by Bradman biographer Peter Allen. The premiere was conducted by South Australian Luke Dollman and featured a guest appearance […]

WASO performs for Anzac Albany commemorations

The eyes of the nation were on Albany, Western Australia for four days of Anzac commemoration events from 30 October. As part of the commemorations, members of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra shared the stage with three of Australia’s favourite musical acts for a special community concert on Saturday 1 November. Joining the orchestra on […]

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Synaesthesia+

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, TSO Chorus and a whole host of solo artists took up residence in Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) over the weekend of 16-17 August for Synaesthesia+, a riot of music, colour and movement. Curated by Simon Rogers and Brian Ritchie, Synaesthesia+ presented the world premiere of Matthew Hindson’s […]

‘Come and Be Yourself’ with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed a concert designed for people of all ages with physical and intellectual disability in October, allowing the Orchestra to engage with a new audience. Cairnsfoot School teacher Gary Page, who attended the concert with his students, said it felt like the event was tailored specifically for the needs of his […]

QSO farewells Maestro Johannes Fritzsch

As the Queensland Symphony Orchestra continues to reach important milestones in audience growth and orchestral acclaim, the company is preparing to farewell Maestro Johannes Fritzsch after seven years of musical leadership as Chief Conductor. Maestro Fritzsch is set to shine in the QSO limelight in the Fritzsch Grand Finale concert on Saturday 29 November — […]

2015 YPA applications closed!

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Applications for the 2015 YPA are now closed. Good luck!

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

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TSO is a much loved cultural institution and ‘a source of pride’ to 90% of Tasmanians.

Orchestras in our time and place: the League of American Orchestras’ conference, Seattle, 2014

League of American Orchestras conferences are inspirational affairs. It’s not just the wealth of sessions or the chance to hear orchestras and ensembles you might not otherwise hear; it’s the chance to run into colleagues, including former employees of Australian orchestras who now work, say, in Atlanta or Dallas. Mostly, it’s those moments sitting in […]

The orchestral business model – that’s no way to run a business!

In recent years there has been much discussion of the orchestral business model. What is the view from the UK? Mark Pemberton, Director of the Association of British Orchestras, offers his perspective. The permanent orchestra season has, as usual, been financially a bad one all over the country. There is always a deficit, which public-spirited […]

2014 YPA Finals. Winner announced!

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Grace Clifford wins the 2014 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the year.

2014 YPA Finals. Chamber Music round results announced!

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Three finalists selected to proceed to the next stage.

2014 YPA Finals. Recital round results announced!

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Six finalists selected to proceed to the next stage.

SSO and NZSO mark 2015 Anzac centenary with simultaneous world premieres

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra are joining forces to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings with simultaneous concerts in 2015 featuring two world premieres by Australian and New Zealand composers. The SSO has commissioned Perth composer James Ledger to write a piece for choir and orchestra titled War Music, featuring […]

QSO leader to speak at Taipei Orchestra Management Conference

Queensland Symphony Orchestra CEO, Sophie Galaise has been invited by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government to be Principal Speaker for the Taipei Orchestra Management Conference – an international Asian conference with 200 Orchestra Managers and CEOs participating. It is a three day event beginning Monday 14 July until Wednesday 16 July. Sophie […]

Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2014 China Tour

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has returned home on a high after a lauded seven-city tour of China and first international tour under the baton of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson. The SSO performed seven concerts and several ensemble performances on the tour, which ran from June 22 to July 6, stopping in Shanghai, […]

Annual Report 2013

Download a copy of Symphony Australia’s Annual Report for 2013.

Performance and new media licensing in Australia and New Zealand

by Scot Morris APRA/AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) Scot Morris: Thank you for the invitation to come and speak to you all, I feel a little bit like I’m here under false pretences. My role at APRA is Director of International, so essentially I’m in charge of all […]

Queensland Symphony Orchestra

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Each year, the QSO delivers over 100 extraordinary musical experiences to people of all ages.

Score reading in Studio City – Getting ‘under the hood’

The cabaret room of Vitello’s in Studio City (the same suburb where Mack Sennett built his film lot in 1927; where The Brady Bunch lived in the early 1970s) is not the sort of place you’d expect to find composer activity on a Friday morning. But once a month, of a Friday, 50+ LA composers […]

An Interview with Hoang Pham

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Winner of the 2013 ABC Young Performer of the Year Award.

2014 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards Finalists Announced!

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12 performers selected.

Young Performers Awards 2014 gets underway

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Preliminary auditions for YPA 2014 are now in full swing.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

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They started as a radio ensemble in 1936. Today they play to international acclaim.

Orchestra Manager – ABO

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Wanted! Apply for the rewarding position of Orchestra Manager at the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

A musical kick-start – reflections on YPA and music competitions

The ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards can justly claim to be the highest profile competition for Australian musicians. Having started out in 1944 as an annual, state-based concerto competition for young performers, it boasts a long and rich history and has helped launch the careers of some of Australia’s most outstanding musical talents. Overseas […]

Making use of the arsenal – orchestras in video game music

Music journalist Rebecca Armstrong observed back in 2011 that video game music has come a long way from the sort of music you heard in the early days, ‘a series of bleeps accompanying pixilated figures on screen’. You can believe it when you hear the sort of full-blown orchestral score that is excerpted in video […]

2013 YPA Finals. Winner announced!

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Hoang Pham is announced the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year.

2013 YPA Finals. Recital round results announced!

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Six finalists selected to perform Chamber recitals at Iwaki Auditorium.

Will Bruckner survive the 21st century? Should he?

Orchestras and the quest for relevance. Thank you, Kate, and a special thank you to each of you for your flexibility.  Scheduling this presentation has been an enormous challenge and I am really grateful for the opportunity to be here today.  This is my second visit to Australia in as many months after never having […]

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

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The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra brings to life original baroque and early classical masterpieces.

A Postcard from Asia’s World City and its Orchestra

China is undoubtedly the place to be for classical music. Since I arrived in Hong Kong three years ago, barely a month has passed without the news of some major strategic alliance between a western music institution and a Chinese one. The touring traffic of great orchestras and artists seems more like a flood, as […]

Experimental City – Los Angeles’ operatic dimensions

When people think Los Angeles, they often think Hollywood and ‘Hollywood’ tends to be a byword for glitz and superficiality. But Los Angeles is also a home to musical experimentation. The groundbreaking Monday Evening Concerts that started on the roof of Peter Yates’ home in Silver Lake in 1939 are still going strong (though no […]

Inside Conducting by Christopher Seaman

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What does a conductor do? Conductor Development course director Christopher Seaman’s witty new book tells all.

2014 Conductor Development Program

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Applications for the 2014 Conductor Development Program are now open!

Annual Report 2012

Download the Symphony Services International Annual Report for 2012 .

2013 Orchestral Summit

In August 2013, Symphony Services International will be hosting the 2013 Orchestral Summit for Member and Associate orchestras. Our guest speakers this year will be Brent Assink (Executive Director, San Francisco Symphony) and Joseph LaPosta (State Operating and Major Projects Manager, AFL NSW/ACT). Their biographies appear below. Keynote addresses and workshops will be presented on […]

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra

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MCO has a core of string players drawn from Melbourne’s outstanding community of orchestral artists.

The Problem of Popularity

by James Koehne When Donald Mitchell set out to write an appreciation of Malcolm Arnold in 1977, he felt compelled to rescue the composer from the ‘curse of popularity’. Even in his symphonies, Arnold’s music indulges in big, beautiful tunes, and this, Mitchell points out, ‘gives rise to suspicions that we’re being seduced by something […]

A Culture in Exile – Classical Musicians in Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s

by Gordon Kalton Williams A number of times over the past few years, the contemporary German film director Werner Herzog has described Los Angeles as the most culturally substantial city in the United States. It’s why he and his wife decided to move here he will say, often citing the number of writers, philosophers, and […]

2013 Finalists announced!

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12 young performers have been selected to proceed to the Finals for the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

2013 Symphony Australia TSO Composers’ School

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Applications for the 2013 Symphony Australia TSO Composers’ School (October 14-18) are now open.

A new direction for YPA

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A new look, two-stage competition for the 2013 Young Performers Awards

Notes from the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras (AAPRO) Summit, November 2012, Macau.

Kate Lidbetter, CEO of Symphony Services International, attended the AAPRO Summit in Macau, from 3-6 November 2012.  The report that follows notes some important themes that gleaned from the various speakers at the event – it is not an accurate transcription of what was said (unless indicated) and reflects only the notes that she took […]

Orchestra Victoria

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Orchestra Victoria makes a significant contribution to the vibrant cultural identity of Victoria

‘A Natural Fit’ – an opera company and its community in western North Carolina

Asheville Lyric Opera (ALO) is a small, regional company situated in a small city nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, about 334 miles or 537 ½ kms from the Atlantic coast. It presents a season each year in the intimate 500-seat Diana Wortham Theater and has been getting stronger since its inception in 1999.

Philosophical questions and other practical considerations – My first year at the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Antony Ernst recently moved to Europe to take up a position with the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg after terms as CEO of Sydney Youth Orchestras and Manager of Artistic Planning for the Auckland Philharmonia. He reflects on what he has learnt in his first year in France.

Katerina Nazarova wins 2012 YPA!

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Katerina Nazarova wins the 2012 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

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This busy orchestra gives around 250 performances each year.

League Of American Orchestras Conference, June 2012

Kate Lidbetter, CEO of Symphony Services International, attended the League of American Orchestras conference, 6-8 June, 2012, held in Dallas, Texas.  Colleague Gordon Williams came along to assist with the marketing of the Goodear Acoustic Shield, featured in the Exhibit Hall. The report that follows is not an accurate transcription of any conference sessions or […]

‘Doing all of it’? Savannah and the performing arts

Elegant Victorian villas and gaslit streets lined with Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss – downtown Savannah is as beautiful as the travel literature leads you to expect. Savannah, established by philanthropist Sir James Oglethorpe in 1733, was intended to be safe up on its bluff, a functional British bulwark against Spanish Florida and French […]

Offal? There was plenty of heart and brains on display

ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards 2012 At first glance you could be forgiven for failing to see the common link between the three 2012 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards string finalists. Katerina Nazarova (27), an Australian expat living and working in London, Anna Da Silva Chen (15) a Sydney high-school student, and Shane […]

Creating youth with resilience. A music school in Kabul

Melbourne oboist Anne Gilby recently taught at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music which was established by Ahmad Sarmast in Kabul in 2010. Gordon Williams spoke to her of her experience. In Polly Watkin’s recently-released documentary Dr Sarmast’s Music School [check out the Sydney Film Festival’s blurb], we see students practising in sound-proofed rooms, or […]

2012 ABC Symphony Australia YPA Grand Final

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The winners of each category will now compete in the Grand Final

YPA Stage 3 Keyboard Final Winner

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Young Kwon Choi wins the YPA Stage 3 Keyboard Final

YPA Stage 3 Other Instruments Final Winner

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Som Howie wins the YPA Stage 3 Other Instruments Final

YPA Stage 3 Strings Final Winner

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Katerina Nazarova wins the Stage 3 Strings Final in the 2012 ABC Symphony Australia YPA

Annual Report 2011

Download the Symphony Services International Annual Report for 2011. Part 1 (Report)Part 2 (Financial)

An international participant’s view of the 2012 Conducting Summer School

It was a timely coincidence that, a few days only after graduating from the conducting course at the Royal Academy of Music in London, I received an email from the department describing the various mastercourses organised by Symphony Services International and specifying that these were open, for the first time, to international students like myself. […]

2012 Conductor Development Summer School

It was an extremely hot January day in Hobart that saw the coming together of eight of Australia’s and one of Europe’s most promising young conductors, to attend the inaugural Symphony Services International Conducting Summer School. Christopher Seaman, director of SSI’s Conductor Development program, was the teacher for the two weeks, and the Tasmanian Symphony […]

Can conducting be taught?

You cannot train anybody to be a conductor, and I will say until my dying day, conductors are born and not made. – Sir John Barbirolli A technique of conducting does exist and can be learnt and practised down to its smallest details before a student first attempts to conduct an orchestra. – Hermann Scherchen […]

Walking with stars

I spent Christmas/New Year in Los Angeles. It’s my other favourite city. Lest you think I’m mad, let me say why. I don’t focus on the cars and freeways. I notice coyotes in the hills, snow-capped peaks, citrus, sun and birdsong. I see the boundaries of old ranches on the street maps. Mostly, I see […]

Orchestral Summit in Melbourne

On 2-3 November 2011, Symphony Services International hosted its second annual Orchestral Summit in Melbourne.  Featuring guest speakers Paul Hogle (Executive Vice President, Detroit Symphony Orchestra) and Frankie Airey (Director, Philanthropy Squared), the event was a great success.  Read below for various reports on sections of the Summit, and to view the PowerPoint presentations by […]

Noblesse oblige – arts philanthropy in US classical music

You have only to walk a few blocks in many places in the US to get a sense of the scale of philanthropy here. Just pick a city. In Charleston, for example, within a five-minute walk, you can pass the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Center, and Stiles and Virginia Harper Student Services Center…In Savannah, you can stand inside the Richard and Judy Eckburg Atrium, the impressive entranceway to the Jepson Center, one of the Telfair Museums of Art. Philanthropy is pervasive. Sponsorship also is part of life. Is everything sponsored? The ‘please turn off your cellphone’ message before the curtain at San Diego Opera is sponsored by the Sycuan Casino, that is: a business run by a Native American tribe, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

2011 Orchestral Summit in Melbourne

On 2-3 November 2011, Symphony Services International hosted its second annual Orchestral Summit in Melbourne.  Featuring guest speakers Paul Hogle (Executive Vice President, Detroit Symphony Orchestra) and Frankie Airey (Director, Philanthropy Squared), the event was a great success.  Read below for various reports on sections of the Summit, and to view the PowerPoint presentations by […]

ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards Winner

Nicholas Russoniello has won the prestigious Grand Final of the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, in a stunning performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edvard Tchivzhel on Saturday 3 September at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Download the full Media Release

Notes from Singapore Live! Conference

From 1-3 June 2011, CEO Kate Lidbetter attended the Singapore Live! Global Performing Arts Exchange.  Symphony Services International took a trade booth at this event to feature our Goodear Acoustic Shield and other products. 

Notes From League Of American Orchestras Conference – 6-9 June 2011

From 6-9 June the annual League of American Orchestras conference was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Kate Lidbetter and Gordon Williams represented Symphony Services International at both the conference and in the trade hall.

Doors slamming shut? – where to, for American opera

‘Crisis’. That’s the word you most often hear when someone in the US describes the state of opera in America these days. ‘Our donors are going gray’; ‘We’re one donor from disaster!’ And then they recount the companies that have collapsed in the recent past – Orlando, Baltimore, Opera Pacific, Connecticut, Berkshire – and you start to share their feeling of rising panic. Could the same thing happen in our part of the world?

Annual Report 2008

Annual Report 2008 Click to download a copy of Symphony Australia’s Annual Report for 2008.